The death of the sports interview: Exclusive problem or part of a larger trend?


It's not entirely clear when it happened: When athletes went from being asked questions to being told to ‘talk about’ this or that; When information started moving so quickly and taken so out of context; When as a collective, sports figures – athletes, managers, coaches and media relations people – said enough is enough and put up their guard.

ESPN published a feature yesterday about the “decomposed remains of the sports interview.” They spoke to Tennessee Titans’ quarterback Matt Hasselbeck who is admittedly guarded in interviews – even “boring” – because he doesn’t want what he says to be “bulletin-board material” for opposing teams, after having comments he made in a scrum taken out of context.

It also looks at the speed at which information moves, how athletes are able to control their own message now via Twitter, and how they use it to call out journalists who they feel have wronged them.

The era of simple press conferences has killed the interview too, ESPN argues. Taking the place of the one-on-ones in the locker room or clubhouse, a manager stands in front of a room full of cameras and reporters and says statements mostly devoid of meaning. So what is the appeal? “The ease-of-use is undeniable. The team loves it, the manager loves it and everybody makes deadline. It's like fast food: the same nutrient-free offering every time.”

Read the whole feature here

Is this part of a larger trend not exclusive to sports journalism? Leave a comment below or tweet us @jsource.

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