Sukjoon (SJ) Yoon
In 21st-century America, the nature and culture of interpersonal communication and human relationships is changing dramatically and becoming a global concept. As society moves more and more towards the widespread use of digital technologies, individuals turn to sports and communication activities as a way to connect with others. This paper will examine the historical development of sports communication by understanding key figures of each era in sports communication history. The primary aim is to become better acquainted with key pioneers in sports communication’s ascent to the major field it is today and to consider the evolution of sports coverage and its relation to cultural history.
Early Eras of Sports Communication
From the earliest times in human history, individual activities were generally more recreational, and leisure has taken on the meaning of sports at the present time (Garrison & Sabljak, 1993). Before the 20th century, individuals participated in activities such as fishing, hunting, horse racing, and swimming. In the latter half of the 18th century, Americans began to spend their leisure time reading daily and weekly newspapers. As the culture evolved with the increasing literacy rate and development of new technologies, individuals felt a need to connect with their interests and information; because of this, newspapers soared in popularity and created a sensation as people began reading more and more (Rader, 2004). Although the first sports journal to be printed was known as the American Turf Register and Sporting Magazine, it also included boxing, wrestling, and horse racing (Garrison & Sabljak, 1993). After the American Civil War ended, baseball became a popular sport. Newspapers especially played a vital role in the spread of baseball’s popularity, and as baseball became one of the most popular sports in the 1870s, the...