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The musings of a Detroit-area sportswriter in the digital age.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

An interesting couple of days in sports journalism

As pointed out by Deadspin, a Baltimore paper left a hole for the Red Wings-Predators Game 1 summary that Detroit fans likely would've used to scribble in obscenities about Shea Weber.
It appears a copy editor, like many would, put in the early game, leaving a space for the later game. This is standard operating procedure, but I don't recall a time when we forgot to put in the game we were holding for. That in mind, I've only been at The Oakland Press for about five years. There are also very likely many more egregious errors an editor could make.
... A sports writer recently gave himself a pat on the back, using a fake press release to announce his new job on his WordPress and Tumblr accounts. Jim Romenesko reported the writer had been fired from his new job at a Delaware paper for using a company logo on the fake press release posted to his own social media. The reporter also used info from his formal job offer as quoted material in the announcement. 
It's a pretty funny idea, but if you take those two parts out, it would still be hilarious to send a press release to promote your new gig. It's not clear why this writer went the extra step to land himself in hot water with the quotes and graphic.
And after such a stunt, what are the odds he could get his first job back?
... Lastly, posed the question: How does the relationship between an athlete and a writer affect coverage?
We would all like to think we're above letting our emotions get the best of us when it comes to writing.
I would say I have a good relationship with Oakland coach Greg Kampe and his players, but I can instantly think of one time recently where I set that aside in the name of a story. It was the conference quarterfinal against Southern Utah where Reggie Hamilton missed multiple free throws that could have put the game away for Oakland, rather than the 11-point collapse that occurred that night in Sioux Falls at the Summit League Tournament.

Having covered high school and college athletes in my career, I'm not sure how a professional player might respond to such treatment. I would like to assume they would realize it's part of the day-to-day coverage and not make a scene the next time we meet, but who knows? Perhaps he or she would make a scene. Just another quirk about being a journalist I suppose.
I don't believe I've ever had an overly negative impression of a story subject in either sports or news. Again, writers should be able to suppress any personal feelings outside of writing a column. 


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