First of all, thank you all for joining from the four corners of the globe!
Thanks for the invitation, Robin. Looking forward to hearing the many, varied ways sports reporting has evolved -- and continues to do so every day -- from the other panelists here.
To get everybody warmed up - let’s start with a bit of an ice breaker: what has been your favourite sporting moment of the past year?
You've all been involved in sports journalism for quite a few years now - what have been the biggest changes to you're job in the past 5 - 10 years?
The time commitment. The 24/7/365 news cycle means you're basically on deadline constantly. Ten, 15 years ago you were always on call as a beat writer -- but now the need to produce a story immediately or a Tweet as you report is paramount. Content is constant. That means sometimes you cover news as it is happening, not just for the next day's paper when you have a chance to synthesize information for an article.
I think you'd find a lot of journalists agreeing with that!
I started doing online journalism back in 1999. I have gone through all stages from there: The very beginning trying to establish sports journalism online was quite a challenge in itself in a traditional broadcaster environment.
Not many would have said online journalism was proper journalism back then. That has changed.
Well that's a positive development at least - Robert what have you seen?
And finally, the addition of social media content to traditional reporting was another huge step.
For me, the biggest change has been Twitter...it's changed everything for journalism and how people obtain the news. Gone are the newswires and gone are the days when news organisations could dictate when stories broke. Now anyone can break a story and reach millions of people, which is why Derrick's point about needing to be 24/7 is so relevant. Everything is around the live as it happens as Twitter makes it feel out of date so quickly.
Well said, Tom. That line has not only been blurred but completely vanished.
Before social media, people had to come to you for their news, now we have to start going to them and where they are. It's changed the way online is percieved by those who were so against it not so long ago.
I couldn't agree more - social media has shattered how news is both gathered and consumed.
You have to be much more mindful of your audience, which leads me to the next question about encouraging community engagement - a huge part of liveblogs and real-time journalism.
The community is very special when it comes to sports. Fans are very enthusiastic, the use very open and direct, sometimes strong language. And very often they are in favour a certain team or athlete.
It's very easy to steer the community when it comes to matches of our national soccer team, when they play other nations. But when we talk about domestic games, it's a different story.
Good question Kate, it's been a tough nut to crack for us. But we've found the best way is to make it part of the conversations we are having elsewhere. Social Media is a huge part of that, but just as much of it is broadcast as well. We have the advantage of hours of live programming to work with and all the personalities within them. We've tried to bring a flavour of them into our Scribble activity and create something that feels like you are talking to them, then we invite viewers to do just that.