Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sports journalism - more

The other day I noted how robotic writing programs being developed for sports were going to potentially change sports reporters' game, putting a premium on finding new stories and less on the game and handout/news conference (even if impromptu on a practice field) driven stuff we see now.

But I also noted how hard that will be because, if sports reporters are honest with themselves, they'll acknowledge they are in the middle of one of the absolute spin and control zones of the world.

After Florida coach Urban Meyer's outburst the other day, sports columnist Paul Finebaum makes my case for me.

With the newspaper industry under siege and cutbacks literally being made at every corner, a reporter covering Meyer or anyone else really can ill afford to spend time in the doghouse. Otherwise, he or she will be left out in the cold when the pack goes on the next scavenger hunt for whatever scraps are still fed to those on the daily beat.

I spoke recently to an official at a major BCS school and he openly scoffed at the beat reporters covering his team. The person told me his school could completely cut off access to the reporters and still get practically the same message out to the public by delivering it themselves.

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