Sports journalism must adapt to change to thrive

As World Sports Journalists Day is celebrated today, one veteran sports journalist believes the survival of the industry hinges on one’s ability to adapt and evolve.

Astro Arena producer Lukman Salleh said sports reporting today has changed tremendously compared to when he started as a cadet reporter with Berita Harian in 1994.

“I’m sure you’ve heard this many times, things in the past were done differently,” said Lukman, 55.

“When I was a reporter, we didn’t have handphones or social media. In fact, the Internet was still in its infancy. The motivation was to get the best story of the day; the competition was stiff.

“But today, you have information at your fingertips. Has this created a new generation of reporters who literally sit on their chairs and churn our articles? Perhaps.

“Nevertheless, for those in television, we still have to head to the venues to obtain visuals. Without visuals, it just wouldn’t work for television.”

Lukman, who joined Astro Arena nine years ago, said leaving print to join a broadcasting company forced him to adapt and embrace.

Throughout his career in sports journalism, Lukman covered nine SEA Games, 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games, 1998 Asian Games, numerous Thomas Cup, badminton World Championships and All-England championships.

“Adapting and embracing are key components. But there is also the need to find the right balance.”

“Sometimes we don’t need to chase what’s already out there. It’s about providing in-depth and quality reports instead that will suit your viewers or readers.”

He said during the Movement Control Order, journalists had to adapt to the new normal in sourcing and presenting news due to various limitations.

“We had to use technology like Skype and Zoom to ensure our viewers still get the latest,” he said.

Astro Arena, celebrating its 10th year this year, will begin its one-hour segment for its news bulletin Nadi Arena from 7.30pm to 8.30pm on July 6, 2020.

“Nadi Arena has done very well over the decade. We have built credibility. Now we want sports fans to soak in the emotions as we take the brand to a whole new level,” said Nicholas Andrew John, Astro’s head of sports content.

“While acknowledging the attention span today is short, we feel there will still be interest in a one-hour news show.

“Our content will also be available on our social media platforms as well to enable our viewers to have the full version or view snippets of what was highlighted on our news programme. I don’t think content will be an issue for us,” he added.

Here’s the round-up of other news in The News Normal today.


The Department of Veterinary Services has detected seropositive samples of the Swine Influenza H1N1 (SIV H1N1) virus in commercial livestock and wild boars.

The detection through the national surveillance programme, however, found the seropositive pig breeds had no symptoms of the disease and are not at risk of spreading the infection to humans.


Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Masing said Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) and PAS will not contest in the Sarawak state elections due next year.

The assurance given by PPBM acting chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang during a top Perikatan Nasional leaders meeting in Putrajaya on Wednesday will enable Sarawak’s ruling coalition Gabungan Parti Sarawak to go head on with the opposition.


The Federal Court has set July 13 to hear contempt proceedings initiated by Attorney-General Tan Sri Idrus Harun against Malaysiakini and its editor-in-chief Steven Gan.

The proceedings are over comments posted by readers on the website which had allegedly tarnished the judiciary’s reputation.

A seven-member Federal Court panel had earlier today dismissed the news portal’s operator Mkini Dot Com Sdn Bhd and Gan’s application to set aside its leave order to initiate the proceedings.


Pakatan Harapan says it is against the move to remove Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof and Deputy Speaker Nga Kor Ming.

Pakatan Harapan said the duo had served well in their capacities and had also restored public trust in Parliament.

The motion to remove the duo was initiated by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. It, however, does not affect the other Deputy Speaker, Datuk Seri Rashid Hasnon. Rashid, who is Batu Pahat MP, left PKR with Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and others earlier this year.


The Health Ministry said three new cases were recorded today, of which two are local transmissions. No deaths recorded in the last 18 days and the number of active cases is now below 100 with only 85 patients being treated in health facilities.


Ex-international and national coach Datuk K. Rajagobal stresses it is the role of state FAs, with assistance from FA of Malaysia, to unearth talents instead of taking the easy way out by using naturalised footballers.

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