Monday, July 20, 2009
Sports Business Journal on the Decline of Local Newspaper Coverage (of the Sporting)
Via Puck Daddy, an article about this tired old (true) theme. It's a good read, actually, and it offers plenty of interesting insights about the way sports is covered today, complete with quotes from Mark Cuban (plus a surprisingly generous helping of NHL references).
Sadly, and as P. Diddy points out, the article fundamentally fails to understand the modern Internet by framing the story as a battle between newspaper reports and the official team websites. The likes of Sports Business Journal and Mark Cuban are correct that most (certainly not all: think of David Pollack, Michael Russo, Tarik el-Bashir) newspaper coverage of local sports is appalling, but surely official team websites aren't the only alternative. Team websites are a fine enough source of news (signings, etc.), but the whole point of journalism, surely, is to explore the news beyond the official version offered by the team's front office. This is just as true in sports as it is in politics; a journalist should investigate, not be a mere stenographer for the received story. Imagine just how poorly people would understand the Atlanta Spirit's legal war if the means of communication were controlled exclusively by, uh, the Atlanta Spirit.
And that, ladies and gents, is why Baby Jeebus invented independent journalism, which sometimes coincides with blogging. The Chronicle can't lay claim to much original reporting (except for the Short Handed Mole's reports), but some blogs can. If newspaper coverage is declining, surely that is where most interested fans go for coverage of their favorite teams, not to the team's official website. Right?