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Tonight on "Real Sports"

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by hwkcrz1, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. hwkcrz1

    hwkcrz1 Member

    Could be interesting

    Paper Cuts

    *Paper Cuts. As newspapers across the country struggle to maintain circulation and clout in the volatile world of digital media, sports editors at virtually every daily newspaper have made difficult decisions to reduce staff and pages. The result has been a mass exodus of top writers from some of America’s most prestigious sports sections, which has reshaped the reporting and consumption of sports news and opinion. In this

    REAL SPORTS/Sports Illustrated report, correspondent Frank Deford probes the decline of this great tradition and considers the prospects for newspaper sports sections in the new media environment.

    Producer: Chapman Downes
  2. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Active Member

    I'd rather see Bernie Goldberg doing this segment. Don't need any more paeans to the good ol' days of Red Smith, Jim Murray and Dave Anderson. Something with some grit on the (mis)management that led to these cuts would be nice and what direction they actually think they're going now. Wonder if Deford will cite Sports Illustrated's own significant cutbacks too.

    Don't mean to prejudge, sight unseen, but Deford seems a little too courtly and whimsical these days to have much teeth in this report. Dreading that we'll hear a lot about his buddies and Reilly/Simmons. Period.

    But since our household dropped HBO due to our own cutbacks recently :(, I'd appreciate some reviews from those who actually see this.
  3. apseloser

    apseloser Member

    Saw an advance copy. It's very un-Real Sports like. Usually a great show but this can be summed up in:

    — News flash: Newspapers are dying and the Internet is the future. That's the nut graph of this piece.

    — Jay Mariotti (one of 4 sources) is a know-it-all blowhard who knew for a long time newspapers were dying and got out before it was too late.

    That's the gist. Frank DeFord yaps about losing money at The National, and San Francisco Chronicle editor (Sharon Stone ex) says the staff is too small to report Balco-sized stories.

    I learned nothing. And neither did my wife, who doesn't know much about the business.
  4. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    I thought Mariotti was trying to get back into newspapers?

    Does DeFord mention The National during this? And does he just focus on the major metros?
  5. Cousin Jeffrey

    Cousin Jeffrey Active Member

    He opens with the National. Mariotti gets way too much time, complete with annoying shots of him walking down Chicago streets in dorky sunglasses and the sportcoat/jeans combo. Posnanski is obviously level-headed and realistic, but Mariotti's move to AOL, where no one reads him (relatively), is more of a narrative to kick the story off.

    A decent piece, mostly.
  6. ringer

    ringer Member

    Just caught the last half of the segment. Frank spent a lot of time with Joe Posnanski, then talked to Phil Bronstein about whether the Chronicle could ever financially support a BALCO investigation again (ya think?), then ESPN's John Walsh re: ESPN's new local bureaus then giggled with Jay and giggled with Bryant in the studio.

    Frank didn't ask any hard questions in the part I saw.

    I guess I shouldn't be surprised. In general, "Real Sports" is disappointing. I can't remember the last time it did a story that hadn't been told elsewhere first. HBO Sports probably has deeper pockets than a newspaper, so why isn't it doing the investigative stories newspapers can't afford to do anymore?
  7. clutchcargo

    clutchcargo Active Member

    Maybe Gary Cartwright should have been consulted for this piece.

    You thank?
  8. DCaraviello

    DCaraviello Member

    "Real Sports" is disappointing? Please. That tragic story on why so many black kids drown, and the racial undertones behind it, is the kind of thing this newsmagazine does best. So was the interview last month with the trainer who survived the capsizing that killed two NFL players. So is anything with Bernie Goldberg stalking through a dogfighting camp or a horse track with a hidden camera. This is a program that's on what, 10 times a year? They're not rushing to be first. They're working to be the best and the most comprehensive, and usually they are.

    That said, Deford's piece on dying sports departments left much to be desired. My main gripe was with the overarching assumption that only newspapers can do the watchdog work required to keep big-time sports in check. That piece made it look like everyone who writes on the Internet is a Bill Simmons or a Big Lead -- when, in fact, there is a tremendous amount of news-gathering and original storytelling going on at a number of sports Web sites, from ESPN to Yahoo to the one I work for. I love newspapers and I want them to be around forever. But this mindset of "if there were no newspapers, all we'd have is Deadspin" -- which is what that piece tied to preach -- is complete and utter hogwash.
  9. hacksaw2828

    hacksaw2828 Member

    I agree with you. I think Real Sports is a great show. Lots of interesting topics unlike Outside the Lines which seems to just run with what the current controversy is and the same for 60 minutes when they do a sports piece. With Real Sports, you get a lot of stories people aren't even aware of. I didn't know much about Lenny Dykstra since he quit playing so I found that to be interesting. So I like Real Sports and I think Frank DeFord is an awesome reporter who is very personable and good at making the interviewee relax and open up. Hey, nobody is perfect. Some pieces are better than others. He is human.
  10. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Frank knows all about budget constraints.

    He once ok'd one of his reporters to fly back from the French Open -- mid-tournament -- to care for the reporter's ailing cat.....on the Concorde. After the cat was done shitting everywhere, the reporter flew back to finish coverage of the tournament.....on the Concorde.
  11. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    My thoughts exactly. Some of the major sites have done some fine investigative work, so newspapers have no monopoly there. Also, Deford obviously has never heard of Rivals or Maxpreps, what with his lamenting no one will cover your high school team anymore. (Side note: does anyone ever call Rivals and say MY TWO-STAR PROSPECT WORKS JUST AS HARD!!!!) And, clearly, on the local front, Deford has never heard of such valuable resources as Virginia Sports Now. ;)
  12. JohnnyChan

    JohnnyChan Member

    I just think it's appalling that for a piece detailing the death of newspaper sports sections that Real Sports never bothered to get on camera someone who ... you know, actually WORKS for a newspaper sports section. I happen to know for a fact the Posnanski spot was filmed long after his departure from the Star to SI was announced, so instead what we get are 1) an embittered Mariotti, who we all know had a lot of other reasons for quitting the Sun-Times besides thinking ahead of the curve, the way he spins it now; 2) Posnanski, who tries to fight the good fight but, let's face it, has already opted to leave the fight behind; and 3) Phil Bronstein, whose stewardship over the BALCO story is an interesting bit of trivia but doesn't speak at all to the daily fight to keep sports sections relevant.

    It's especially troubling, I think, because Real Sports is generally a beacon of journalistic fairness and is usually pretty exhaustive in presenting a balanced story; Mary Carillo said she went so far as to get the KKK leader in question in that story on African Americans and swimming, even if he wouldn't go on camera. So HBO thinks it's right to find an Imperial Wizard, but not one of the thousands of people still actually working in newspaper sports sections?


    Mike Vaccaro
    New York Post
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