For those who’d call current sports journalism fluff: Gary Andrew Poole agrees with you. In an essay for the Columbia Journalism Review, though, he muses that it needn’t be. The shortcomings he bemoans—an emphasis on sensational stories, a move away from longer narrative work—aren't specific to sports writing, and neither are the market pressures he observes: the growing importance of web reporting, the increasingly rapid turnover of news items.
But Poole argues that sports writers are uniquely positioned to resist these trends. After all, fans can probably live without to-the-second updates on batting averages and shoulder injuries. A renewed focus on thoughtful analysis and creative storytelling might remind us why sports matter in the big picture, by exploring how they reflect our cultural values and imagination. Take a look at the article to hear Poole elaborate and to catch some insightful comments from readers, or consider other reasons why sportswriting has lost its game.