Do sports and journalism mix?
That's not designed to be a snarky, empty question, at least when it comes to game coverage. It comes from the latest word about a clash between journalists and sports leagues -- this one the NFL's proposal to turn photojournalists into walking sponsor billboards.
Professional games may be news, but they are most of all commercial enterprises -- granted, ones with tremendous public interest. But since the various networks already pretty much have the play-by-play covered, and with high-def TV coming, maybe one strategy to pursue is to license screenshots from those networks (and by extension the leagues) and turn our dwindling journalism resources to actually ferreting out the stuff people can't get elsewhere. That would solve the walking billboard problem and put out in the open the purely commercial nature of the deals we make with the NFL, NBA, MLB and other devils.
Philip Stone has a nice roundup of all the hubub about sports v. journalism in a piece for the European (Swiss) site Follow the Media. Stone, who concentrates on what's up in Australia, follows it up with another that focuses on the emerging digital rights area. But move quickly. FTM puts its old material behind an archive pay wall.