Out with traditional, in with online

Online content is the future of sports journalism, but some journalists refuse to give in.

The difference between sports journalists A.J. Daulerio and Bob Costas, for example, represents the ever-changing role of the media in sports and in the way society views sports coverage.

Jovanna Tosello | Daily Trojan

To Costas, Daulerio must seem like the embodiment of a sports media Satan — a man who has turned the industry upside down, choosing to focus on the personal lives of athletes and media personalities.

Costas, meanwhile, has spent his whole career espousing the ideals of traditional sportswriters: Forge alliances with athletes and concentrate on their accomplishments on the field.

Daulerio is the editor in chief of Deadspin.com, the site that brought you news of Brett Favre’s explicit pictures, Rex Ryan’s foot fetish videos and most recently, former USC star Mark Sanchez’s sexual encounters with a 17-year-old girl — and that’s just what it uncovered in the past four months.

Deadspin is at the forefront of a new phase of sports coverage. Daulerio and his staff use guerilla journalism methods to obtain some of the raunchiest stories and pictures in sports.

And although Deadspin might be more famous for its ability to break stories about athletes’ personal lives, it has managed to break more traditionally newsworthy stories as well.

In August 2010, Daulerio broke a story about how MLB owners were creating profits through illegitimate accounting. In December, he obtained documents revealing how the New Orleans Hornets were in dire financial straits.

Daulerio and Deadspin are successfully toeing the line between investigative reporting and invasive reporting.

Daulerio’s ability to break stories that are both newsworthy and cringeworthy has earned him well-deserved respect and fame.

He was the subject of a GQ  magazine profile, and both the Favre and Ryan stories were picked up by mainstream outlets like ESPN and Sports Illustrated, adding to Deadspin’s buzz and credibility.

Admittedly, there are many sports journalists who have chosen to fight the tide and stick with traditional news. But many of those reporters are struggling to stay relevant in today’s age, and Costas is the perfect example.

Costas has chosen to resist the inevitable change caused by the Internet age of journalism. He doesn’t have a Twitter account or any kind of Internet presence.

He has staunchly held to the traditional sphere of journalism, and the field is leaving him behind.

Media has adapted significantly to the advent of the Internet and the digital age, and the shift to online content has attracted more fans to sites like Deadspin. Fans now feel they are a part of the conversation — and rightfully so.

Deadspin’s motto is “Sports news without access, favor or discretion.”

Although it might not be sports news in the traditional sense, the lack of favor or discretion is something fans have been craving. Daulerio has provided that.

At one point in his career,  Costas was a good journalist. He had astute commentary on timely issues and was one of the most highly regarded commentators of that time.

But as technology has developed, he has remained the same — stuck in the traditional role of media as we used to know it.

Costas is only hurting himself by looking down upon these widely used mediums. He is the face of traditional journalism. Daulerio is the face of the emerging form of journalism — web-based content.

Like it or not, Costas will be among the traditional journalists left in the dust while Daulerio and other bloggers continue their climb into the mainstream.

Cyrus Behzadi is a freshman majoring in communication. His column, “The Extra Point,” runs Wednesdays.