Thursday, July 19, 2007

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.

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At 7/19/07, 3:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Doug-
I was very impressed with your up-to-date blog. You have knowledgeable and well-researched information, which is just what we're looking for. We are looking for creative writers, journalists, and photojournalists to act as correspondents on our new website Please visit the website and submit a writing sample today!

At 7/19/07, 8:39 PM, Blogger Doug said...


Thanks, but I'll pass. I have problems with sites, especially those soliciting writers, that do not give complete identification of who they are right out front (though if I burrow into your TOC I see you are doing business as River Jump In LLC of Birmingham, Mich. At least you list your complete address and phone there.)

I, and many other writers, especially in this Internet age, also have some problems giving you total copyright over any submission, as your TOC indicates. Ever heard of shared copyright, where you get to use it, but so do I? As I read your site, not only do you get sole right, but you could modify or change what I have done and I'd have no recourse.

Likewise, I pause when I see an old cached profile of Amanda Sharp of the Detroit area and described as Rafter Jump On's director of strategy and operations, but now the profile seems suddenly missing (although your TOC page does say to contact an "asharp.")

You're also looking for an intern.

So when you write on your site "the best in the industry think this will be huge," do tell more. Who are these best in the industry, because, frankly, I know a lot of them and I haven't heard them talking about you at all. That's not to say maybe someone hasn't, but I read a lot of blogs and other publications, and I did quite a few searches, and you're pretty stealth.

So if you want to provide details here, that would be helpful. You know what they say about transparency these days ...

FYI: On your site -- the spelling is milquetoast, not milktoast.


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