Nieman Journalism Lab has an interesting post on recent innovations in online sports writing in the US.
Tim Carmody argues that all journalists, not just sports writers, can learn from developments the other side of the Atlantic.
The post directs us to SportsFeat “spotlighting well-crafted longform sports and sports-related writing”. Carmody explains that “most of the stories are current, but others reach into the archives even as they relate to the day’s news”.
Other sites to watch are Quickish, an aggregator of tweets and and SB Nation, which describes itself as “news, scores and fan opinion powered by 305 sports blogs” and a site former Engadget editor Joshua Topolsky, who is involved on the technology side, cites as “a testbed and lab for some of the newest and most interesting publishing tools I’ve ever seen”.
If there’s a common thread to all of these moves, it’s hybridisation and metastasis. The tools that drive compelling sports journalism on the web aren’t limited to sports. Nor are they exclusively held by sportswriters working for independent media companies.
As Rob Neyer wrote when he moved from ESPN to SB Nation, the new ethos in sports journalism, as elsewhere, seems to be breaking down the distinction between “us” and “them”. And this is a distinction that you can interpret much more broadly than one between writers and readers, pros and amateurs, sportswriting and non-sports writing. When the walls tumble, they tumble everywhere.
My bet is that this will be good for everyone – not just sports fans, sportswriters, and smart media companies, but everyone looking for new ways to read and write smart material on the web.