by Bill Reader, Associate Professor
Gannett recently announced its plans to expand its prep sports site, Highschoolsports.net, to provide “hyperlocal” coverage of 100 distinct schools. That coverage would then be “co-branded” with Gannett’s community newspapers serving those schools.
That may be a good move financially, as prep sports are a big deal in American culture and represents one of the most important sectors of coverage for community-focused media. But removing prep sports from the context of the whole community may be the achilles heel of the idea. The cultural capital of prep sports is directly connected to the broader context of the community; the role of prep sports in community life is diminished when it is not presented alongside coverage of other community news and information.