Boxing ‘journalism’ alive, well and in safe hands

Phil Jay 14/11/2013

Contrary to the belief of some, boxing journalism is thriving in it’s online capacity and has an abundance of young writers trying to cut their teeth in the business that they love.

Boxing websites, blogs and enthusiastic individuals are popping up seemingly every day on Twitter, and other social media sites, as fans attempt to realise the dream of having your passion as your job.

The transition of reporting from print to online has been swift and unforgiving for some, as the older generation of scribes struggle to get to grips with how boxing has evolved through the internet explosion.

Some of the more established writers have embraced the change, whilst others lesser-known seem compelled to look down their noses at the new breed and write their own assumptions of whether there is a place for all in the sport.

I can understand when you hear some arguments on grammar and the standard of writing, but not everyone can get a degree in this day and age – with my philosophy being ‘the more you write, the better you can become.’

Writing a 2000 word essay does not necessarily mean you are better than any other writer, it just means you have the education, the money, and the time on your hands to do so.

Saying that, my own style of writing is just to my taste, as I prefer not to read long-winded articles and like to get straight to the point so I can feed my thirst for knowledge (not only in boxing, but all sports).

This doesn’t suit everyone, especially newspapers and print magazines, hence the decision to begin my own site – which is now thankfully in the top 10 independent boxing websites in the world due my own hard work.

Working 16-hour shifts to build-up your site is the norm, so putting down writers who want to try their hand at it can only come from the perspective of someone who doesn’t need to, or has never had to, take the knocks that come with it.

For 18 months I worked on WBN for £5 a day and that was for a seven-day week, sixteen hours a day, so hopefully you can understand my frustration when the internet media is belittled in this way.

Some of the highly-derogatory views expressed are not helpful to the writers who harbour a dream of one day making a living solely from a website or blog, and in turn show a narrow-mindedness, bordering on distain for these hopefuls.

WBN began in 2010 and faced dark days to get to where it is now, so as long as these would-be journalists get their facts right and are not trying to damage the sport in any way, I can’t see why these stuffy-nosed ‘established writers’ want to bring them down.

Granted there are some terrible websites out there, and I could name a couple of American sites, plus one UK site in particular that write provoking headlines solely for hits and just post press releases, but on the whole these so-called ‘smaller sites’ and blogs are writing from the heart and doing no harm.

The posting of stuck-up articles questioning the credibility of hard-working people do more damage than any of these hopefuls could ever do and some should just let them be as it’s their own time they are putting into boxing.

A lot of the older guard are obviously threatened by this wave of new writers for fear they will become irrelevant themselves, although a lot may not realise that they already are.

Their days of free gym passes, being best fiends with fighters and VIP ringside treatment is coming to an end and my view is that some are lashing out at who I see as the bread and butter of the sport, the boxing fans.

Without these enthusiasts, boxing would certainly be in a more precarious position than it is now and all of the media, old and new, should come together to encourage anyone who wants to write original articles to stick to it – as they can only improve the more they do.

I have had my fill of some of these know-it-alls who look down their noses at internet editors, as some of you may have noticed on my social media sites, and I long for the day when hard work gets respect, rather than which clique you do or don’t belong to.

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