Re: Good article about Boston
posted at 1/29/2013 3:20 PM EST
I thought there was too much cherry-picking by the writer and a lot of things he made a big deal about that's not a big deal, needed a crow bar in some instances to twist the facts into his narrative and contradicted himself.
He rips the Globe and the Herald for having veterans -- like they're the only media companies that have had long-time columnists and beat writers. And since when is experience a bad thing? Yes, complacency can set in but just because someone is younger, it doesn't mean they're better. Heck, most of the guys at national websites are veterans. That's why they're at the national sites.
He says it's hard for young writers to break in the boston media. First, there's more to the Boston media than the Globe and the Herald. There are smaller papers for young writers to break into the business and if they're good, they move up -- Chris Snow, Mike Reiss, Chris Gasper, Amalie Benjamin, Shira Springer (going back into the 1990s when Bill Simmons was moaning and groaning). Peter Abe's career is typical -- he started at a smaller paper, proved his worth, got a job at one major market then moved to another.
That a Chris Snow wants to leave journalism (for more money) or a Mark Spears wants to go to a national website is somehow the fault of "The Lodge." Many of the guys who are at ESPN or other websites aren't there by their own plan. Cutback in newspaper forced many veterans to leave and were replaced by youngsters, who were cheaper.
The Globe actually has a better blend of veterans and new reporters than many other papers. Shaughnessy, Cafardo and Kevin Paul DuPont have been there for years, but most of the rest are new to the Glove in the past decade (or less).
The writer of the piece rips newspapers for some of their old-school stuff -- gamers, etc. -- yet ignores of glosses over the fact that they do more, including new-school-type stories. The Globe still gives you more coverage and more stories on the Sox, Pats, Bruins and Celtics than ESPN, even with the ESPNBoston site, or other national websites. Abraham and Bedard produce the exact-type of story that he praises website guys of writing.
I'm not sure why the writer of the piece seems to think it has to be an either-or when it comes to what's produced. There is an overflow of media outlets so why do they all have to produce the same stuff?
For as good as the Globe was back in the 1970s and 1980s with Gammons, Ryan, McDonough and Rosa as the leads on the four major teams, remember, they didn't have to compete with national writers like local writers have to do. Yes, a national guy might parachute in and break a story, but how many times is a Passan or some other national writer wrong? THey can throw chit against the wall and see what sticks, because they don't have to face the same guys every day. (And on that note, maybe the writer should go back and read some of McDonough's stuff that he wrote when the Sox were for sale. There was so much that he was proven wrong on since then that it should be viewed as fiction.)
I don't understand the criticim of the fact that the editor of the Globe told the sports editor that he wanted a bit story on the collapse. First, I'm sure that happens a lot at all levels where an overall editor is suggesting stories or collaborating with specific editors. Editors have meetings every day. What's the big deal? And so what that it was an investigative guy (who knew the beat) doing the story. Sports isn't the only area where an investigative guy does a story that the beat reporter doesn't.
And I don't understand the lumping of talk show hosts in with the rest of the story. First, talk shows are entertainment first. Even Felger will admit that. That there are blowhards and wild stuff said on these talk shows isn't exactly unique to Boston. And like the Globe's staff, there are some talk shows hosts that are new and some who have been around for years.
It's especially laughable his criticism of Shaughnessy -- like he's the only contrarian in the country, at a local site or a national one? They're all over the place, and Shaughnessy is a better writer than most of the others. (Even if you don't like what he writes, he is a good writer). And the pssing match that Tom E. (for EGO?) Curren started over Shaughnessy's column made Curren look foolish and small. I loved the way Shaughnessy reponded, almost mocking Curren. Curren's not half the beat writer Shaughnessy was when Dan covered the Celtics and Red Sox.
Stories like this pieice are cheap. He found a couple of high-profile recent instances where the local media got beat and built a whole narrative around it, throwing everything but the kitchen sink into the story. He should have kept it a bit more focused on the main problem, which is can beat writers be too close to their sources that it keeps them from seeing problems. Because the flip side is, just because a national writer parachutes in and "breaks" a story, it doesn't mean they have it right. They often are making mountains out of mole hills, when the beat guys or are there day to day know the real story and know it was just a mole hill.
I'm not saying that is the case with the Passan story, but it the real and only "problem" that's worthy of discussion -- intelligent discussion. Instead, the writer's piece was nothing but a cliched-type of story that he rip in the piece:
Media bashing media -- wow, how original.