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Posnanski: A Sportswriting Rough Draft

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Inky_Wretch, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/2009/03/24/a-sportswriting-rough-draft/
     
  2. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    The ethical questions will always be there -- the free stuff and all that -- but the fact sports writers and editors have been taking themselves too seriously for a long time is something I've been saying for a few years now, and there are times, despite all the good work that was also created by it, I half regret my involvement in putting IRE and sports writers together in a series of seminars (again, valuable ones) that I think contributed to this process going too far.
     
  3. In Exile

    In Exile Member

    Almost started a post about this, but it seems to fit with the discussion being sparked here.

    Recently saw a sportswriter's post on Facebook in which he - a fairly recognizable name - answered a Facebook poll about "Five teams I Hate," or something like that - and then it listed the five teams he hated. Seemed to me that crossed a line - to publicly announce teams you hate. What am I to think now if this writer writes something about one of those teams? He has just announced his bias to the world.
     
  4. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Probably a generational thing, but I don't take that stuff seriously. I would never think that type of stuff is going to affect somebody's professionalism if and when they have to cover something involving that team or athlete.

    As a fan, I hate Ohio State and Notre Dame with a passion, and make no bones about it :)D), but when I'm putting together a national college football page and looking for a good breakout game to lead my T25 roundup, I'm not going to ignore one team based on who I enjoy rooting for or against in my personal life. That's not serving the readers well and, more than that, it's unprofessional.

    And to make a larger point about objectivity, journalists and their personal lives ... this is one of those things I feel like ... are nit-picky in the best of times, navel-gazing at worst. But at this point, it's not worth it to make those types of sacrifices and turn yourself into a robot when you're off the clock. Maybe, when newspapers want to start practicing real journalism again, we can worry about this type of stuff again. Right now, though? Nobody should lose any sleep over taking a fad poll on Facebook and "announcing your bias to the world." It's just not that big a deal.
     
  5. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    How is that a "generational thing'?
     
  6. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    What buckweaver said, and I'll add this: Who gives a shit if the preps writer at the Podunk Press hates Duke?
     
  7. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    The Facebook part, I mean. Putting your personal life out there, online. Seems like younger people have much less of a problem with that, in general. Doesn't seem to make them as uncomfortable as older folks.
     
  8. In Exile

    In Exile Member

    I personally don't care either - we all like what we like, but the goal is to be professional and reveling in such stuff, publicly, isn't professional - and this wasn't someone from Podunk Press. Consider this hypothetical: What if the writer in question (not Posnanski BTW) had posted that he hates the Red Sox, the Cubs, the Brewers, the Dodgers and the Rays. Then I read a story he writes that is critical of the Cubs. And then one about how great a certain Cardinal player is. Then a story how great the Big Red Machine is, and then one how Louie Tiant is overrated.

    How can you not take those previously stated prejudices into consideration when you read the work? Because I have to say that every time I will read a story he wrote from here on in - knowing the teams he hates - there will be a nagging question in my head. Namely, is this story straight up, or is the guy grinding an axe? And if I read that, or came across it while considering hiring this writer to cover, say, the Cubs, don't you think that might influence my decision, both because a) he announced his bias, and b) announced it against a team he would have to cover, and c) showed poor judgement in doing so?
     
  9. mediaguy

    mediaguy Active Member

    I'm with Exile -- saw the same thing on Facebook (not from a reporter) and would never post that publicly. If I worked for a paper that didn't have an NBA team in the market, I suppose there's no harm in announcing which five NBA teams you hate, but if it's anything you could wind up covering, you really can't do that.

    Could Poz's blog be getting more traffic than his server can handle? I've tried to read that blog twice in the past hour and haven't been able to get through either time ...
     
  10. Exactly.
    Why give someone ammo. And give them reason to question your motives for writing a story?
    Bad idea.
     
  11. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    Look, I'm not going to post my most hated teams on facebook, and I generally agree it's probably not a good idea for a sports reporter. But I think y'all are in the midst of a classic overreaction here.

    The guy has the biases regardless of whether he posts them on facebook, and unless he's really hording facebook friends, everybody who sees it probably already knows which teams he hates. If he isn't able to put aside his rooting interests in favor of being professional when necessary, that's a problem, but whether he posts this particular bit of info on his facebook profile isn't going to change that.
     
  12. goalmouth

    goalmouth Active Member

    I'd go a step further and ask, why would anyone who uses their brain for a living possibly be interested enough to answer a poll on Facebook?

    (Sad disclaimer: I posted the sh-t-shave-shower poll here a few months ago...)
     
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