FCT SWAN Week: Dare Charges Sports Writers To Diversify
Sports minister, Sunday Dare making his presentation during the Seminar on Thursday
By Amaechi Agbo
The minister of youth and sports, Sunday Dare has charged sports writers to diversify their interest in order to harness and utilize the ample opportunities created by the new media to supplement not just their profession but their income as well.
The minister who stated this on Thursday during the a seminar by the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, SWAN, FCT Chapter’s 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” noted that any sports journalist who fails to capitalise on the existing realities in the modern world would be left behind.
“The recent re-classification of sports from mere recreation to business would create ample opportunities for the Athletes, critical stakeholders and the sports writers. There are more job opportunities and diverse streams of incomes which the sports writers must avail themselves.
“The implementation of the Sports Industry Policy would have ripple effects on sports writers. Sports Writers now use various medium like blogs, digital radio, television and online for reportage.
“The new breed Sports Writers must diversify, be creative, innovative, committed with an eye for news and stories that excites beyond the ordinary.
“While new opportunities are being created for the technology savvy journalists, those who cannot upgrade themselves are losing income and relevance. While 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.
“The new breed must have a niche for research where available opportunities can be accessed. Sports Writers must be well equipped with information that would ensure better source of living.
“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. The innate passion and enthusiasm to excel must not wane. With the re classification of sports as business, the sports writer must undergo regular re-training to keep abreast of new trends and opportunities.
“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.”