The old media is dying. Network television, daily newspapers, printed periodicals – all have been in mortal decline for years.
It may have started with the advent of cable TV, in particular the news channels. When CNN and Headline News began broadcasting round-the-clock news and analysis, it signaled the start of the decline of network news.
Once consumer online services had been introduced in the early 1990s, first the internet-based news purveyors and subsequently the bloggers accelerated the process of bleeding the conventional media dry. Whatever virtues are possessed by the old media (regularity, comprehensiveness, stability, consistency of content, editorial quality), they can’t compete with the passion, the immediacy, or the diversity of viewpoints presented by the grassroots movement that is replacing them.
More and more frequently we hear of newspapers reorganizing under the protection of bankrupty, or their owners threatening to shut them down altogether. Cultural prognosticators tell us that the traditional media is already a relic; a thing of the past. If you’re wondering what will replace that obsoleted traditional media, refer back to the preceding two paragraphs.
So that’s where we come in.
Bloggers and small-time website operators are already carrying the media torch for a number of athletic endeavors. Boxing is one, town-team baseball and amateur wrestling are a couple more examples. We live in a time of nearly unlimited creativity – at least, our boundaries are only self-imposed. The enthusiastic and literate coverage that we crave for our favorite sport isn’t found in the old media, and hasn’t been for years. It’s going to have to come from the fans, taking advantage of every resource available to us. That’s what my pal Jesse Kelley is doing with Minnesotaboxing.com, it’s what Todd is doing with his Minnesota Boxing League blog and it’s what Drew is doing, after a fashion, with his Minnesota Low Blows blog. And it’s what my Facebook® friend Laura started to do with her unfortunately short-lived “Out and A Bout with Lolo” blog.
If professional boxing is to survive as a spectator sport then yes, it’s going to be partly up to the promoters to put aside their petty squabbles and and work things out to make compelling matches and entertain the fans. And yes, it’s going to be partly up to the fighters either to push their promoters to make the right fights or to accede to their promoters’ advice and take those right fights. But it’s also up to the fans to evangelize our friends and neighbors. There’s not a more exciting contest to witness in person, but people who never witness the pugilistic enterprise in person will never fully grasp its attraction.
This is a game worth saving.
Check out the boxing-related news and entertainment sources mentioned in this article: