The History …. or shall we say decline … of print media in sport

The relationship between football newspaper articles and broadcast media has a long and complex history. Newspapers were the primary source of coverage for football in the early days, providing detailed game reviews, recaps as well as other stories related to the game. As the game of football had grown in popularity, newspapers began to expand their coverage, providing more comprehensive coverage of games, teams and individuals (Atherton & Raymond, 1999; Raymond, 1999).

By the 1930s, football coverage was starting to dominate in the popular press’s increasingly competitive battles for circulation. In terms of reporting styles, there had also been something of a breakthrough. Modern match reports and accompanying articles now include high-quality images in addition to the text due to advancements in photography and printing techniques (Crolley & Hand, 2013).

Over the past few decades, the newspaper sector in the UK has faced major challenges. Spending on newspapers decreased from £4.45 billion pounds in 2005, to under £2.8 billion pounds in 2020 as fewer consumers purchase print news publications. Even among renowned publications like The Daily Mail, national newspaper readership in the UK has been falling for years and was well below million copies in 2021.

Due to many media scandals both inside and outside of sport, such as the New of the World phone hacking scandal, caused outrage amongst newspaper readers. According to a 2017 study by the European Broadcasting Union, British citizens have the lowest level of trust in the written journalism of any European nation. The written press enjoyed lower levels of trust in the UK than any other media outlet such as radio and television which has consequently resulted in the industries decline (Raney & Bryant, 2009; Raymond, 2013).

In the modern day, a hybrid media system was formed, allowing both a physical and digital version of media. Chadwick’s (2017) hybrid media system is a model that combines traditional media outlets with online sources in order to create a more comprehensive and engaging experience for fans. This model is based on the idea that traditional media outlets, such as newspapers, are still important sources of coverage, but that they must be supplemented with online sources in order to provide a more comprehensive and engaging experience for consumers. The hybrid media system consists of five components: traditional media outlets, online media, social media, mobile platforms, and user-generated content.

Overall, Chadwick’s (2017) hybrid media system is an important model for understanding how sports media has evolved in the digital age. By combining traditional media outlets with online sources, the model provides a comprehensive and engaging experience for fans, allowing them to stay connected to their favourite teams and players.

The decline of newspaper media is a sign of the times that can no longer be ignored. As the world moves further into the digital age, traditional newspapers are being replaced by digital platforms, which offer a more convenient and cost-effective way to receive news and information. As a result, newspaper companies are struggling to survive, and many newspapers have ceased publication entirely. Therefore, even with strategies such as hybrid formats is that the end of print media or can it be saved again?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: