I started a sports website nearly four months ago here in central Illinois.
I did not have a point to prove.
Nor a thesis to test.
Or even some lofty premise to uphold.
Although I do have pent-up anger at newspaper chains for having gobbled newspapers like a private equity firm – essentially dissembling them by eviscerating staffs, reducing coverage and pretty much divesting from local communities. As a result, you can buy a cadaverously thin local newspaper edition filled with mostly non-local news for two bucks. The newspaper still has some very good journalists, but not nearly as many as they need and with not nearly as much support as they require.
Continue reading “Perhaps this journalism model can help change local sports coverage, even if we’re just trying to fill a need”
I’ve learned a few things, and developed stronger stances on several other things I thought I knew after discussing journalism with the 15 high school students attending our camp at Eastern Illinois University.
1. It’s tough to determine what to believe with so many real and false news websites, and even when real news sources fail to be as objective as they should be.
2. Working journalists should refrain from offering personal opinions, snarky comments or anything else that even slightly diminishes one’s integrity. Use social media to share verifiable information and to promote media content. Reporters can even share about their life, if appropriate and not political. Continue reading “Journalism still has a future despite its hiccups and challenges thanks to passionate young reporters. But Americans need to step up as well.”
There is a fascinating discussion on gender bias taking place on Twitter among several talented sports writers. No shocker: social media sees this as a black-and-white issue, but there are several gray areas as well.
Is it OK to hire and promote women over men, even if the industry is disproportionately one-sided? That’s a notion that has been discussed for many decades – even if there has been nominal progress. Sports journalism remains men-centric even though we educators have noticed extraordinary interest among women in covering sports. We now get large numbers at the CMI Sports Reporting Workshop, women pack sessions on sports coverage at College Media Association conferences and more women are taking our sports media courses here at Eastern Illinois University. (Shameless plug: we have elevated our sports program to a major starting Fall 2018). Continue reading “Did Sports Illustrated senior writer reveal a bias to hire women? Isn’t it really about time for all sports media to do so?”
When will business leaders, athletic directors, team owners and politicians realize–you can’t suppress negative coverage; you can only, perhaps, delay it.
Most everything eventually becomes public. Just look to the White House (or Baylor University), where stories emerge daily from private discussions and emails. Sports beat writers uncover previously hidden stories as well.
Continue reading “Cardinals refuse credential to Outsports reporter on Christian Day”
Seems as though everybody is focused on whether sportswriters are mostly liberal – as if it matters.
Bryan Curtis, an editor-at-large for the Ringer, has sparked discussion on whether sports writing has become a liberal profession. The attacks by the president and the alt-right on news coverage have clearly spilled over.
Continue reading “Why do we need to ideologically label sportswriting as liberal?”
Check out veteran sportswriter Dave Kindred’s attack on Bleacher Report, which he calls a place filled with shoddy, inexperienced reporters. Adds Kindred: “BR survives on the journalistic burglary of amateur typists.” In a related story, John Feinstein, reveals that he has just been fired by the Sporting News after the company purchased AOL FanHouse, whose writers will now replace him. Go to the bottom of this post to read Feinstein’s angry response. Will be interesting to see what fans want most – comprehensive sports journalism, terrific storytelling, wild commentaries, fans chatting with one another. Probably a mix. Either way, who wouldn’t want to read Feinstein’s informed, interesting commentary? We’ll see how this all evolves.
The following economists say head injuries might eventually transform football, if not the entire sports landscape, in the United States. Within 10 to 15 years, they argue, the NFL might slip below the NHL’s popularity. Is that possible? Had you asked Americans in the 1930s about horse racing, they’d have said you’re nuts, that horses like Sea Biscuit and War Admiral would be remembered forever. Americans in the 1950s would have mocked any suggestion that boxingwould be marginalized within a few decades. In fact, Americans in the 1950s would have rolled their eyes had you suggested football would grow so strongly that Super Bowl Sunday would essentially become a national holiday.
The authors chronicle a doomsday scenario where CTE fears will prompt football to slowly lose its economic, social and entertainment values, eventually rendering it less popular than rugby in the United States. The argument is a hybrid column, really. Like any good column, this one is alarmingly logical and specific evidence supports all claims. Check it out – even if afterward you’ll probably need to leave the light on in order to sleep. Sweet dreams.