Teaching sports journalism at the big U these days would seem to be as valuable as starting classes on how to make a typewriter.
Journalism is a dying industry, we’re told. Read about it in the papers. What’s left of them, that is.
Malcolm Moran is here to say don’t believe everything you read and hear. And listen to this: He contends in many respects the market never has been better for young journalists. So are the opportunities to make an immediate impact.
Moran has seen it up close as the Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society at the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism since 2006. And it isn’t just about young equaling cheaper.
“For the first time in the history of the industry, a 20-something journalist could have an advantage over a 40-something candidate,” Moran said.
Perhaps this is why Joe Posnanski is not doing a big media tour to promote his book Paterno. It would take too much out of him to repeatedly defend a coach nobody wants to hear being defended.
Posnanski appears Wednesday on Costas Tonight (NBC Sports Network, 9 p.m. ET). The 90-Minute Show Includes Costas’ full November 2011 interview with Jerry Sandusky from Rock Center with Brian Williams with never-before-seen footage.
Posnanski has done limited interviews since release of the book last week. You can see why from the Costas interview. There are tough questions to be answered.
Here are some of the more interesting segments.
On the Freeh Report being flawed:
Costas: “Without getting bogged down in the particulars, this is the essence of Louis Freeh, former FBI director‘s report. The conclusion: In order to avoid the consequences … Continue Reading
It’s not enough to say that Posnanski does not do well relating the facts of the Sandusky case and Paterno’s role in it. The truth is that he doesn’t really try. “Joe Paterno was fired,” he tells us at the end, “why and how the board [Penn State trustees] made its decision is not my story to tell.” If not Paterno’s biographer’s, one wonders, then whose story is it? And what is so complicated about that story?
Time and again, Posnanski writes as if it was his intention to make clear issues cloudy.
Clearly, this wasn’t the book Joe Posnanski wanted to write.
Posnanski wanted his version of Paterno to be an inside look at a legendary coach who did it the right way. The coach who was beloved throughout the country. Black turf shoes, rolled up pants and white socks. That Joe Paterno.
Posnanski would spend an interesting and insightful year in State College, Pa., hanging out with the coach and his family. Then he would channel all that research into a thoughtful writing process with Paterno hitting bookstores in time for Father’s Day in 2013.
That was the original plan until Jerry Sandusky became a household word.
Everything changed on that fateful November weekend. For Penn State, Paterno, and for Posnanski.
The end result is a hastily-rushed to market book that is disjointed at best and apologetic at worst. It probably … Continue Reading
The Paterno book hits the bookstores tomorrow. But thanks to an excerpt on GQ and some early reviews, feedback is starting to come in on Joe Posnanski’s effort.
Rich Hoffman of the Philadelphia Daily News wrote a column after reading the book. The headline for the piece reads: “Paterno bio is insightful and incomplete.”
The book – I bought “Paterno” in a bookstore on Saturday, ahead of its Tuesday publication date – is not a prosecutor’s brief against Paterno, and no one should have expected one. Neither, though, is it a full-throated defense. Given extraordinary access to the man, literally until his dying days, Posnanski does what Posnanski always has done best as a writer: context and texture. As everything around Paterno shook and then fell, you see a man and his family and his confidants at the epicenter.
The Big Ten Network did what it is supposed to do today. Cover the big news and cover it hard.
The BTN was on the air for 4-plus hours this morning covering the fallout from the NCAA handing down harsh sanctions to Penn State. The network had reporters in State College and Indianapolis, numerous phone interviews, and the studio team of Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith offered clear and measured analysis.
All in all, it was quite a contrast to what occurred nearly two weeks ago when the BTN was hammered from not airing live coverage of the explosive Freeh Commission press conference. Instead, the network ran a replay of an old football game.
What changed? I just did a Q/A with BTN President Mark Silverman.
Why didn’t the network cover the Freeh press conference?
Regarding the NCAA’s announcement, since this is a sports media site, I’ll discuss the TV aspect:
Make no mistake, when the Big Ten added Penn State as its 11th school in the early 1990s, a major component was television. The addition of the school delivered the large Eastern TV market to the conference. It led to marque match-ups with Joe Paterno’s Nittany Lions going up against Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin, not to mention attractive non-conference games against Alabama, etc.
Penn State’s presence then gave the conference a wide enough national footprint to launch the wildly successful Big Ten Network.
The Big Ten will continue to cash in on a TV deal with ESPN that runs through 2016-17, and the BTN isn’t going anywhere.
But both of its broadcast outlets will feel the pain of the NCAA’s sanctions. Gone for many years is the idea of … Continue Reading
Yet another post in the continuing saga of the Paterno book:
Jon Wertheim appears on The Sports-Casters podcast this week. Wertheim has been part of Sports Illustrated’s coverage of Penn State and spent time with Joe Posnanski in State College.
When Sports-Casters’ Steve Bennett asked about the growing controversy over Posnanski’s upcoming book about the now tarnished coach, Wertheim emitted a large groan.
Clearly, he didn’t want to weigh in about a sensitive subject regarding his former colleague and somebody greatly admired in the sportswriting fraternity. However, years of enduring athletes and coaches duck the tough questions made Wertheim feel compelled to comment.
Like others, Wertheim, the author of seven books, thinks Posnanski and Simon & Schuster are making a mistake by rushing the book to market in August. He said:
My better instincts are telling me to say “no comment,” but there is something terminally