Newspapers cut coverage, and sports teams suffer

Newspapers are cutting back on costly sports coverage - usually involving travel - and if you think the teams they cover are relieved to have the nattering nabobs of negativism out of their hair . . . you're wrong.

Comments (2)

Would it be unreasonable to expect a team to pay the $35k to $50k per year to have a beat writer accompany them? Would it be permissible under MLB/NBA/NHL rules? Would it taint "objective" journalism (which is a gray area in the sports pages anyway).

This much I know: Unless ownership changes, Newsday will always have a traveling beat writer to cover the Rangers. That writer may be Stan Fischler or Sam Rosen, but CV won't leave the reporting on its own team up to the AP.

It's not an issue to the teams who could afford it, since as SBJ notes in their articles this week, some teams have actually hired ex-newspaper beat writers. They like the free promotion a newspaper essentially offers. Even in bad times, articles mean people know a team exists, for whatever that's worth.

I still think most writers and editors completely object to having their coverage paid by a third party, however (and potentially having readers think that what they see is "bought and paid for"). You either work for the media outlet or the team (mlb.com being an unusual situation where they produce each team's website outside team control). Just like reporters don't generally travel with the teams.

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