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BEST online sports editors

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Andy_Cunanan, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. Andy_Cunanan

    Andy_Cunanan New Member

    OK ... we've had "Best of ..." threads for years. Focused on the print operation for the most part. Who are the best .com sports editors? People who embrace change, can build consensus around new ideas and initiatives, motivate staff, are technologically savvy and have great news judgment, a cross-platform mentality and can help their staff grow personally and professionally.

    Anyone like that running the sports web site for The New York Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times, Chicago Tribune, Palm Beach Post -- all the usual suspects. Maybe at a smaller paper? Who is a great WEB sports editor?
  2. Andy_Cunanan

    Andy_Cunanan New Member

    Thread has been up for more than 30 minutes with 15 views. Zero comments.

    There are plenty of reasons, I'm sure:
    1. Bad topic
    2. Sunday afternoon placement
    3. NOBODY knows these people. I would wager that we'd have about a dozen names of old print editors by now if that was the ask.

    The other thread on SportsJournalists.com asking about "commitment to newspapers" during a job interview? Please. You should be interviewing for jobs in the Digital Age. You should know who is running these sites, and what their vision is for journalism in this new era.
  3. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member


    OK, I'll play, and inquire, too: Are you a Web sports editor?

    Part of the reason, probably, that you're not getting responses is that, for the most part, the people in Web editor positions still are mostly just re-positioned former print people.

    And we know that. Right now, I don't think there are too many instances of great pure Web editors. Sure, there may be people in those positions who are purely Web/digital people, and who have been since they were hired and who have primarily that kind of background.

    But...maybe in those cases, we don't think they're that great, and so, that's why their names have not been thrown out there.

    It takes time -- as in, usually many years -- for people to become established in jobs, and to become known and seen as respected enough to be thought of as great at what they do.

    My contention is that, as much as the digital aspects of this industry are taking over and becoming prevalent, it is, at this point, still only occurring because that's what papers feel they "have" to do. It is not yet because people are actually convinced that it's the best thing, or because that newspaper Web production is now seen as the best thing ever invented in this business. And certainly, no one has found a way to make it the best thing yet...

    That probably won't happen until somebody establishes a way to make really good ad money, or finds some other way of financially supporting a full-scale Web-only operation.

    The person who does that, on a large-scale, widespread, commonly used basis is the person who will be seen as the first great Web editor. Until then, these jobs are likely to seem almost parasitic in nature.

    I'm not saying that's necessarily the right perception, or the way things should be. But I think that's how they are, to a great extent.
  4. SoCalDude

    SoCalDude Active Member

    ... or, it could be that none of them are any good.
  5. Sxysprtswrtr

    Sxysprtswrtr Active Member

    I presume your focus here is mostly on newspapers and not full-time sports web sites?

    Because some of the full-time sports web sites (FoxSports, ESPN, CBSSports, FanHouse etc.) have some well established, intelligent and motivating editors.
  6. Andy_Cunanan

    Andy_Cunanan New Member

    I wouldn't limit it to newspapers -- far from it.

    While the people who subscribe to WriteThinking's approach will wait to see who might "emerge" as leaders in the digital age -- particularly those at newspapers -- I'm more interested in knowing who is leading the content teams that are doing great work and are agile and ready to succeed in the new age. Which web leaders -- at standalone sports sites or "old" newspaper sites -- are the ones we should be seeking out?

  7. Andy_Cunanan

    Andy_Cunanan New Member

    Hey, thanks for playing along.

    You make my point better than I did. Newspapers have lacked vision for more than a decade as the world changed around them. Craig's list. Ebay. Social media networking.

    The fact that more than 10 years into this, the print industry can't point to a couple -- just a handful -- of visionary content leaders with a cross-platform perspective, is damning in and of itself.

    You go ahead and sit back and wait for that position, role or talent to develop. Meanwhile, the whole world will continue to grow and advance in real time.

  8. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member


    What is with the attitude?

    There's a "lack of vision" because the business/money making side is not translating from the print edition. You don't agree with me about that?

    Do you really think being able to do videos, podcasts, photo galleries and whatever else we're doing now is going to save newspapers, and have been great inventions for them? Well, they obviously are not, right? Newspapers are trying all the media types and crossing all the platforms.

    Doing so is not making them any money, or retaining readers.

    The other issue in this is that being a technology expert does NOT necessarily make you a good journalist, and I think this is where much of problem lies. The two just are not necessarily mixing very well right now, and again, there's no long-term financial support system in place for it at this point, anyway.

    Honestly, for all the videos you see put up online, on either newspaper Web sites OR at all-sports Web-only sites, how many do you actually take the time to look at/listen to?

    Or, to apply it to print, how often do readers of Web sites actually open and thoroughly read stories, as opposed to just going to the home page and scanning the headlines/short teaser graphs and leaving it at that?

    And, as popular as social media is, it, too, is reading/writing of a cursory nature, and I think people here have trouble, rightly, probably, with seeing it as anything we could consider to be real, impacting journalism. It's chit-chat, for the most part, throwing things out there so as not to get beaten by 15 minutes. Or else, if not, it takes the same time to report out as any well-done print journalism does. Honestly, if you had to pay to tweet, or to read tweets, would you do it? I wouldn't.

    These are all issues that newspapers/Web sites are facing. If you have any solutions that would apply to any sites beyond the major all-sports ones like ESPN, FOXSports, CBS Sportsline, etc. (which encompass VERY relatively few of all the impacted journalists out there), please, offer them up.

    You should be able to tell by now that I don't have my head stuck in the sand. I am not unwilling to try new things, or to try to think outside of the box as compared to what we've always done.

    In fact, I considered myself one of the most forward-thinking people at the major-metro paper I used to work at, and I pushed hard to be involved in Web production, and was one of the first there in sports to express interest in doing so. I wanted to learn new-media ways and means, the better to, hopefully, help my paper transition into the future and to be a part of that.

    I was let go.

    My former paper and I both have struggled in the time since then.

    If you want to have this discussion, you should knock it off with the attitude.

    And, Ill ask again: Are you a Web sports editor?
  9. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Thanks for the tip, Andy. I'll start interviewing for all of these Digital Age jobs that pay. It seems there are plenty of Digital Age jobs to go around.

    Andy, haven't you figured out no one has a clear vision of the future of journalism? If they did, there would be plenty of stand-alone sites that make money. Sites tied to a paper or TV network don't count, because theor core business still pays the bills.

    I consider myself forward thinking, but I don't have time for much Web work, or even allowed to on my computer since IT 300 miles away have to install audio and video-editing software. Even if I had time, the cost of doing it would be higher than any revenue we could bring in.
  10. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member


    Leaving myself completely out of the equation for obvious reasons, I know some top-notch guys working in the digital space with print backgrounds (Dave Morgan obviously leaps immediately to mind, although he's beyond sports now).

    Andy's making a semi-decent point in an obnoxious way -- and he's not.

    There are not a lot of "name" guys running the digital sports operations for traditional newspapers. And there are a lot of young people filling key roles, and I'll even go so far as to say there are a lot of guys who got into it more from the web side and are learning the journalism part as they go.

    However...just because these people aren't known to traditional APSE types doesn't mean they're not good, and Andy's kind of making his anti-point himself: Some of the people with the vision are people that many of us would say "who?" if we heard their names.

    Andy wants us to come up with a mainstream name everybody has heard of, assuming that means they'll be good. But there aren't a lot of those people -- but it doesn't mean some of them aren't very good.
  11. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    I agree with this, much as Andy would probably think I wouldn't, and I am glad you posted SF_Express. I hoped you would.

    That point you made about Web/tech people being techies first and journalists second is something I tried to point out as being a problem, particularly for many people on this site -- people whose jobs have been lost to/taken over by/eliminated in favor of all these young guys who, either admittedly or obviously, were never even in the journalism business before they took jobs that we either had, or very easily could have done, or been trained to do.

    That isn't a lack of vision or a stupid ostrich act on journalists' parts. It's anger, hurt and upset, and ultimately, a loss to this business that many of us are either gone, or on the way out.

    It is not that tech-savvy people cannot be good, but being so also doesn't necessarily make them good journalists, and so, there is a disconnect and lack of translation that Andy is obtusely choosing not to see while he insults us.

    Meanwhile, I haven't seen him come up with any "name" Web sports editors, either.

    Beyond the obvious ones of Dave Morgan and Craig Stanke, there are none. And guess what? Those guys were journalists, of the highest order, and first and foremost, before they ever went all multi-media.

    As you said, just because people aren't known yet doesn't necessarily mean they're not good...but they're also not well-known enough to be easily recognized as such, either. As I said, it takes time and perspective for being great to be recognized and acknowledged on a mass scale.

    And that's all only if they are, in fact, any good, of course.
  12. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Some of the "visionaries" of the Digital Age are having to deal with the same problems as the excellent sports editors of the print biz--declining resources, more-with-less edicts, etc. It's a misconception that the grass is automatically greener over there. Yes, many big-name print guys and gals are finding homes on prominent sites, but for the rank-and-file (which is most of us), it hasn't been a bonanza of hiring.
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