Phoenix Explores Old vs New in Sports Media

Adam Reilly of the Boston Phoenix examines the animosity between old-media sportswriters and their new-media counterparts.

Plenty of quotes in this article from Bill Simmons, Buzz Bissinger and Tony Massarotti, who sounds somewhat confused that he’s been labeled an internet basher.

Reilly wonders why the antipathy between traditional sportswriters and their new-media peers is so toxic, and lists these factors:

  • Sportswriters are old-fashioned.
  • Sportswriters are used to getting sand kicked in their face.
  • Despite impassioned protests from the traditionalists, old-school sportswriting really isn’t all that different than blogging.
  • Nothing hangs in the balance.
  • Sportswriters think their profession is in jeopardy — and they might be right.

Each point is explored in more detail in the article.

He ends on a positive note:

The best reason for optimism, though, may be the relentless convergence of old and new media. That aforementioned Ryan piece? The one that criticized Bill Simmons’s take on the Celtics and Lakers? It appeared — wait for it — on Ryan’s blog, And Another Thing . . . (Incidentally, Leitch was just named a contributing editor at New York magazine.) Five years from now, every sportswriter lucky enough to have a paying job will be blogging, too. And if they have complaints about the work their lesser-known colleagues are doing, they’ll have to focus on the merits of the content, not on the mode of delivery. Which is exactly how it should be.

  • Chris

    What you have here, in its most succinct form, is the ‘old media’ playing the role of ‘government’ and the ‘new media’ playing the role of ‘privatization.’ The government gets angry and enraged at any mention of privatization, because they want it seen that their way is the best way. Any illustration contrary to this needs to be dismissed and sniffed at, in a haughty & snooty way. This is what your old-media ‘gray-hairs’ are trying to do. They are trying to squelch any suggestion that the ‘new media’ can do the job as well as (and better than) they can. To see the bitterness and anger coming from the ‘gray-hairs’ is to agree that their long-cultivated monopoly has been crushed like a gnat…never to resurface again.

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