Sports Media Journal

With All Good Intentions

An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.  (Buddha)

 In 2007 I started Sports Media Journal (SMJ).   As our About Us page states, the idea was to create “a site where you’ll find out more about the people and organizations that manage and report sports.”

Even though the sports media beat was well-covered on a national and local level back then, I felt a need to delve deeper.  My idea was to provide commentary and interview the people who make up this industry.  I was able to do much of that over the last six-plus years, especially on the podcast we launched with Ken Fang of Fang’s BitesSports Media Weekly.

I began Sports Media Journal as a hobby, as do many others who create blogs.  I knew that the success of the blog would be based on consistent, quality writing that is not found anywhere else.  Even though I did have advertising on the site, the future of SMJ was never contingent on making a profit.

I have a full-time job outside of SMJ which is the focus of my weekdays.  Spending time with my wife and daughter take-up the remaining hours of the week.  I could not be happier when it comes to my personal and professional life.  I am truly blessed.

In recent months it has been more difficult to post regularly on SMJ.  My level of interest in sports media has waned.  And as I creep closer to 50, I feel the need to simplify my life.

Therefore, as of January 1, 2014, Sports Media Journal will be no more.  I will still own the domain and over the next few months the blog’s content will be migrated away from a hosted site to a free website service.  I can still be reached at keith@sportsmediajournal.com.

I am eternally thankful to those of you who made SMJ a regular stop for news and information.  It amazes me how many of you are as interested in sports media as me.

I have met some incredible people both inside and outside the sports media industry over the six-plus years I have owned SMJ.  I have made many new friends.

Even though I leave the sports media beat, there are so many people doing great work. Among them:

Looking back I have no regrets in starting Sports Media Journal.  Ideas spring to life.  People evolve.  Peace.

 

 

 

Time for a Timeout

The staff here at Sports Media Journal (me) needs to recharge its batteries from time to time.  Now is one of those times.

I will be away from the site for a little over a week.  We will we will be back, all tanned and rested (well, hopefully rested), on April 23rd.

Thanks for your continued support of SMJ!

Add SMJ to a Circle on Google+

Sports Media Journal has expanded its social media reach by now having a brand page on Google+.

I have been using my personal Google+ page to promote what we do here at SMJ.  But now all our posts will be linked to the new Google+ SMJ page.  If you’d still like to follow me on my personal Google+ page, please do so.  But know that I will be posting more than just news from and about SMJ.

If you are on Google+ add us to one of your circles today.

SMJ Video: Blogs with Balls 4, Mike Hall, NESN

Our final interview from the Blogs with Balls 4 conference last Saturday is with Mike Hall from NESN…

If you saw our video with Richard Deitsch, you noticed the appearance of an unwelcome visitor to our shot. It wasn’t the first time that happened. Here’s what happened during our talk with Mike Hall…

SMJ Video: Blogs with Balls 4, Chris Lucas, HHR Media

I had the opportunity to attend the Blogs with Balls 4 conference this past Saturday in New York City.  I’ll have a complete wrap-up of the event during tonight’s Sports Media Weekly Podcast with Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites.

I also had a chance to conduct a few interviews with some of those at the conference.  Here is the first one…a talk with Chris Lucas of HHR Media, the organizers of the event..

It’s Long Over Due…SMJ Has A Facebook Page

I signed-up for Facebook personally about three years ago.  I check in, at most, twice a day just to see what some of my friends and family are up to.

I am IN NO WAY a Facebook junkie.  No Farmville for me.  It just seems that there is too much going on in Facebook for my needs.  I pass no judgement on those who live in Facebook.  Have at it.  I myself, would rather spend my social media time with Twitter.

I do realize, however, that there are over 600 million Facebook users, and I should reach out to them.

So today we are launching our SMJ Facebook Page, where all our posts, and hopefully our tweets will be posted.  I ask those of you who support SMJ to “Like” our Facebook page.  Thank you.

What’s Right and What’s Wrong with Sports Media- Online Resources

In the final installment of what I think is good and bad with sports media I’ll take a look at how sports media is using online resources to get out information.

Not much has changed on how traditional media organizations have covered sports online.  The only thing that is new since 2007 is more of them are employing the use of multimedia (video, podcasts, etc) on their sites.  That’s a good thing.

I am disturbed by a trend I’ve seen develop that I feel is bad for sports journalism.  What I’m talking about here is the sensationalizing of sports news.  Those of you who have read SMJ know that I am a traditionalist when it comes to the coverage of sports.  There are more websites available today whose mission it is to find dirt on athletes.  I understand gossip sells.  Those sites have every right to conduct business.  (God Bless America!)  It doesn’t mean I need to embrace it or condone it.

I continue to maintain that everyone is entitled to privacy, whether they are in public or not.  Seeing a sports star in a bar with a beautiful young lady means little as to how that person performs on the field.  Criminal activity and/or league investigations of off-the-field indiscretions do warrant coverage.  Seeing Aaron Rodgers at a bar is meaningless to me.

What troubles me more than the sensational reporting is how traditional news outlets run with these stories for fear of losing its audience.  Even though he has since changed his tune, what Buzz Bissinger said in 2008 on HBO to me holds true today.  Many of these gossip sites cater to the lowest common denominator of our society.  There is no redeeming value in its publication.   My greatest fear is that the younger generations, when asked where they get their “sports news”, will reference one of these gossip websites.  How can this be good?  (Off soapbox)

There is no doubt that the biggest impact in the online coverage of sports is the use of social media.  The 24 hour news cycle is not partitioned into minutes and seconds by the use of social media platforms.  More reporters and the athletes they cover are taking their message to the people in short, consistent spurts.

Facebook has well over 600 million users.  However I don’t use it to get my sports news.  I use it more to get in touch with family and friends.

Twitter, however, is an information junkie’s elixir.  I get more information from Twitter than any other source.  With that said Twitter does have its drawbacks.

First, if you are a reporter and tweet as part of your job…get separate Twitter accounts for personal and professional use.  I must say that when I see a personal tweet from someone I follow professionally,  I cringe.  I have multiple Twitter accounts.  My SMJ account deals with sports media news.  I have a separate account where I tweet my personal thoughts and follow close family and friends.

I understand the usefulness of hashtags in categorizing tweets.  But I think the Twitterverse has evolved into hashtag overload, coming up with tags that are meaningless to the topic.  For example, let’s say I’m following a story on Twitter about the NFL labor negotiations and one of the hashtags is “#isntthisacrazyworldwelivein” (I made that up, but I’m sure it exists). What relevance does that have to to the story?

The last thing that I hate about Twitter, regardless of whether it’s my personal or professional account, is when people feel they’re the sole or most reliable source of information on any issue…including big sporting events.  Few things are as annoying to me as when I read “Jordy Nelson, TD Packers” during the Super Bowl.  Do people really think I’m monitoring your feed to get updates on football’s biggest game of the year?   The best use of Twitter play-by-play are of events that are not being viewed by millions of people.  Don’t be afraid to take a Twitter break every now and then.

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That sums up my week-long look at what I think is right and wrong with sports media in 2011.  It’s just one man’s opinion.  Shoot me some ideas as to what you’d like to see covered here at SMJ.  Thanks for listening

What’s Right and What’s Wrong with Sports Media- Television Sports News

Out of all the topics I discussed back in 2007 when I first wrote of what I liked about sports media, how television sports news is covered has not changed much at all.

The one thing that amazes me is that there are still sports segments in local television news.  I no longer know of anyone who watches local news for sports coverage.  As a matter of fact, many stations are asking their sports anchors to transition into the news side of the operation.   The local sports anchors today, even in medium-sized markets, are often young reporters right out of college.  Even when stations cover college and high school athletics, it appears that the information is old.  Regrettably it’s only a matter of time before local television sports news will be eliminated from the newscast or relegated to online only.

One change in television sports coverage has come in the increasing presence of regional sports networks (RSN).  In the Boston market both Comcast SportsNet New England (CSNNE) and the New England Sports Network (NESN) have launched daily sports shows within the last four years.  Each has also created niche news shows focusing on the teams (Celtics for CSNNE and Red Sox/Bruins on NESN) which they hold broadcasting rights.  Even though these RSN’s currently don’t have the market share of an ESPN, they’ll probably hasten the death of sports reports in local newscasts.

As in 2007 ESPN continues to hold the ratings edge nationally when it comes to sports news reporting on its varied television networks.  As I wrote four years ago, I watch these shows to get informed.  Not to get entertained.  There are still hosts at all levels of television sports reporting who feel the need to create catchphrases and other anecdotes to be seen as cool.  I don’t want cool.  I want authoritative reporting, where the respect of viewer is paramount.

It does bother me that ESPN tends to promote one sport over another, presumably based on the rights fees they hold.  My concern is ethical, not entrepreneurial.  It puzzles me that ESPN will choose an NBA early round playoff game as its lead story over, say, the clinching game of the Stanley Cup Finals.  But from a business standpoint, I understand.  With the choice I’d probably choose journalism over business in making that decision.

Although still a concern for some, I’m not bothered by a network (ESPN) having nearly every segment of its sportscast tied to a sponsor.  I have yet to see a time when that sponsorship has impacted the quality of the information presented during that segment.  When that happens, I’ll complain.