As you may know, I’ve been looking at the state of journalism since I began this blog. Mainly because as a journalist, it affects me almost directly. Well, in my last post, I discussed the idea of a bailout for journalists. I’ll admit that it’s not perfect and it has its fair share of flaws but what plan doesn’t?
I was crusing the Seattle Times website today and as usual, visited the Mariners Blog. I was surprised to see writer that Geoff Baker had commented on this subject as well. Well, maybe not surprised since I’m sure all journalists would have something to say about this, one way or another. But I was surprised to see it on a sports blog. Baker does discuss how all of this would affect sports journalism, so I guess it makes sense for him to discusss it on his blog.
Here’s some of what he said:
One of you sent me an email link, in which Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban suggests that sports leagues themselves start paying newspapers (through something he calls a “beatwriting co-operative”) for the beat writers that cover them. I actually like much of what Cuban has had to contribute towards the newspaper debate. His take on newspaper blogging last year, critical as it was, happened to be bang-on. I think he’s somebody this industry needs to listen to more often. Leaders of our industry already have listened to him at some conferences he’s attended. But on this issue, he misses the mark. He’s trying, but his overly simplistic references to “church and state” when talking about newspaper independance smack of an outsider’s perspective. And that’s why, well-intentioned as Cuban is, his idea of leagues financially supporting the writers who cover them cannot be allowed to go any further. That’s a slippery slope that could have rammifications far beyond any sports department. And it’s not one any of you want newspapers to start going down.