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How to cover the A-Rod/C-Rod/Madonna/Lenny story

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by gingerbread, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. gingerbread

    gingerbread Well-Known Member

    I'm reluctant to call it a "scandal" because I try not to judge what people do in their sex lives, as long as it's consensual.

    Anyway, in a conversation with Columbia J-school students today, it was the hot topic. Partly for its gossipy juice -- it's the cover of both the Daily News and the Post -- but mostly for its journalistic worthiness. They wondered, at what point does sports consider it news-worthy? It's not like A-Rod's on-field performance is suffering.
    And yet, and I know this from experience, sports reporters are being told by their bosses to get quotes from A-Rod, to see how it's affecting the team, to feed the beast. It's not as if those reporters can say no. (My sympathy to the beat reporters at this weekend's Yankee-Red Sox series.)
    At least columnists can weave it in by making light of it, or use it to paint a bigger picture. Johnette Howard of Newsday took an interesting, fresh route here:


    For those out of the loop, here's the latest:

    I know this thread is silly compared to stuff going on in the real journalism world, but it was nice to listen to these young journalists' questions, and encouraging to hear they still care about how the sausage gets made.
  2. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Ditto. I'll let it compete with the Amy Winehouse/Paris Hilton news under the weather map in another section.
  3. gingerbread

    gingerbread Well-Known Member

    Fair enough.
    But if you work in NY, good luck telling that to your editor. You might as well raise your hand for the unemployment line. Seriously.
    Even reporters for the NY Times have to hover around A-Rod pre- and post-game, in case he says something. Nobody's above the "story." I hate it, but that's today's TMZ reality.
  4. Hambone

    Hambone Member

    Any paper that runs that story should be embarrassed for lowering standards to the level of gossip rags.
  5. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Now THAT'S a weather page I'd read!

    HOT: Atlanta, Paris Hilton
    NOT: Bismarck, Amy Winehouse
  6. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Obviously, being in the NYC market comes with its own set of circumstances. Another reason I'm happy I never drank that elixir, unless of course I could write heds for one of the tabs.
  7. CollegeJournalist

    CollegeJournalist Active Member

    Howard's column was bullshit. A-Rod was probably smiling because he's amused that a bunch of pompous asshole New York journalists who fancy themselves to be important people are worried about a damn professional athlete having an affair. Not to mention Howard's column jumps the gun a little bit. Has A-Rod had a lot of drama? Yeah. A lot of it comes from the overzealous New York media, which (HELL-FUCKING-O) includes Johnette Howard.

    Gregg Doyel had the best take on this situation. He's ashamed anyone who considers himself or herself a journalist is paying any attention.

    And he's right. The guy's a pro athlete. If he's having an affair, who the fuck cares?
  8. Dickens Cider

    Dickens Cider New Member

    Idealistic, and incredibly naive. It's like gingerbread said: They HAVE to cover it; have to ask the question. If they value continued employment, that is. It's the nature of the beast in NYC.

    EDIT: I doubt Johnette Howard enjoyed writing a piece like that, but it had to be written. It's very easy for someone like Gregg Doyel to opine on a Web site about how it's beneath him. Bully for you, Gregg.
  9. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    I'm fascinated by all of the alleged affairs by A-Rod. The sex lives of famous people interest a lot of us (esp. women), regardless of how CollegeJournalist feels.

    I think the story might be better off in the hands of the entertainment people, just because they're used to covering that type of story and won't get the sour taste in their mouths that most sports folks will get.

    Course I also think this is all a setup. IIRC, A-Rod, Madonna and Kravitz all have the same manager, Guy Oseary.
  10. CollegeJournalist

    CollegeJournalist Active Member

    I'm not just blaming Howard and the other reporters. I'm blaming everyone.

    I don't buy the excuse that it's what people want to read. If we only published what the majority of people wanted to read, we'd have 20,000 PEOPLE Magazines in this country.

    It's an affair. Sports journalists should focus on sports. If A-Rod is doing something off the field that is affecting his play or his team, cover it. If he's knocking up Derek Jeter's girl and that's causing a riff on the team that explains why the Yankees are nine games out, ask about it.

    But a regular affair? Get out of here with that shit. Affairs are more common than base hits in pro baseball; more common than the dunk in pro basketball. Sure, the guy knew he was going to New York and knows he's high profile because of his talent and his contract. That doesn't mean he doesn't deserve some semblance of a private life.

    Cover something that matters. Find out why the damn Yankees have the fattest payroll in all of sport and still haven't won a World Series in forever. Don't put this fluffy bullshit in a newspaper, especially if you're the New York Times and you fancy yourself as a member of the top newspaper in the country.

    It's gossip. Nothing more, nothing less. If newspapers are content with becoming gossip rags, then stop acting like they're anything more.
  11. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    It's not a regular affair. It's an affair with one of the world's most famous women. It's juicy. It's fantastic. And people want to read about it.
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