Decline of golf coverage: Dallas Morning News wasn’t at Augusta to cover local boy Spieth

I couldn’t help but notice that the Dallas Morning News wasn’t at the Masters this year. That means they wouldn’t have had a staff byline piece from Augusta if Dallas’ very own Jordan Spieth had won the tournament.

As it is, his second-place finish at the age of 20 was a big story in its own right. Yet the Morning News ran a Spieth story from Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Augusta.

I am not trying to knock the Morning News. There are plenty of big-city papers that no longer staff the majors. Budgets are tight, and it is expensive to send writers on the road.

However, the Morning News situation is different.

The Morning News used to be big time into golf. They sent their golf writers (Jeff Rude, Phil Rogers, Brad Townsend, Bill Nichols) to 10-15 … Continue Reading

News flash (or not): Sports journalism students don’t read actual newspapers

George Solomon, the sports editor who built the great staffs of the Washington Post, now is helping to shape future journalists as director of the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism at Maryland.

At some point, it will be a future without newspapers. In fact, many of his students know about newspapers only by reputation and not actual experience.

Solomon writes on the Povich Center site:

A requirement for 17 bright students in my Merrill College sportswriting class last  fall  included reading two sports sections a day. How many of the students read an actual paper over an online version? None, I’m sad to report, for about the fifth consecutive year.

I am teaching a sports media class this quarter at De Paul. We are examining all platforms of sports media. Wednesday, we focused on newspapers.

Citing Solomon’s column, I … Continue Reading

Flashback: Recalling last year’s New York Times’ blank sports front for Hall of Fame results

It won’t happen this year, with two, three, maybe even four players getting elected to the Hall of Fame today.

However, last year, the New York Times served up a memorable sports front when no players earned a trip to Cooperstown. A not so subtle commentary on the steroid era by the Times.

Said then sports editor Joseph Sexton: “(We) felt like history had spoken. How to convey that to our readers? I think we did it — a striking, profound emptiness.”


 … Continue Reading

San Francisco Chronicle won’t use Redskins: ‘An offensive term’

Managing editor Audrey Cooper makes the case for the San Francisco Chronicle:

Words – and the ones we choose to use – are powerful. It’s not a responsibility we take lightly.

Our newsroom is the latest to avoid using “Redskins” when referring to the NFL franchise from Washington.

We will use the word only when avoiding it would be confusing to readers – for example, in stories about the controversy surrounding the team name. In most cases, we will refer to the team as “Washington,” avoiding use of an offensive term.

The Chronicle and have a long-standing policy against using racial slurs. Not everyone has to be personally offended by a word to make it a slur. And make no mistake, “redskin” is a patently racist term.

Who’s next.… Continue Reading

Front page: Joy in Boston; Rest of U.S. celebrates end of long-suffering Red Sox fan theme

Can we finally put it to bed? The long-suffering Red Sox fan theme was so 20th Century. Their fans now are celebrating their third title since 2004. They aren’t suffering anymore.

I’m a fan of baseball history, but Fox beat us over the head with the 1918 thing again last night. Enough.

It all is especially hard to digest in Chicago. Do you know the last time the Cubs or White Sox celebrated a title in their ballpark? It was in 1906, when the Sox beat the Cubs in the World Series. Babe Ruth was 11.

And do I really have to get into the Cubs’ issues?

So congratulations, Boston. And for Fox, ESPN, and everyone else: Time to move on.

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Time to change old expression: It’s about page views, not selling newspapers

Want to give some props to my old pal, Paul Sullivan, who is killing it in his new assignment as a baseball feature writer for the Chicago Tribune.

Thursday, he had a terrific piece on former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, who is spending 2013 in baseball exile.

One line, though, caught my attention. While talking about his stormy relationship with former Sox GM Kenny Williams, he brought up the media’s role.

Guillen said:  “We had a meeting with Jerry (Reinsdorf) and we were OK. And all of a sudden a couple of days later, it (wasn’t OK). I don’t need stuff like that. I think the media did what they were supposed to do — sell papers.”

How antiquated is that last line? For generations, dating back to the glory days of Hearst, reporters have been accused of going … Continue Reading

New York Times special report: ESPN at a crossroads; Skipper says “complicated” environment

This is either a case of burying the lede or saving the best for the last.

The New York Times completed its massive three-part series on ESPN today. Written and reported by Richard Sandomir, James Andrew Miller and Steve Eder, the first two parts provided interesting insights into how the network runs college football and how Louisville used ESPN to become a sports powerhouse. Both pieces are highly recommended.

However, part 3 gets to the heart of the matter: The battleground for ESPN’s future.

For all of the network’s success and power, it is possible that the money machine in Bristol could be put on a much slower speed.

The opponents/obstacles are considerable: legislators who want to do away with bundling for cable networks; new network competitors such as Fox Sports 1; and a changing media landscape.

From the story:… Continue Reading

What is unusual about today’s New York Daily News front page?

Answer: Three headlines, all on sports.

Did I miss something? Has the New York Daily News become a sports daily?

Of the three headlines, probably only one deserved banner treatment: Matt Harvey’s devastating injury.

But hey, this is the NY Daily News, so let’s run crazy with a fat governor sounding off on the paper’s beat reporter. And since it is U.S. Open time in the Big A, the mob and tennis always makes a good combination.

Interesting to note that Manish Metha, the Jets beat writer who first was roasted by Gov. Christie and then by Keith Olbermann last night, has not mentioned a thing about it on his Twitter feed. If you go to his link, you’ll see he’s a big Don Mattingly fan.

Also, no mention on his Jets blog for the News.

If I missed … Continue Reading

Montville: Buying the Boston Globe for less than John Lackey

Leigh Montville in Sports on Earth writes a column putting the John Henry-Boston Globe deal in perspective. And it isn’t pretty from the newspaper side.

The price that he paid for this addition was the great surprise.

“I can’t believe he bought our newspaper for $70 million,” I, a one-time sportswriter at The Globe, said to another one-time sportswriter at The Globe. “He gets all that real estate. He gets all of those trucks. He gets the rights to all of the stories, all of the pictures, the 22 Pulitzers, all of the past, plus the computer present and future of the pre-eminent voice in all of New England. The Times paid $1.1 billion for The Globe 20 years ago. He gets it for $70 million? The stories say that’s about four percent of what The Times paid.”

“He just

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