Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Decline of Newspapers has a price even in the insulated sports world

It has been known for a while now that the newspaper industry is in dire straits--already too many have gone defunct or web-only, and now the Boston Globe is in serious trouble as well.

When newspapers are in trouble they tend to cut non-critical sections, but who would have thought that baseball writers, so long some of the most stalwart in the newspaper community, would be paying the price?.

The above linked article is startling because of its immediacy, and because it points to an issue we probably don't notice here in New York.

The Yankees will never suffer from lack of (media) coverage. They are undeniably the biggest, most marketable brand in Major League Baseball and they do play in the media capital of the world.

Even so, the Yankees' writers have not been unscathed-writers at the Star Ledger, for example, have had a tough time. The casual fan who gets all of his or her news from Sportscenter may not have noticed it, but it's still true.

If it can affect the Yankees, then you know it will affect smaller and lest successful franchises, and as the article points out, Pittsburgh is down to a nine member press core. While I'm sure there's something to be said for the intimacy of working in a small core, its still hard to swallow.

Newspaper writers have been a part of baseball so long that they are as much a part of the game as peanuts and crackerjacks.

Of course, newspapers in the 1950s did not have to compete with fan blogs and ESPN.com-like 24 sports news coverage, and those avenues are certainly a healthy and growing facet of media coverage.

It seems such a paradox, that the new forms of media should lead directly to the old one that gave it its shot, but I guess, maybe, that's the price of progress.


  1. cut your wrists

  2. It's also paradoxical that the new media that has helped to drive out the old still primarily relies on the same print media it is rendering obsolescent for most of its news. I'm not convinced that it's progress when the elimination of still crucial print media hasn't fostered fundamental journalistic growth, but rather a hollowing out of our most vital informational systems. Nor do millions in our nation have access to the Internet for new media. The previous era that lacked investigative reporting was bad. Things will only get worse in that and other news departments.

  3. While I agree with much of your comment, I would have to say the new media allows for more investigative reporting; not less.

    Think of this: the abu ghraib pictures surfaced first online, on a blog...