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Changing Work Routines and Labour Practices of Sports Journalists in the Digital Era: A Case Study of Postmedia

This article contributes to an emerging body of research that examines the transformation of sport, journalism and media practice in the digital era as part of what Raymond Williams has called the ‘long revolution’ of communications, culture and democracy. In so doing, we explore how Canadian sports journalists have attempted to make sense of, and negotiate their roles within, the practice of convergent sports journalism and the ascension of new online journalism values in the Postmedia Network. We examine the institutionalization of 24/7 digital sports departments within which Postmedia’s sports journalists labour to produce a continuous flow of coverage of major league sport – at the expense of local amateur events and women’s sport – to secure a digital audience commodity of male readers. We also explore Postmedia’s embracement of outsourced labour and production processes that have further altered the work routines of sports journalists and have undermined quality standards. Finally, we underscore how the expansion of the digital promotional networks of major league sport has contributed to the ongoing historical erosion of the status and influence of sports journalists in the sports–media complex and has spurred the rise of derivative analytical and opinion-driven content.