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Beat Writer Defends Embattled I-A Football Coach

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by belton, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. belton

    belton New Member

    "YES I SUPPORT COACH P. He walked into a train-wreck, tried to fix it and is trying 24 games isn't enough to fix all that needs to be addressed here."

    This was written by The Hartford Courant's Desmond Conner, the paper's University of Connecticut football beat writer, as part of one of his final responses the end of an online chat Monday in which the main topic was the performance and future of coach Paul Pasqualoni. The quote needs a lot of context: here's the chat in question http://bit.ly/Ritkg4. The line is at the very end of the chat as the reporter responds to a loaded question.

    Brings up the old issue of reporter vs. columnist and how much the reporter role is changing especially now that they are engaging in these kind of real-time forums with readers. Think taking a strong public position such as this might not be optimal, but interested what others here think.
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I don't have a problem with anything he wrote after "He walked into a train-wreck. ..." But he should not be saying he supports the coach.
  3. Desmond has been a columnist for a lot of years for the Courant as well. So he's a little used to giving his opinion. It's a chat. If it were print, I think it would be a bit more of an issue.

    I don't have a problem with it
  4. mrbigles01

    mrbigles01 Member

    I agree with Ace. "Support" rubs me all sorts of wrong . . . but the rest of it strikes me as the job of a reporter. By virtue of his position, Conner is an "expert" on UConn football, readers go to the media to hear what the objective experts think, opinions are good.
  5. mediaguy

    mediaguy Well-Known Member

    Dez is good people. I have no problem with him saying that in a chat.
  6. BitterYoungMatador2

    BitterYoungMatador2 Well-Known Member

    A train wreck which went to the Fiesta Bowl the year before.
  7. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    God, do I hate this mentality. Your standards are your standards. We should be more flexible in print, in my opinion. But if you're not flexible in print, you shouldn't give your writers any more leverage online. Take the Internet seriously or it will pass you by. Then again, it already has passed most newspapers by.
  8. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    What makes a good beat chat? Stock answers? Badinage? Insight? More in-depth technical stuff?

    I'll push back a little here: A chat is a conversation. A story isn't, unless you're counting as a one-way conversation that's absorbed by the reading audience. In a beat chat, theoretically, you're getting questions about the team, and I'm guessing they're pretty pointed. I suppose one can parrot answers from their story to a certain extent, but then the chat is merely a less-crafted version of the same information.

    So what does a good beat writer chat look like if the beat writer doesn't have the latitude of a columnist?
  9. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    i have an issue with his using all-caps. [/hoopsmccann]

    No, really, the all-caps makes him look a little fanboish. I could make a case that using the word "support" probably isn't the right word — he would have been just fine saying everything after that — but I think there should be a lot of latitude in this type of forum. I see where he was going with it and I don't have a problem with what he said.

    He was stating his expert opinion that 24 games isn't enough time to judge the coach's tenure, and he's probably right. Beat writers ≠ robots. Get over it.
  10. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    He clearly stated it was HIS opinion, nothing more. If you can't do that, what's the purpose of having a chat in the first place?
  11. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    My answer: Give the beat writer the latitude of a columnist when he needs it, on all platforms. Objectivity is fake.

    But lord knows I just opened a can of worms.
  12. murphyc

    murphyc Well-Known Member

    Surely I'm not the only one who thought this thread was going to be about Chizik.
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