Sunday, September 24, 2006

Sure beats

Young people interested in advice about sports writing from some of the best and brightest may want to visit a new Web site affiliated with the Sports Institute at Boston University. The Web site, sportsmediaguide, includes transcripts of interviews with sports journalists such as Dave Kindred, Michelle Kaufman, and Gene Wojciechowski. One of my favorite quotes is from Bryan Curtis: "There's a false assumption that you can't write sports unless you go the conventional route. I read the "Best American Sportswriting" anthology every year and half the pieces come from writers who aren't conventional sportswriters – they're just writers who have interesting minds."

Friday, September 22, 2006

The wrong signal

The ruling yesterday that will send reporters Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada, the San Francisco Chronicle investigative team on the BALCO story, could have a chilling effect on investigative journalism. Although we've seen other similar decisions recently (such as that involving NYT reporter Judith Miller), this one involves a sports-related story. More strong investigative reporting in sports is sorely needed -- and this decision won't help. See columns by Wright Thompson and Rick Telander, among others.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Oasis in Orlando

An article posted on Women's enews discusses the Orlando sports media market as an unusual one for women -- they are employed in both print and broadcast sports reporting in larger number than the national average. One reason may be that although Orlando is a large metro area with many media employers, it has just one pro sports team, making it a less risky place for outlets to alienate male fans with female reporters.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

No comment.

Really, I can't find the words to describe my disgust with the ad campaign recently launched by SportsNet New York. My only comfort is that this ad campaign is so stupid (on top of being offensive) that it won't last long.

Thursday, September 07, 2006 guarantees

News Journal writer and AWSM member Jane McManus posted this blog earlier this week about being blocked from Andre Agassi's locker room at the U.S. Open. She also points out that a male reporter at the tournament was ridiculed after seeking access to a women's locker room. When will locker room access stop being an issue?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Toeing the sports/military line

One of my favorite sports columnists, Dave Zirin, recently wrote a piece for The Nation magazine on the use of injured soldiers by the USA Basketball team to "fire up the troops," as it were, on the court. He quoted NBA player Etan Thomas (with the Wizards), who saw the military display on NBA TV and believed it was wrong. Etan has been a critic of U.S. military action in recent years.
But when it comes to politics and social justice, the message for athletes who don't readily buy the prevailing line is "look at your contract" (or: "shut up") as a recent Washington Times column attests.
It's ironic: We like to think of athletes as "heroes" and "role models" -- as long as they play well and open their mouths only to drive us to the mall to buy shoes. But when they speak out in ways that betray their status as symbols of American (military) supremacy, we'd rather they just shut up and perform.