Gone are the days when newspapers, radio and television – the traditional media – deliver the scoop. Oh yea, they will occasionally break a story, and be the first to tell you they broke the story, even when they didn’t. But the new media is restructuring the news and sports landscape.
Just in the last week, we were reminded how sports figures are bypassing the 20th Century media in favor of the 21st Century’s. When free agent NBA star Kevin Durant announced he was leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors, he alone had the scoop. No paper or other media outlet was going to beat him to his own story. Durant tweeted he had a new deal, then explained why on the Players’ Tribune, the website founded by a player who was always guarded with the media, former Yankees’ star Derek Jeter. To be sure, there would be the glorious media conference to make the announcement official, but nobody was going to beat Kevin Durant to the punch on his own story.
Same goes for former University of Connecticut quarterback Casey Cochran. Beset by repeated concussions, Cochran raked the game of tackle football over the coals on July 5, writing his story for the same Players’ Tribune. Headlined ’13 Concussions,’ Cochran writes strikingly about the 13 concussions he has experienced and how he walked away from the game he loved: “Those who play football, particularly those who begin in their youth, are given a glamorized version of the sport – one where camaraderie, discipline, toughness and leadership are highlighted and the wretchedness is ignored and swept under the rug.”
Cochran says he misses football, writes that he has moved on with his life, while speaking out about the dangers of playing the game. He does seem encouraged that the sport is awakening to the harsh reality of the concussion issue, but he worries what he might be like, when he is 50 years old.
It is a compelling story, but one not told to any magazine or traditional media outlet. These days, in many cases, the media is left to reporting what many of us have already learned, from the news makers themselves.