Coronavirus puts a hold on traditional sports journalism

Marissa Stubbs has her heart set on being a sports journalist. Photo courtesy Stubbs

Just as the world entered a new decade, a specific virus put a pause on everyday tasks, including sports traditional journalism.

The global pandemic first took over news headlines in late November of last year.

According to the South Morning China Post, the first case of COVID-19 came from a 55-year-old from Hubei province. He or she was diagnosed on Nov. 17, 2019.

The virus didn’t officially make news until more cases around the world started to pick up, making it dangerous for anyone to be within six feet of another individual.

Many people around the world are being told to stay inside and self-quarantine. But how is one supposed to quarantine, without the presence of sports?

Earlier in March, the National Basketball Association suspended all games for the rest of the 2019-20 season. The league confirmed this suspension was put in place after a few players tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

This virus also put a hold on almost all popular sports such as March Madness, baseball, tennis, golf and the excitement of spring football.

This pandemic took a toll on sports journalists across the world, including me.

During this time, sports journalists aren’t allowed to report from the sidelines, court side or even interview athletes.

These limitations allowed many journalists to get creative by gathering and publishing content via Zoom.

Zoom is an app that offers quality video and audio screen sharing across many technological platforms.

All sports fans know March (and early April) is a time dedicated specifically to March Madness. During March Madness college student-athletes, coaches and fans prepare to see which team will take the trophy and claim themselves as NCAA champions.

More recently, the postponement of the 2020 Olympics took place. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics were postponed until 2021 due to the outbreak.

Certain events such as the HBCU combine were also stripped away from aspiring athletes who had dreams of going to the NFL.

As this pandemic continues, there are currently 600,000 cases across the world. Political leaders and medical officials are working diligently to prevent the spread of this disease.

Although this pandemic hinders the amount of work produced by sports journalists at this time, it forces us to delve and create new virtual ways to practice journalism.

Journalists and athletes have taken advantage of interviews via Zoom and created podcasts that broadcast their worth as athletes. There may not be games to covered, but there are stories to be shared.