Since becoming global, the coronavirus has turned everything upside down, and sports became one of its major casualties—events were either postponed or cancelled, some because of lack of sponsors and others because the athletes were suddenly nowhere to be found.
In the early days of the pandemic, the fear of the unknown was real. People were reluctant to move, and even more reluctant to mingle for fear of infection.
But slowly but surely, athletes adapted to the new climate with measured trepidation. Sports is action and athletes needed action to remain healthy and competitive.
Outside of the playing field, the pandemic gave rise to a new breed of communicators—the sportswriter-turned-broadcast journalist.
This actually has become a trend even before the pandemic because print journalism appeared to be on the wane, but it has become a necessary evil in the face of the pandemic.
Suddenly, sportswriters are thrust into the broadcast limelight, using their newfound voice to air their opinions via zoom and podcasts, or any similar platform.
Suddenly, the air waves are full of competing voices, each with varying opinion on a given subject. Guests were hauled off from the comfort of their homes to ‘share’ and speak their minds on a given topic. Most times, a featured guest is interviewed via live broadcast several times a day, depending on the agenda of the broadcast organizers.
This has become especially true nowadays since the country is preparing for both the Tokyo Olympics and the 2021 SEA Games.
As defending SEAG champions, the Philippines is definitely in the conversation for a repeat, but the pandemic could either become a dampener or a challenge for local athletes.
In the Tokyo Olympics, the challenge runs along similar lines, but the better news is that we have more athletes vying for medals than any given time in the event. We have good chances in boxing, weightlifting, skateboarding and pole vault.
This is, of course, a gold mine of discussion for the broadcast journalist, and an opportunity for officials and athletes to inform and educate their listeners on what is happening during the pandemic lull.
This is all good. This defines the new normal, for officials, athletes and sportswriters, who must stay relevant in the digital reality of our times.
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