Friday, August 13, 2010
Actual Questions That We Wish Journalists Would Attempt to Answer
Yesterday's revelation that media behemoth News Corp has gotten tired of bidding warfare and WILL NOT be purchasing the Dallas Stars was greeted with relief and huzzahs by Stars fans. Your Chronicle understands the relief, and would certainly feel the same way if we were transplanted to Dallas, but the news made us wonder about our own team's strange ownership situation.
A while back your Chronicle said that EVERYONE (meaning the people at 680 The Fan and at The New York Post) knows that the Atlanta Spirit are trying to sell the Thrashers. At the time, radio person John Kincade said that he expected an announcement within two weeks. Obviously, that didn't happen.
We remain convinced that the Spirit are trying to sell the Thrashers. Who knows whether they'll find anyone audacious/insane enough to buy anytime soon, but they are certainly looking. Your Chronicle is hoping for an eccentric billionaire with a passion for hockey, not a committee or a mutant slob-child of corporate synergy. But who knows?
What we do know is that it's curious that the only media outlets to report this impending sale are 680 and the NY Post. WHY might this be?
Your Chronicle can't help but wonder if the New York Post, which is of course owned by News Corp, is purposely trying to generate rumors and create instability in the Thrashers ownership situation. We won't go so far as to say that "News Corp is planning a takeover and using the Post as shock troops." So PLEASE, people of the Internet, do not read this post and unleash Twitter and message board wildfires along the lines of "THRASHERS TO BE BOUGHT BY NEWS CORP." That's not our intention here. It's not even our intention to engage in some weird "what if News Corp is trying to take over the Thrashers?" thought experiment.
The point is this: we know that News Corp has recently shown interest in buying a hockey team. We also know that the New York Post, a News Corp property, reported that the Atlanta Spirit are looking to sell the Thrashers. John Kincade has corroborated this, supposedly from his own sources.
What are we getting at? That we'd like someone, ANYONE, try to get to the bottom of this. If would be nice if Kincade or the NY Post followed up on their initial reports (perhaps Kincade has; I don't listen to his show enough to know for sure). But if they won't, then someone else should. Like local journalists, whether at the AJC, the Atlanta Business Chronicle, or maybe even someone in the Thrashers blogosphere.
But the AJC is cash-strapped and Chris Vivlamore barely has enough time to file normal Thrashers reports amid all his other responsibilities. That's not his fault; it's the nature of this new era of money-losing newspapers and their culled, purged, overworked staffs.
The Atlanta Business Chronicle, which in theory should be all over this story, is a banal cookie-cutter operation that seems to rely on company press releases, not reporting, for its news. Sigh. The things that paper could be if it had a decent editor...
That leaves us with Thrashers bloggers, many of whom want very badly to be Taken Seriously. I'll repeat what I said when the NY Post/Kincade reports came out:
You want to be a journalist, or at least a reporter who offers something more substantive than "The Thrashers were nice enough to invite us to talk to Chris Thorburn today?" Chase this story down. Send the Raine Group an email. Tell them you write for a well-known weblog that covers the Thrashers, and you want to know if there's any truth to the rumors about the Atlanta Spirit---their client---trying to sell the package they own.
Because, again, there is more to being a journalist than sitting in the press box. It would be nifty if someone, anyone, could get some leads on this weird story. But I doubt we'll know anything until the announcement beams through thousands of radios and Twitter feeds and teevee screens tuned to the NHL Network: "The Atlanta Thrashers have been purchased by Hugh Hefner."