So who is “the sleaziest man in sports”?

One of my favorite podcasts is Slate’s Hang Up and Listen. Maybe because there’s no shouting and no “Brian from Bridgetown, you’re on the air.”

One of the topics in this week’s edition was the latest Favre selfishness: did he or did he not inappropriately send messages (text and voicemail) to Jenn Sterger, attention-seeker de semaine? I don’t know Ms. Sterger’s body of work, but every story seems to be accompanied by a photo (or slideshow of photos) of her in as little attire as the editorial rules of each outlet allows, so I’m just guessing she’s not a panelist on Meet the Press. (In fact, she was (still is?) a “sideline reporter” and contributor to the Sports Illustrated website.)

The conversation on the show laid most of the blame — if that’s the correct word — on Deadspin, the “let’s skewer the athletes” website — for flaunting all established rules of journalism when it comes to attribution. In it’s rush to release the story, did the website have the right to use her name as the source when she was still deciding if she wanted to do so? The question, then: is it Favre or the Deadspin reporter or editor who made the decision to publish the sleaziest?

A call for honesty in publicity editing of reviews

We’ve all heard stories about how movie companies pick out just a few words from review that seem to lavishly praise their films (God bless the ellipse). In that light, I saw this post on Ron Kaplan’s Baseball Bookshelf regarding the selective use of reviews when it comes to promoting your product, in this case the new Mantle biography by Jane Leavy. Seems the review said one thing and the publisher’s pub dept. choose to truncate the qualifying phrases just enough to make an 1990 novel by Leavy seem like the greatest thing since sliced light bulbs.

Look, we all know that the job of the publicity people is to put the best face on the authors and the books, and certainly you can’t count on someone to do the legwork to refute your claims, but come on, people, have some self-respect. If the book is good, it’s good. I find most of my reading comes from word of mouth anyway. Even if I read a bad review, nine times out of tell I’ll read the book anyway if it’s about a subject or from  author author I like.

 

 

Did ya miss me?

Apologies to anyone who’s been following The Worried Journalist. (If you had actually been following me, you’d know what I’ve been up to).

Suffice it to say, the last few — what has it been, weeks? Months? — have been tense and interesting (like the Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.”) Things at work are basically status quo: management keeps saying how dire the situation is; a few people have left and heir jobs have been absorbed and distributed among the remaining staffers. I, myself, am now pulling triple duty, but how can I complain? At least I have a job. For how much longer, no one can say. Who knows, I might end up like Mark Zuckerman.

Who dat, you might ask?

Zuckerman used to be the Nationals beat writer for the Washington Times before the publication decided to jettison its sports department. So while he’s waiting for another job, he’s taken matters into his own hands, successfully, it seems.

From Zuckerman’s Feb 8 post on NatsInsider.com:

This site, though, isn’t a money-maker. I’m doing this on my own, receiving no income other than a few pennies each time you click on an ad.

So I need your help to make this happen. At the top of this post, you saw a link with instructions on how to make a donation. I’ve set up a system with PayPal, a safe and reliable method that allows you to pay by credit card with confidence. You are free to donate as little or as much as you’d like.

If you choose not to participate, no worries. You’ll still have access to my full coverage from Florida. But if you do participate, I’m going to return the favor by offering you extra, exclusive coverage all spring.

Here’s what you’ll get, based on your donation level:

$20 — Exclusive daily audio file of Jim Riggleman’s morning or postgame media session.

$40 — Exclusive daily audio file of Jim Riggleman’s morning or postgame media session, plus another daily audio file of an interview with a Nats player, coach or front-office member.

$60 — Exclusive daily audio file of Jim Riggleman’s morning or postgame media session; plus another daily audio file of an interview with a Nats player, coach or front-office member; plus the opportunity to submit a question to be asked of Riggleman or a prominent player during a spring training interview.

So rather than POD — “print on demand” — we gvie you NOD — “news on demand.”

Zuckerman listed a goal of $5,000; to date, he has more than doubled that.

God bless the child who’s got his own, but if this is the shape of things to come, we’re in trouble.

(Slate.com’s Hang Up and Listen podcast covered this story in it’s latest edition.)

  • A reluctant welcome

    It’s no secret what’s going on the field of print journalism. It’s going into the crapper. I wonder if Mr. Internet realized this would happen when he invented the World Wide Web. Regardless, the situation is here and we’re stuck with it. The purpose of this blog is to blow off a little steam, and I invite my fellow ink-stained wretches to join in with their own tales of woe or triumph. Maybe this will turn into a nice little support network. Questions? Suggestions? E-mail me at worriedjournalist(at) gmail(dot)com.
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