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ghost of miles

The Ham-Handed Mangling of Sports Illustrated and Deadspin

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The problem for SI is that the market for this type of magazine isn’t there anymore. With the glut of information we have, it’s lost its place today. When I was a teenager — and especially when I lived overseas — it had information and articles I couldn’t get anywhere else. However, in the internet age, it has lost its unique place. I dropped my subscription years ago and re-upped a few years ago for my son. However, he doesn’t read it and I barely glance it. When it runs out this year, I won’t renew. 

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10 hours ago, Brad said:

The problem for SI is that the market for this type of magazine isn’t there anymore. With the glut of information we have, it’s lost its place today. When I was a teenager — and especially when I lived overseas — it had information and articles I couldn’t get anywhere else. However, in the internet age, it has lost its unique place. I dropped my subscription years ago and re-upped a few years ago for my son. However, he doesn’t read it and I barely glance it. When it runs out this year, I won’t renew. 

Agree with Brad on this. SI was important in those pre-cable, every game on tv days. Imagine, the 1967 AL pennant race, and there was no way you could watch the games, or follow on radio even, you had nothing but box scores, and articles in SI to dive deeper. For situations like that, SI was heaven sent. Once cable and 24/7 access game into play, it was all over. I love that whole "Golden Age of SI" aspect, it was a special magazine with great writers,  but that passed long ago, and the husk is all that's left. Great tradition, but it's gone.

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13 minutes ago, Matthew said:

Agree with Brad on this. SI was important in those pre-cable, every game on tv days. Imagine, the 1967 AL pennant race, and there was no way you could watch the games, or follow on radio even, you had nothing but box scores, and articles in SI to dive deeper. For situations like that, SI was heaven sent. Once cable and 24/7 access game into play, it was all over. I love that whole "Golden Age of SI" aspect, it was a special magazine with great writers,  but that passed long ago, and the husk is all that's left. Great tradition, but it's gone.

Unfortunately. Sad but true. Once in awhile they have some good articles that I find interesting (such as the article on Tom Seaver) but that’s not enough to justify continuing the subscription. 

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Kinda like DB, too.

But about Deadspin: I find it absolutely hilarious that writers for a shitty site think they should ignore the boss without any consequences. I'm with the Barstool Sports guy on that - they're living in fantasy world and good luck with that.

And seriously, they actually wrote that no one can look back at Bush's WS first pitch without mentioning that he belongs in prison? Yeah, the world shouldn't miss Deadspin. I will however, miss the SI Swimsuit issue. ;)

 

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Yes, SI, like so many other legacy media institutions, can’t be the crucial cornerstone of sports journalism that it once was. One of the article’s observations, though, is that it was still getting by, until the private-equity vulture capitalists swooped in and did what they’ve been doing to America for much of the past 30-40 years. They don’t even make anything, they just rip things apart and throw people out of work to make a few already-rich folks even richer:

>>In 2018, Sports Illustrated had nearly three million subscribers. That was down from the magazine’s peak, and subscription numbers can be propped up by various short-term promotions. Still, that’s a lot of people. It was enough people, in fact, for the magazine to produce operating profits—not high ones, and only under cost-saving pressure, but, at least according to one Meredith spokesperson, Sports Illustrated was in the black. It had a strong and respected Web presence, and it employed well-known and influential journalists. Even during the past few months, under uncertain and demoralizing conditions, the magazine’s remaining staff has produced some of the most noteworthy stories in sports—investigations into allegations of sexual harassmentagainst the former N.F.L. wide receiver Antonio Brown, for instance, and an instantly viral piece by Stephanie Apstein about an outburst by a Houston Astros executive following the American League Championship Series, which led to the firing of that executive during the World Series. Sports Illustrated may not have been thriving, but it wasn’t dead<<

 

Strongly disagree that Deadspin was a “shitty site.” It was an excellent compendium of interesting insights and perspectives whenever I looked at it, and a welcome relief from the “let’s keep politics out of sports” b.s. (which, as noted in the New Yorker article, amounts to a political position itself). Especially in the DT era, especially after he waded in time and again on the anthem-kneeling issue and used it as a fire-up-the-base issue. Deadspin was an excellent site done in by the shitty business practices of vulture capitalism, which is always bad business for everyone except those who get to further line their pockets at the expense of everybody else. 

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The bigger issue for me here is the trend towards what is essentially crowd-sourced "journalism", not just in sports, but in general. Nothing wrong with micro-targeting specific audiences, but to have only that without it being part of a broader view macro-cultural perspective is just one more move in the direction of The New Provincialism, which in itself would be ok if not for the uncomfortable fact that the more people bundle up into their own groups of interests and geographical proximities, and get content driven specifically from, to, and about them as a matter of course, ownership of resources is not similarly breaking down into smaller pieces. It's doing just the opposite, in fact.

 

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6 minutes ago, JSngry said:

The bigger issue for me here is the trend towards what is essentially crowd-sourced "journalism", not just in sports, but in general. Nothing wrong with micro-targeting specific audiences, but to have only that without it being part of a broader view macro-cultural perspective is just one more move in the direction of The New Provincialism, which in itself would be ok if not for the uncomfortable fact that the more people bundle up into their own groups of interests and geographical proximities, and get content driven specifically from, to, and about them as a matter of course, ownership of resources is not similarly breaking down into smaller pieces. It's doing just the opposite, in fact.

 

👍

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And "crowd sourced journalism" is nothing but paying on the cheap for news content, and keeping the profits for yourself. This is one of the negative effects of the internet, it's so demanding of content and it needs so many "independent," off the payroll contributors to keep the content rolling in, that it doesn't matter whether it's good, bad, indifferent, just get new stuff for people to read. The New Provincialism in news and sports, at times, is nothing more than writers without talent to write anything original, or not having the resources to research and delve deeper into a topic.

There are other issues this topic brings up, but they belong to the off-limits part of the board (which policy I completely understand).

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"crowd sourced journalism" in sports is also fraught with mis-information. I can't tell you how many times that there's been some sort of story leaked out via some fan site that turned out to be completely bunk. Over & over again.

Real journalists have to do real work to get their information. They establish relationships with the players, owners & pretty much anyone involved on the day to day operations to source crucial information for their stories. Crowd sourced journalists use Google, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter. It's how a lot of BS rumors somehow stay alive on the web for as long as they do. It's like a giant "Whisper Game". It morphs from site to site with added layers of BS ad infinitum. It's scary how lives & careers get mauled or destroyed by this rumor machine.

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Just wait until Artificial Intelligence makes it way into sports journalism.   Many online news sites already use an algorithm to write about High School sports, it's just a matter of time before it goes pro. 

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Real conversation I had recently. Speaking with someone, age 31, asking: What books do you read? Who are his favorite authors? He laughs and responds: "My generation doesn't read books, we have computers!" I wonder if for them articles and books by algorithms will be normal, no big deal...

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50 minutes ago, Matthew said:

Real conversation I had recently. Speaking with someone, age 31, asking: What books do you read? Who are his favorite authors? He laughs and responds: "My generation doesn't read books, we have computers!" I wonder if for them articles and books by algorithms will be normal, no big deal...

Sad but true. I wonder if he said to you “Ok Boomer.”  That seems to be in vogue these days. 

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Does no one here read The Athletic? It is essentially the digital-era successor to what SI and the Sporting News used to be in their heyday, and is about as far removed from crowdsourced journalism as you can get, with some pretty well-known, seasoned sports journalists on its masthead.

They can hire good writers and provide quality coverage because they are paywalled and subscription-based. I'd been hearing a lot of favorable word-of-mouth about them around a year and a half ago when they ran a promotion offering a healthy discount on one-year subscriptions, so I took the plunge. It didn't take long to convince me that it was a worthy addition to my daily reading regimen, and I didn't think twice about continuing to subscribe at the regular rate when the auto-renew date approached.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Athletic  

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