Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Boston Magazine Piece Rips Local Sports Media

The February edition of Boston Magazine runs a scathing article by Alan Siegel that blasts the Hub's mainstream sports media. Entitled, "The Fellowship Of The Miserable" (a term first applied to the media by former Celtics coach Rick Pitino), the article's main premise is that an increasingly stodgy and irrelevant set of beat writers keeps getting 'beaten out' on big stories by national writers. Examples used are Yahoo!'s Jeff Passan exposing the 'chicken and beer' antics of the 2011 Red Sox and the Globe's Bob Hohler (who is a news reporter) smoking out the dysfunction of the 2012 Carmine Hose. Both very true. But, as critical as we have been of 'The Lodge' (the term used to describe the sportswriter establishment), Siegel's piece seems a bit overdrawn. The beat reporters that cover the Red Sox are somewhat constrained by the very nature of their role: they need to keep the avenues of access open. It's true that it makes them less 'cutting-edge', but most of them still manage to eek out a lot of useful stuff over the long season. And Dan Shaughnessy (portrayed as the poster boy of loud, self-promoting scribes) just produced the best-written Boston baseball book in decades (Francona: The Red Sox Years). Nonetheless, you can't really argue with one of Siegel's final points: "Were the Globe to stop publishing sports tomorrow, how much loss would readers feel?" Probably not a whole lot. After all, have you forked over the money necessary to get online "access" to the Globe? I didn't think so.