1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Kindred's frightening look at the future of sportwriting

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by JackReacher, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member


    Didn't see this thread anywhere else. My apologies if I missed it.

    Pretty good piece. Sports editors, and writers, could learn a lot from it.
  2. Cousin Jeffrey

    Cousin Jeffrey Active Member

    Just because rich Ted Leonsis' 19-year-old kid doesn't want to read SI on his private plane, the future of sportswriting should be the abandonment of the past, long features, etc? Why should we listen to Leonsis about this, or really, anything at all?

    SI's readership has gone down because we have shifted our reading habits toward the computer. and in some cases, because the product has gone downhill in older subscribers' eyes (See any thread about SI on here.)

    Maybe when Leonsis Jr's just not a reader. Or maybe when he's older, he'll want to read about the athletes he grew up watching.
  3. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    So he's trying to say video games are more important to kids than newspapers? Wow that's deep?

    Seriously though, my slug of a roommate in college had about 100 video games, he also had about 10 magazine subscriptions.
  4. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    That look at the future is now, and its central theme is the crux of newspapers' problem: Zach Leonsis and his buddies don't read.

    That, and the fact that there is no internet-supported financial/business model for the industry to embrace that would replace standard advertising, is all there is to it.

    This industry's problems have little to do with the journalists, or the work that journalists are doing. They have to do with the fact that the upcoming generation, essentially, doesn't bother, and doesn't want to be bothered, with anything except, um, what it wants.

    The elder Leonsis pointed this out himself, although I'm sure he didn't mean it in quite the same way I do.

    And, this quick-think list?

    *That backstage access, absolutely. Give me a story in which the coach shows video on how his team defeats a neutral-zone trap.

    *The stars off-stage, at home, on vacation. People magazine-y, it sells.

    *Analysis, as often as possible by local experts.

    *Humor. The games are meant to be fun.

    It has all been done before, multiple times, and in various incarnations.

    I know that, except for the fact that I've done it via my writing and not video, this is, in essence, the kind of work I've always tried to do, on any beat I've had, and whenever the opportunities have presented themselves, just because that's how I am, because I am good at free-thinking ideas, and because I want to do a good job.

    And many times -- most of the time -- I have, but it doesn't matter.

    I am still out of work, and so are a lot of other people, because the reasons for it have little to do with our journalism, or our willingness to do new, tech-driven journalism.
  5. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    True on people just want to read what they want to read. The Internet is almost the perfect medium for the "Me" generation, except it's still a pull platform for the most part. I see Google perfecting a push platform, complete with advertising, so no clicking on a story is necessary.
  6. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    There are some good points in that piece, for sure. Something worth mulling over, for sure.

    I can't escape the feeling, however, that maybe -- maybe -- Little Leonsis is just a cretin.
  7. Here's the thing about being in school like Leonsis, Jr. (or myself) right now: When you're a student, having hundreds of pages of reading assigned to you every week, reading - even for "leisure" - feels like a chore. It doesn't make him a cretin. It doesn't mean the long form is dead. It means that by the time a 19-year-old college kids gets a breather from the onslaught of assigned reading, the last thing he wants to do for relaxation is read some more.
  8. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Yep, after interviewing the 10 sources after the game, guess I need to go up into the stands and find the local experts on the game too. I know a few parents will be more than happy to give me an opinion or two. Maybe even throw in a cheerleader or two as well, because sex sells? Or maybe the paper ought to go the route of those entertainment magazines that seem to be reproducing in my doctor's office, that have nothing but cutlines and charticles.

    As was said, many times, many ways, in the last Kindred thread, maybe he needs to forget the long-form stories he usually writes and spend a year on the prep beat?
  9. Den1983

    Den1983 Active Member

    I would venture to say Kid Leonsis is the exception, not the norm.
  10. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    I dunno, man...I have a daughter 23 and a son 21 -- and they rarely pick up a print edition.

    They read everything on the Web. And that's it.

    I don't think it's going out on a limb -- with the possible exception being because of their father's background -- that my kids will never have a daily newspaper subscription. Maybe off the rack, but ...
  11. spud

    spud Member

    I propose this for every publisher asking "more with less" of his reporters.
  12. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    Can't believe what some people will gripe about here.

    Probably worth noting that the sj.org site is hosted by Indiana University, which is a school, not a failing newspaper which employs disgruntled reporters.

    To the extent that the site aims to reach students (as well as professionals) by looking at trends and issues in areas of sports journalism, it seems almost bizarre to criticize a veteran columnist for pointing out those trends, and underscoring some of the very basic teachings of every journalism school, ie, get good quotes and plenty of them.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page