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CJR: 'How the sports beat needs to evolve'

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Pulitzer Wannabe, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. Interesting article - basically says beat writers need to write more analysis/commentary on their beats, since we're not going to get access anyway. Might as well use our expertise to beat bloggers, etc., at their own game:

  2. jfs1000

    jfs1000 Member

    Great, what we need is more bluster.

    Maybe we should just face facts and admit we are dying. No one likes good stories anymore. It's a loss art. Everything s darn information and tidbits.

    I can't remember last time I spent more than 15 minutes alone with a college or pro athlete on any major beat.
  3. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    1. None of the attacked writers he mentions by name are beat writers, they are columnists. A "media critic" would never fail when writing about international, national and local reporters to draw a distinction between pundits and news reporters. It makes me wonder if he takes sports journalism seriously as journalism. Somehow I doubt he would suggest that reporters assigned to cover the mayor's office become more like columnists.

    2. So since there's more opinion out there, the answer is for newspapers to add one more tree to the forest? I think the way you distinguish yourself in this Tower of Babel is with reporting.

    3. Find a big-city beat writer who isn't analytical in his game stories. I really don't think they exist. He's writing about a "problem" that I don't think exists anymore.

    4. I think he's making what seems to be a valid assumption, but one that isn't always true, at least in suggesting team-owned media like the YES Network is a "house organ." I wonder if he's watched it much. Seems to me that the on-air people are pretty good at pointing out when umpires' calls are wrong (in either team's favor) and even in analyzing whether Joe Torre was making a good decison.
  4. Stone Cane

    Stone Cane Member

    I can.


    I think it can be done, if you develop relationships and really work at it and give it time.

    Not easy but possible.
  5. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    I'm getting there with the local star college running back. He's genuinely a good kid and Saturday he came over after the game and just started talking, about plays that didn't involve him at all, about the defence, about the fans, whatever. It was actually nice.

    I think I could ask the guy anything and he'd answer honestly and smartly.
  6. silentbob

    silentbob Member

    I pretty much agree with Frank across the board. The story's issues are sound, but the solutions are dated.

    That said, this is a real problem. No matter how well you develop sources, access is shrinking. I'm pretty sure the NBA has considered eliminating pregame access, which probably means it won't be long until it goes away. Tiger Woods is the world's most popular athlete, and probably the hardest to write about. Didn't Greg Oden break the news about his knee surgery on his blog?

    The worst part: I think most fans would rather get their news through the team Web-site. This isn't just a sports thing. People these days want all their news deliverered through a filter. It makes them feel better.
  7. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Fans I know regard the team site as the ultimate in bullshit.
  8. OK, so who's surprised that it's the Democratic consultants that are advising the NHL on "media strategy"?
    I'm not.
    Otherwise, I don't think an industry full of Simmons is the way to go.
  9. Twoback

    Twoback Active Member

    Been saying this for years.
    This is not going to sit well with those of you strict "objectivity" types, is it?
  10. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    Go ahead, do more blogging-style writing (analysis, commentary) and less reporting-based writing (quotes, fairness) and see how quickly it allows newspaper management to seriously curtail beat travel. Why spend money to send someone all over the U.S. with a team if access is minimal and the end result that appears in print/online is little different from what guys watching TV at home offer up? Surely attending half the games -- the home games -- will be seen as enough actual contact with the players and coaches.

    Teams and leagues, already shrinking the access, will love this. Many of them already believe that independent media exist mostly for "gotcha!" stories anyway, particularly on the road.
  11. Bingo is achieved, once again.
  12. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    Bingo is a fun beat. You can write it straight down the middle if you want, Mister, but I like to inject analysis and insight into my gamers. Call me crazy, but the bloggers steal from me all the time.
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