By Joy Odor
The Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Sunday Dare has lamented that the limplementation of Sports Industry Policy will have ripple effects on sports writers.
The Minister who stated this on Thursday during a seminar organized by Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) FCT Chapter to commemorate its SWAN Week, eulogised the sports journalists for their unflinching support to his vision in changing the face of sports in the country.
Speaking on the topic “New Sports Policy: Emerging Opportunities for the Sporting Media in a Changing World” Mr. Dare noted that any sports journalist who fails to capitalise on the existing realities in the modern world would be left behind.
According to him, Sports writers now use various medium like blogs, digital radio, television and online for reportage.
He said the new breed Sports Writers must diversify, be creative, innovative, committed with an eye for news and stories that excites beyond the ordinary.
The Minister said the new breed must have a niche for research where available opportunities can be accessed and must be well equipped with information that would ensure better source of living.
He said in the face of the emerging new media, the sport writer must be able to excite the fans and the public with new angles to every story, saying the innate passion and enthusiasm to excel must not wane.
The Minister charged sports writers to diversify their interest to harness and utilize the ample opportunities created by the new media to supplement not just their profession but their income as well.
He noted that sports from mere recreation to business would create ample opportunities for the Athletes, critical stakeholders and the sports writers, saying there are more job opportunities and diverse streams of incomes which the sports writers must avail themselves.
“Sports Writers must move away from old traditional system pf sticking to one job. Under the new order, they can freelance for radio, television, online, create blogs and online platforms to generate steady source of income.
“While new opportunities are being created for the technology savvy journalists, those who cannot upgrade themselves are losing income and relevance.
“When new technology powered medium are springing up, thousands of jobs are being lost in the mainstream traditional media, salaries are owed and some are also closing shop due to the rampaging effect of the new media.
“Sports Writers must move away from old traditional system pf sticking to one job. Under the new order, they can freelance for radio, television, online, create blogs and online platforms to generate steady source of income. Sports Writers can work as radio, television pundits, contribute to online, live steam video of sporting events, contribute to clubs and Federation sites, consult for clubs, players and federation. They can equally work as press agents. They can serve as commentators, compere and analyst during sporting events,” he said.
Highlighting the importance of sports writers in the promotion and development of sports in the country, the minister said “Your unflinching support since I assumed office over a year ago has indeed been simply unprecedented. Thank you so much for being worthy partners in our trajectory of repositioning the youth and sports sectors of our dear nation.
“Undoubtedly, this is a conglomeration of the best sports writers in our country as this chapter remains at the forefront of promoting our athletes as well as general sports development over the years.
“Sports writers play a pivotal and critical role in sports development of our great country. Without sports writers, athletes, administrators and the fans would simply be groping in the dark.
“There is a symbiotic relationship between the sports writers, the sports men and all the components that make sports exciting” he ended.