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Verducci/Torre and journalism ethics

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by WaylonJennings, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. Maybe this has been tossed around already, so apologies if so.

    But is there any concern about Verducci writing a book with Torre, in essence having a business partnership with someone he covers as SI's lead baseball writer?

    I can't see how he wouldn't have to cover the Dodgers at some point this season or the next or the next. I mean, I don't think Hendrick Hertsberg or Joe Klein is going to be ghosting an Obama memoir while the guy's still in office.

    Am I being too much of an ethics stickler here?
  2. Guy_Incognito

    Guy_Incognito Well-Known Member

  3. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Yes - judging by how Verducci dealt with Roger Clemens. we know he has a track record of playing soft with those that he has a business relationship with.

    I take anything he writes now with a grain of salt.
  4. micke77

    micke77 Member

    yep, i would have problems with it.
    fraid he couldn't remain objective if he covered the dodgers on a regular basis. or maybe even an intermittent basis.
  5. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Active Member


    From what I've heard, SI writers are supposed to take leaves of absence when they work on books. Obviously, Verducci hasn't been gone at all. So I'm not sure whether that policy came into existence after he completed his project or whether it was in place already but not adhered to in his case.

    Ethically, that is the best way to handle it: You're on leave while you do the book and then, depending on your relationship with the subject, your beat might change afterward.
  6. Simon_Cowbell

    Simon_Cowbell Active Member


    These guys could not give less of a shit about them.
  7. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Member

    Isn't it fairly common for sports writers to partner up with a famous coach/athlete to write a book?

    "Think Like A Champion," by Mike Shanahan/Adam Schefter, for example.
  8. pseudo

    pseudo Active Member

    I have an entire bookshelf of Bills-related books -- go figure, right? -- and almost every one of them was written by someone from either the Buffalo or Rochester newspaper. Vic Carucci did Jim Kelly's autobiography in 1992, while he was still the primary beat writer for The News.
  9. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Member

    There are 100s -- if not thousands -- of books that fall into that category, pseudo. I don't have a problem with it as long as the relationship remains professional and both parties understand that. Just because Verducci wrote a book with Joe Torre doesn't mean he'll lob him softball questions every time they have an encounter.

    At least I'd hope not.
  10. i don't even know where to start with this one
  11. pseudo

    pseudo Active Member

    Agreed, Bullwinkle, and I've never seen any of the writers I mentioned be anything less than objective in their beat coverage.

    Does it bear watching, though? Sure it does.
  12. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Not to mention the issue of sitting on the material that's going to be the hook for the book.
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