By Steven Weldon
Print journalism is dying.
Long gone are the days of competing newspapers, looking to get the scoop on a story as soon as possible and send it to print for the next day. We live in an era of live news. If it happened tonight, it can be read about tonight. Details come later. Feed us the stories now.
This can be especially seen in sports journalism. Twitter is more than likely one of the biggest resources for sports news because posts are made live. If a trade was made, one of the reporters for a big media outlet is tweeting about it hours before the players even hear about it. If a player has a transgression off the field, oftentimes, that transgression can be seen via video instantaneously.
But imagine if you write in the field of sports, but most of your best work involves the individual stories of the players, or an off-the-field influence on the team, or possibly a rallying point you recall while covering the team. Newspapers don't have time for those long pieces of incredible, gripping journalism. Twitter is restricted to 280 characters. Where's the outlet?
Enter the world of The Athletic.
If you want a newspaper, you pay money for it. The newspaper made money off the ad revenue, as well as circulation revenue. Those revenue sources are drying up, and newspapers are beginning to be owned by large conglomerates. Those large conglomerates are trying to cut costs; in doing that they alienate and push out the best writers. The Oregonian once had some of my favorite writers covering the teams that matter to me. Those writers soon turned up on The Athletic. If you follow sports, it's likely you've seen the advertisements. It's slowly taking over, picking up very esteemed writers along the way. Instead of paying for a subscription to a bunch of news one probably could pass by in print news, the subscription covers all of The Athletic's writers.
Honestly, this post looks like an advertisement for The Athletic. I'll be honest though, I've only had a subscription during the free trial period. While I would like to read my favorite writers' stories covering my favorite teams, I struggle with adding another subscription service. I am very happy that these writers are (possibly) making a better living with more creative freedom for their stories. It's this exact freedom that made their stories compelling to read, making them my favorite writers. They inspire me.
It seems as though The Athletic has created a new standard for the ever-evolving sports journalism field. Are you ready for a paywall?
If you're reading this, I'm not talented or experienced enough to be paid for my writing yet. You can follow me on twitter, @Airweldon, I'm funnier there.