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Big stories, big media outlets

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Gator, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. Gator

    Gator Well-Known Member

    The Derrick Gordon-UMass story got me thinking about something, and why small newspapers are dying out. Obviously this is a big story, and ESPN was the one to break it, but I couldn't help but feel bad for the UMass beat guy. I've met him on an occasion or two, but wouldn't say I know him. But he's there every single day for practice, covers the team like nobody else.

    And when the biggest story to come out of UMass since its NCAA violations comes around, those involved jump right to ESPN to make the biggest splash. I understand why Gordon and the brass in the UMass athletic department chose to do it this way, but I would certainly feel slighted if I were that beat writer.

    I mean, in reality, Gordon and UMass could have gone to the beat writer, given him the exclusive in an act of appreciation. Of course ESPN and everyone else in the world would come calling in the days following, making just as big of a splash.

    Of course, it doesn't work that way in today's world. Now the beat writer has to catch up to everyone else. Just too bad.
  2. valpo87

    valpo87 Guest

    I have seen multiple local stories go national before I could get a chance to inquire. Then when I call, they ask why since it's already in the news. I think sometimes teams, schools and other types of officials take local reporters for granted.
  3. alanpagerules

    alanpagerules Member

    Happens all the time on every major beat. NFL might be the worst, in part because agents are looking to make the biggest splash.
  4. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    I totally agree, but we're imposing 1960s sensibilities on 2014 athletes. They have no loyalties.
  5. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    Yeah, and Gordon just might not like the guy. But also can't blame Gordon wanting to get his message out to many people as possible. I see the point that it eventually would, but that's not the way it works. You go for the biggest audience first.
  6. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Wait, small newspapers are dying but big ones aren't? Tell that to Rocky Mountain News, The Plain Dealer, Star Ledger, New Orleans Picayune, Tampa Tribune, etc.
  7. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    And did you think that while the ESPNs of the world are parachuting in to tell this story, once they are gone, the UMass beat writer is going to have two seasons to write good stories and follow the career of Gordon? THAT is why newspapers can still be important. Who else is going to tell those stories?
  8. Mauve_Avenger

    Mauve_Avenger Member

    I agree, definitely larger newspapers are having a tougher time surviving in today's market compared to community publications.
  9. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    As hard as it might be for the beat writer to do this -- I know it's not easy -- he should go right to those folks and ask them straight up: <i>What do I need to do, in the future, to be a part of stuff like this? Why, if I'm here all the time, was I not trusted enough to be in on these stories?</i> Now, the answer may not be to his liking. It may involve things he can't do. It may be that ESPN and Out Sports get all of these because an agent is essentially arranging them.

    But it's a conversation you have to have. It's your job. It's OK to fight your for access and for stories. It really is OK to do that. But you have to ask.
  10. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    Great answer, Alma.
  11. Gator

    Gator Well-Known Member

    OK, a few thing here. Of course the school has no obligation to the writer. We all know this. I simply said if I were the beat guy, I'd feel a little slighted. If you've ever been in this business, at some point this has happened to you, big paper or small. Instead of telling you, the local high school with the new coach hiring calls Big State Daily first. Or in the case of a big paper, say the Rocky Mountain News, ESPN gets the story that the Broncos are signing Peyton Manning. I used small paper in my argument, well, because the Hampshire Gazette is a small paper.

    And yes, as Alma said, I would talk to the powers that be at the school. Ask why this happened the way it did. Again, the school has no loyalties, but then again, UMass isn't exactly Duke or Kansas, so perhaps it should.

    And as far as having two years of good stories to write? Really? Two years? I think there will be, starting next season, two months of stories, a first of which ESPN and the rest of the world will be there covering alongside you. Oh, but you can get Gordon's take every time someone else comes out. That seems to be the only "good" story people are getting out of Jason Collins right now.
  12. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    I don't know what stories will come out of this, but my point being that the beat writer will be there as long as he's on the team, so he will get the stories that come up along the way and ESPN won't be there to steal his thunder. There have been many other stories written about Collins, a hell of a lot more than if he were just your average end-of-the-bench center.
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