Thursday, April 20, 2006

LA Weekly on Simers

Bruce Bauman writes about L.A. Times Page 2 columnist T.J. Simers in an LA People 2006 feature. Captures him pretty well, although I'm trying to figure out why all these stories are dated Wednesday, December 31, 1969.

Updated: The fixed the date problem mentioned above.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Blogger wants baseball credentials

Gabe Stein of has started a movement called MLB Fair Press saying that baseball should open its credentialing process to 'legitimate blogging.' As blogs gain stature, it will be interesting to see how MLB handles this can of worms; press boxes have fixed seating, so where do you cut off which blogs can get access and which can't? I have a feeling they'll keep the door closed for now, petitions and letters and e-mails not withstanding.

And, of course, has weighed in.

Uh-oh ...

The Sports Journalism Summit, which I'm really now regretting not attending, is producing a running blog, and this is one of the entries, by Poynter's Meg Martin:

"I ran into this blog as I searched for old-school sports stories yesterday. I don't know who the blogger is -- he or she is identified only as "SWE_Blogger," but it's called Sports Writing and Editing, and looks to be a great resource for -- yes -- sports writers and editors."

With a link, of course.

This is a good "uh-oh," actually. I'm not nearly as diligent about updating this blog as I probably should be; when something hits me over the head, I'll take five minutes during a break at work to link to it, but that's about it. I hope those postings are helpful, as well as the links down the right side (speaking of which, feel free to use the e-mail address on the right if you have a sports journalism, or simply sports, site you'd like me to link to).

But when I get through with an expected technological upgrade at home, I intend to be a little more involved on a daily basis, and this notice will help to jumpstart me.

I'll also start checking the address a little more regularly -- daily? -- to see thoughtful responses like the one I got concerning the Krieger item just below this one.

So keep items coming, and I'll be a little more responsive as well. And thanks for the interest.

And Meg, for the record, I'm a "he" and have been in the news business in one form or another since 1977.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Wheatley new Sun AME/sports

Tim Wheatley, who I had the pleasure of working with at one of my many tour stops, is the new AME/sports at the Baltimore Sun. Memo is courtesy of Romenesko.

Tim replaces Randy Harvey, who recently took over for Bill Dwyre at the Los Angeles Times. Lots of big moves in sports section management this year.

RMN's Dave Krieger on sports writing

Apparently, even though he's a four-times-a-week sports columnist, he doesn't think much of it.

Look, the point a lot of people continue to miss is this: No other section of the paper has to approach daily coverage from so many different directions.

Sure, perhaps interested in steroid use should have been ratcheted up a few notches a lot earlier. (I still maintain that little that was reportable was "uncovered" until a grand jury got involved.)

But let's say we unleashed armies of investigative reporters uncovering scandal and impropriety all over the sports world. Would sports sections' readers be better served?

Business sections report news with some features sprinkled in. Same with local/metro sections.

The sports section is one that that includes what amounts to entertainment news, plus features, "reviews" (game coverage, if you will) and, yes, hard news.

Abandoning the sports section's core readers to focus on "uncovering" scandal isn't the answer. Most come to sports sections to be entertained, and to escape.

Some find this as apologism for maintaining the "toy department" philosphy; I don't see how it can be denied.

There's room for hard news in the sports section, obviously; and Dave's right, it's not the sports media's job to help cover up scandal.

But there are a lot of things that need to be done to put out a good sports section. "Sports journalism" is not an oxymoron. It's just a different kind of journalism.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Deford on sports journalism

Frank Deford talks about the state of sports journalism in a speech at DeSales University, and some of his thoughts are recounted by the Morning Call's Gordie Jones in this piece published April 6. Paul Sokoloski of the Express-Times also writes about Deford's appearance.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

'Where is the journalism?'

In the Phoenix, Mark Jurkowitz takes sports writers and editors to task for not doing more groundbreaking reporting that would unearth stories like the use of steroids in baseball. It's a good read; as usual, kind of left unsaid -- amid the usual talk that sports writers simply aren't interested in serious stories and are more fans than reporters -- is what "journalists trained and skilled in collecting information from numerous sources" would or could have learned about steroid use without the existence of grand jury testimony, as in the Bonds case. Simply noting "quick and massive muscle growth, pimple-strewn backs" isn't going to cut it for publication.

Sports writing has issues -- but assembling investigate teams that are going to go out and break a lot of huge stories isn't as simple as this story makes it sound.