Friday, September 25, 2009

'Goal'-Oriented Newspaper Coverage?

A football (soccer ball) with full icosahedral...Image via Wikipedia
The economic wreckage that is the newspaper industry, with its circulation drop-offs and advertising lineage freefall strewn about, has also been devastating to fledgling Major League Soccer(MLS) franchises.

After The Chicago Tribune, in a cost-saving measure, shifted its full-time reporter from following the MLS Chicago Fire to the entertainment beat, team coverage was reduced to a blogger on the Tribune's ChicagoNow Web site. Little solace for the MLS, already struggling to gain ground in the U.S., which, unlike the rest of the planet, has not elevated soccer to the status of a religion.

But the league is fighting back, following the lead of other sports, such as the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball, which have begun to hire journalists to cover their teams and fill the void created by decimated newspaper staffs. For example, the NHL LA Kings hired a former Los Angeles Daily News reporter to travel with the team and report on home and away games. Similarly, generates much of its content from former newspaper reporters.

Already, journalist Kent McDill is generating articles for  Not to blow the whistle and assess penalties against this uneasy alliance, but what happens when  sports reporters unleash criticism of the play of the team that is signing their paychecks? Also, the recession has caused Americans to monitor their entertainment expenses more closely, which means lower attendance at professional sports events and economic hardship for teams in certain markets. Can these franchises afford to shell out the money to pay the salary and travel expenses of reporters?

"TUOL" is just askin'. Before MLS teams begin paying for news coverage en masse, they need to look at the "net" results.
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1 comment:

  1. It's still an editorial decision whether to publish soccer news or not, right Or has it gotten to the point where the expense of publishing determines news value? Would, in other words, newspapers publish a lot more news if it was free?