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Matt Hayes Stands up to Fox Sports for Writers Everywhere

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Fox Sports’ pivot away from written content to strictly audio and visual content upset some people.

But the move really upset written sports journalists, and now they’ve got a chance to fight back.

Don’t worry about McGregor-Mayweather; the real battle is happening on social media.

Without written journalists, Fox Sports has a limited number of options when it comes to covering stories, especially when the stories originated in written form. For Fox Sports to do its job, it either needs to base its work on written journalism, or it needs the audio from those specific interviews.

Enter Matt Hayes.

Hayes, a senior national college football writer for Bleacher Report, is the reason you have your Josh Rosen articles about school, football and how they just don’t fit together.

It was Hayes’ interview with Rosen, which was turned into a written story, that got the ball rolling.

While every sports media outlet known to man began jumping all over this story, Fox Sports had to wait. Fox Sports couldn’t publish an article, and it had no audio because it didn’t conduct the interview. So Fox Sports asked Hayes for help.

This is the part where current and former written sports journalists stood up and booed. Fox Sports needed to piggyback off of their work to cover a breaking news story, and it needed the specific audio Hayes used for quote accuracy for its own shows.

But Hayes quickly turned that booing into cheering.

*Mic drop*

Solidarity implies a bond among a group of people with a common interest. Using eight words and one hashtag, Hayes shot down a media giant and put written sports journalists at ease, if only for a moment.

But Fox Sports has a job to do, so it refused to give up. At least, I hope that’s the case, because otherwise someone completely missed the point of Hayes’ tweet.

I’m not afraid to say I don’t agree with why Fox Sports completely shifted away from written journalism. By shrugging off written journalism, Fox Sports shut itself off to an entire demographic, an entire market.

People still read articles. You’re here, right now, reading this article. But for some reason, that doesn’t mean much to Fox Sports.

Now I’m not going to extremes and urging you to boycott Fox Sports and its move to video and audio content, but I implore you to never stop supporting written journalism. Whether the topic being covered is related to politics, sports, health, weather, human interest and so on, written journalism will always be a necessary and key component for information dissemination.

I had a professor in college who described journalism in this way: “Journalism holds the powerful accountable and provides a voice for the voiceless.” Written journalism does that just as much as digital journalism, if not more. Even in sports.

I hope Fox Sports realizes that someday.

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