The Kicker

‘Self-regulated cartels’

How to revive investigative sports reporting in the age of the athlete

April 3, 2024
Photo by Mike Laws / Art by Katie Kosma

In recent years, numerous beloved sports news institutions have been shut down, or dramatically reduced their operations, while digital shows hosted by professional sportspeople, current and retired, have become ubiquitous, 
Meanwhile, traditional sports journalism—particularly of the type that asks uncomfortable questions of what is, ultimately, a huge and powerful business—has been in decline. Last year, Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, an HBO show that mixed softer features with hard-nosed investigative journalism, wrapped its final season after twenty-nine years on air. Josh Fine was an investigative producer at Real Sports for seventeen years. He has some ideas on how sports journalism can revive itself. 

Host: Josh Hersh
Producer: Amanda Darrach

Show Notes:
Can sports journalism survive in the era of the athlete? by Josh Hersh for CJR

Josh Hersh is an editor at CJR. He was previously a correspondent and senior producer at Vice News.