TC: Getting away from Auburn: Why is most mainstream college football coverage so mediocre (to be charitable)? What can we do to fix it?
There's a lot of blandness and sameness in today's media coverage. You read pretty much the same things no matter where you look, and that goes for the major media websites as well as the newspapers. Part of that is not your--the media's--fault; access is so controlled these days that it's difficult for anybody to get quotes or stories that everybody else doesn't also have. But I have to say that the quality of both the analysis and writing is not what it ought to be, and it appears to me that there's a lot of fear of bucking convention and the popular view of the moment. Newspapers are in a terrible business situation, and I suspect there's a reluctance to irritate the subscribers they still have left.
I don't expect every newspaper sports writer to be a modern Clyde Bolton, but I have less interest in reading newspaper stories or columns than I've ever had in the past. One reason is that almost all of the material is written by guys who went to journalism school andhave followed pretty much the same career paths as every other newspaper employee over the past fifty years. There's a we've-always-done-it-this-way guild mentality, and I think that model is just worn out.
[Deleted section] To put it bluntly, why should I slog through the same old beat writer reports when I can read Jerry Hinnen at War Blog Eagle? Why spend time reading the umpteenth pseudo-Paul-Finebaum opinion column when I can read Orson Spencer Swindle Hall Mellencamp at Every Day Should Be Saturday? Why bother with by-the-numbers analysis when there's Matt Hinton at Dr. Saturday, who's not only a better analyst, but also a better writer than anybody in the local paper?
I can certainly understand al.com choosing to edit out criticism of its affiliated newspaper writers, but I also think they're proving my point by doing so. I'm also sorry that the links to War Blog Eagle, EDSBS and Dr. Saturday didn't get passed on to their readers.