Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Yes, grammar still matters.

Attention aspiring sports journalists: Knowing the difference between "who" and "whom" is still important. According to a survey of sports editors, grammar and writing skills are lacking in many of the young journalists they interview and hire. Meanwhile, aspiring writers should also become more tech savvy and versatile, according to the survey. That means making the most of the range of journalism and other classes offered at the university level and seeking experience through internships and other writing outlets.

Monday, February 09, 2009

The terror of Selena

It's amusing to read the transcript of Alex Rodriguez' interview with Peter Gammons on ESPN -- one in which he was lobbed slow-pitch softballs instead of probing questions -- allowing him to present himself as stumbling into a GNC several years ago and (oops!) grabbing the wrong thing off the shelf after securing fame and fortune.
Rodriguez has also apparently decided to deflect criticism for his wrongdoing to a female reporter -- Selena Roberts -- whom he called "this lady" throughout the interview. Read the transcript: Investigative journalists can sure be terrifying, can't they? Especially when it's a woman ("lady") who's managed to expose the lies.

Friday, February 06, 2009

The post-game interview: Irrelevant?

A panel at Tufts University on sports journalism provide the requisite amount of hand-wringing about the future of sports journalism: Newspapers will die, the Internet is "monster" that has damaged the profession, etc.
The most interesting comments by the panelists, however, were those that questioned the relevance of the post-game interview in light of the increased ability of athletes to communicate directly with fans via the Web. Golfweek writer Brad Klein called it "a ritualistic concession to editors." If the post-game interview fails to deliver substance, it'll be interesting to see what happens with continuing attempts by teams and leagues to restrict locker-room access by reporters. Journalists may find that such access becomes more difficult to protect.

Monday, February 02, 2009

In defense of the game: A new gay slur

A story that has been overshadowed by the Super Bowl and other events this week is one that involves the coming -- and going, we hope -- of a new term that denigrates gays in the interest of protecting the time-honored ritual of fighting in the NHL. The CBC's "Hockey Night" commentator Mike Milbury used the word "pansification" to describe how the NHL would be softened should the league heed calls to ban the practice. After protest, the CBC has finally stepped in and banned use of the word.
It's good the term has been removed as an option for CBC commentators (although under protest, unfortunately). But the bigger issue remains unchallenged: Assumptions about masculinity, sports and sexuality that continue to privilege the "tough guy" in sports -- contricting culturally acceptable behavior for men and women and encouraging prejudice.