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!

Why a sports section still matters

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Twoback, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. Twoback

    Twoback Active Member

    So Sunday afternoon the Cincinnati Reds played the St. Louis Cardinals in the middle of their division race. I couldn't watch because my wife and I had tickets to a play.
    When we get out to the car and turn on the radio, after a good long while we learn that the Reds are behind 4-2 because M. Holliday struck a 3-run homer in the 6th. The radio recap doesn't tell how it happened, just that the 3-run homer was the turning point.
    The TV news showed the pitch and the ball flying over the fence, which showed the pitcher was Homer Bailey. But that was all the detail presented.
    So then I read the Cincinnati Enquirer this morning, and John Fay's terrific game story about the Reds 4-2 loss.
    Fay's lead and the structure of the story revolved around how Bailey shook off the catcher's call and went with a fastball he was trying to throw out of the strike zone. "I wanted outside or black. I didn't get outside or black."
    What a great quote! How often are you going to get that on TV, whether local or the four-letter network?
    Are you going to get that from a blogger that wasn't in the locker room? Not a chance. You might get that Bailey sucks, or you might get a statistical recitation of how Bailey does when throwing a 1-2 pitch after two foul balls to a hitter of Holliday's stature. But you're not going to get that kind of insight.
    Remember that the next time somebody tells you print journalism is irrelevant.
    And bravo to John and the Enquirer for the kind of fantastic daily journalism that doesn't win you a Pulitzer -- but ought to keep people reading newspapers.
  2. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    I agree with you Twoback - but here's the question and you all know what it is: Did you read it in print or online?
    I hope it's print.

    But I can read the same thing from right here and that's what is key. They're giving away the product. That is what is killing newspapers.

    You can also get that kind of insight from the multiple outlets online. So sports journalism still matters. A lot. Does the daily section you hold in your hand? Oh how I'd love to say yes. Not sure I can do that.
  3. jagtrader

    jagtrader Active Member

    That's great detail and it has value to many readers. Here's the problem: I think more fans are interested in reading how Bailey sucks than about the details that led to the home run.
  4. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    We may all thank Medill that one of the primary motivating forces behind contemporary newsprint
    purchases is the sports section.
  5. SportsDude

    SportsDude Active Member

    All other points aside, first time I've ever read "terrific" and "John Fay" in the same sentence.
  6. Twoback

    Twoback Active Member

    In the TMI department, let's just say I read it in the "office."
  7. Lieslntx

    Lieslntx Active Member

    Well, here is a non-journo's take on it:

    For me, I tend to only read every word of a game that I either attended or watched. For games I didn't see, I will scan the story to grab the highlights. I don't know why I eat up a story and sometimes reread it if I actually already not only know but actually saw everything I'm reading about it. I really like hearing/seeing someone else's take on what happened. This is why I don't like to watch sports alone, but rather with someone who know more about what's going on than I do.

    As for the boyfriend, he reads every single word of every single story in the sports section from cover to cover, every dingle day. Not only that, he likes to read both stories on every single game (the big city beat writer and then the AP story in the local podunk paper.)

    Could we get the same thing on-line? I suppose, but it's not the same. We like the dirty fingers we get from the paper. Besides, it seems to me that sometimes the stories that are on-line are shortened versions; longer than what you get on the TV news, shorter than what's in the paper. Then again, the boyfriend reads every story for every game on-line as well, so maybe he is just a sports news junkie.
  8. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Welllll **** since you went there ****

    Way back when, I used to argue in favor of newspapers over the internet with my kids. I'd always close with, "Beside, you can't read the computer in the can."

    So we're at a big box store getting new laptops for college and my son tosses this thing called a "router" in the basket. "What's that," I said?

    "Well," my son said, "remember when you talked about the computer and the bathroom?"

    There will always be (I hope) a place for great reporting and writing, in-depth stuff, lots and lots of stuff to read.

    I just wonder whether it is the physical sports section anymore.
  9. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    It's all on the iPad or mobile phones. That doesn't bother me too much, because the App model looks promising, but you cant give away content. Too many newspapers are creating iPhone/iPod touch and Android apps that are free.

    When I'm eating lunch at work, I usually read a couple of overseas websites on my phone.
  10. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    I've never bought the "giving it away" complaint. People won't buy what they don't know they are missing. Even if they hear about a great story or controversial column in the local paper on a sports talk show and go out and buy the paper, all it proves is that the medium needs another medium (internet, TV, or radio) to put its product in front of peoples eyes (if they don't already subscribe).

    The baseball strikes taught people that baseball wasn't essential, it was a habit, something they were used to seeing on a summer day, they also realized life went on without it.
  11. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    They aren't going to buy a paper just because they want more than two free stories online.
  12. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    The thing that may save journalism is.... journalism. More features, enterprise, investigative. Fewer scores and game stories. I absolutely abhor the fact we give one full page every day for half a year to Major League Baseball. 1-2 paragraph roundups and boxscores. Ditto for other sports. I can think of far more interesting things we could run in that space.

    Yankees beat the Orioles? Who bleepin' cares? If I cared, I likely would already know, anyway. Give me some NEWS. Give me some INSIGHT. Give me something I can form an opinion on and make me actually think.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page