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The Unfortunate Consequences of the New York Times no Longer having a Sports Section


Sep 16, 2023

It may seem unusual for a sports columnist from one metropolitan newspaper to mourn the closure of another metropolitan newspaper’s sports section, but that’s exactly what is happening. As the New York Times sports page and sports staff come to an end, it is important to acknowledge the loss that this represents for all of us. While sports sections in newspapers across America may not be completely extinct, they are certainly in a state of decline. The evolution of journalism and the rise of real-time information availability has changed the way we consume sports news. Waiting for box scores and standings to be published the next morning is now a thing of the past, as fans can watch game highlights at any time. In this digital era, there is less need for comprehensive sports sections that summarize what happened in the sporting world and delve into the stories behind the games. Newspaper sports sections used to be a gathering place for sports fans to evaluate, analyze, and discuss their favorite teams and players, much like ESPN’s “SportsCenter” was in the past. They were not just meant for die-hard sports enthusiasts, but also for those who appreciated deep reporting and well-crafted stories that were rarely found elsewhere. Each newspaper’s sports section had its own identity, catering to the interests and preferences of its readers. However, with the decline of print media and the rise of online platforms, the landscape of sports journalism has changed significantly. The New York Times’ acquisition of subscription-based website The Athletic, to replace their sports content, is a testament to this shift. While The Athletic boasts a talented team of reporters and editors, it is hard to imagine them ever reaching the same level of coverage as a dedicated sports section in a major newspaper. There is something nostalgic and romantic about the loss of traditional sports sections in newspapers. Many of us grew up reading our local paper’s sports section, which offered unparalleled coverage and insights into the world of sports. The idea that sports should be considered an important part of our culture, deserving of coverage alongside international and national news, is something that may be lost in this new era of sports journalism. Deep reporting and elegant writing have the power to enhance our understanding and experience of sports, and losing the space for such storytelling is a loss not only for sports fans but also for the broader cultural landscape. There is a sense of sadness and loss in witnessing the decline of sports sections in newspapers. They were once the go-to source for definitive coverage of teams, but that notion is now outdated. While the future of sports reporting is uncertain, it is important to acknowledge and mourn the loss of a publication that has been a pillar in telling the best stories in sports. In the end, it is not only the writers and fans who lose, but all those who appreciate the power of sports storytelling.

By Editor

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