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'Sports journalism critic' on the biz

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SF_Express, Jun 22, 2006.

  1. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    I post with trepidation because I noted that somebody posted 'old news' here yesterday, but I haven't seen this on the site. 'Sports journalism critic' and Ball State professor Scott Reinardy talks about the state of the business in this Star-Tribune Q&A.

  2. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    Sorry, the good professor offered such a melange of conventional wisdom and actual historical inaccuracy I can't take him seriously.
    Sportswriting did not emerge from the seamy underbelly of society, even newspaper society. Back in the good old days, before radio even, sports sold papers, and most big city papers put their best or at least most provocative writers in sports. When the US went into World War I, New York papers sent the likes of Grantland Rice and Damon Runyon overseas with the AEF, not news guys.
    The idea that sportswriters can't do news, or vice versa, is and always has been false. A competent newsperson shoud be able to step in for an incapacitated dance critic and produce something readable.
    And if I see that crap about BALCO one more time, I'm going postal. Sports sections did NOT ignore steroids. They didn't have enough evidence to write specific charges. The two Chronicle guys were assigned a big news story in their town and did a damn fine job. If the Chron had pulled its baseball writers off the A's and Giants beats and given them the same assignment, I'd wager they'd have done at least a good job.
  3. OneMoreRead

    OneMoreRead Member

    Mr. Doc can kiss my ass. He's simply regurgitating a bunch of industry stereotypes.

    He used examples of reporters whose only responsibilities were investigating the stories they ended up writing. Unless the nature of beat writing changes, say, editors care less about game stories, daily stories and daily notes packages, then we're going to continue getting the same stuff.

    I've been at a couple of papers where our beat writers were told, "You take care of the daily stuff. We'll let news handle that other junk."

    I'm sure I'm not the only person who knows several beat writers who have been to lay off something or to feed information to news.

    Some beat writers have worked around the daily grind by holding off on things they know or might know until there is sufficient time to report and write the story. Those reporters gambled and lost sometimes because the competition's enterprise writer or news clown ended up breaking the story.

    Being a reporter in this business sucks at times. But it's more difficult for me sit here and let some PhD tell me my peers are a bunch of cowards when he has no clue about our individual situations. I'd respect his opinion a lot more if he were still in the business and were still dealing with the changing dynamics of sports coverage as that coverage is related to the newsroom.
  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    One of the problems of being a sports writer -- especially a beat writer -- is that a big story on your beat may not be your story at all.

    Take the BALCO deal. How many papers are really going to tell their beat writer, "We'll cover for you the rest of the season. You get out there and dig up that story and we'll hope to get it in print in six months."

    That rarely happens in Sports, but it is routine in the newsroom.
  5. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Yeah, sure, Mitch. ::) ::)
  6. OneMoreRead

    OneMoreRead Member

    One more thing for the good doc.

    There are sports teams out there with their own networks, such as the Yankees with the YES network and the Denver Nuggets with Altitude Sports. Every team has a website already and people who provide content for that site.

    I wonder what the doc would suggest about sports journalism once sports teams start taking away credentials from all reporters, not just the ones who ask tough or probing questions.

    Taking a slight, but related detour ---- Maybe I'm reading too much into some of the things happening in this business, but I see an end to the sports journalist, not necessarily because of probing journalist but because of finances.

    It would be more cost effective for a sports entity to increase the size and scope of its PR department by two or three people, who will be there for web content, take away all media credentials and sell those seats at premium prices.

    Sports teams are a part of the private sector. They are able to control a hell of a lot more information and how that information is disseminated than the way city hall is able to control information.

    Sports and news aren't level playing fields, if someone is going to criticize sports journalists, they should understand and at least admit that.
  7. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    1) Nothing new here.

    2) Agreed on the whole BALCO/steroids thing. That continues to drive me nuts. "It took leaked grand jury testimony." Repeat.
  8. Lugnuts

    Lugnuts Well-Known Member

    Great post. I'm not sure about a total 'end' to the sports journalist, but I'm with you on every point.

    I think what saves the sports journalist, ultimately, is the fans' desire-- in the bitter, bitter end-- to get the 'real' story when something major happens.
  9. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    That's somewhat naive. I have no doubt that right now, there are 50 untold stories at city hall if someone would pursue them.

    If you consider that to be "control," then I guess what you say is right.
  10. daemon

    daemon Well-Known Member

    No offense to anyone on the board, but if the best your intro can offer me is that you "worked at newspapers from Aberdeen, S.D., to Scranton, Pa" over the course of 15 years, I ain't buyin' what your sellin'.

    Not that the circulation of your paper and the size of your market should be the only factors on which your career is judged, but if all you can offer me is the sports hot beds of South Dakota and Scranton, I'll politely decline.

    And that's why there is probably at least one kid in your class sitting back and thinking, "Why the fuck should I listen to you? Because you covered little league at the fucking Aberdeen Daily American?"

    But instead of actually doing it yourself, you took a job that afforded you the luxury of sitting back in an office and telling other people that they should be doing it.

    As opposed to the bush leaguers who cover the NHL or the NBA and, in a similar situation, would say, "Hey coach, if you get busted for a DUI, give me a call and I'll help you with the cover-up!"

    God, the view looks nice from the Ivory Tower. I'd love this jack-ass to come on this board and engage in a conversation.
  11. OneMoreRead

    OneMoreRead Member

    I'd say there are more untold sports stories because of a better means to control information than there are untold city hall stories.
  12. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    Probably not, though. The very arena itself where the games are played went through city hall in some fashion.
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