I sent an e-mail to Dan Martin of the New York Post regarding Islander coverage with some questions the other day.
I will reprint my e-mail and his response in full.
Subject: Islander Coverage
Perhaps you could answer a few questions for me?
Why is it the New York Islanders are receiving such a small amount of coverage in the Post (today's preview against Anaheim) while Mark Everson usually has space for full articles on days off and has full road Devils coverage. Several extra writers are brought in for Ranger coverage on off days.
Why is there no space for an Islander blogger at the Post given you or someone comes out to some of the home games, does it cost the editor that much in time and revenue to allow this to supplement coverage?
I intend to use your response in my blog for Islander fans to read so I hope you can respond and perhaps answer why since Evan Grossman left to work for NHL.com the drop in Islander coverage has decreased substantially unless Larry Brooks wants to rip on the club Sunday.
New York Islander Fan Central
I received Mr Martin's response this morning:
Hey, I'm not involved in the decision-making process when it comes to how our sports department covers teams, but I do know that when Evan left, his spot was not filled due to a variety of reasons, some of which I am not privy to. That means that we're a man short and I have to cover the team in addition to my other general assignment responsibilities. And while I don't know exactly why certain things are covered and others are not, the fact that the Islanders have largely struggled in recent years- while the Devils have not- is a factor. I understand your frustration as a fan, but the reality is that as long as the NHL's popularity is as low as it is now and the Isles don't have more success, I don't see things changing.
Finally, while I'm getting back to you as I usually do when fans take the time to
e-mail me, I'd rather you didn't post my response on your blog, but that's your call.
NYI Fan Central Comments:
All due respect to Mr Martin's preference, however I'm not doing my blog with a partial focus on the media coverage to win a popularity contest but to get answers for our fans who spend money on the Post and see a small article buried at the back of the sports section and usually only for home games and ask questions.
I feel it's important for fans reading my blog to get the writers take why this team is being covered as it has been in the New York Post. I let him know up front I intended to blog with his response here and see no reason why this should not be printed when as fans we are looking for answers.
Which is why it is my call to print my e-mail and his response word for word.
What can I say about Mr Martin's response?
When I see a game preview that's two paragraphs for the New York Islanders I think we as fans are entitled to an explanation as to what's behind that decision. I have written countless times the writer reports on the team his editor tells him to cover and provides him the print/blog space. I'm not blaming Mr Martin for the lack of space given because it is not his decision.
Having written that Mr Martin did not answer to a Post blog to supplement Islander coverage and told us the Devils success in the standings is why long-time beat writer Mark Everson has dedicated Devils coverage and the Islanders do not.
I personally disagree with this and question how an Islander team that made the playoffs last season and have been to four of the last five playoffs never hired a full time replacement for Mr Grossman or at least provided space for a professional writer to blog on the team to supplement the coverage or has not had a small measure of success. Given the reports we have been told about increased attendance and television ratings close to two hundred percent higher I would think that is a good reason to allow a full time coverage and a blog in the Post.
I also think it's a fair point to make low Ranger national ratings here and a team that has trailed the Islanders most of the season until this week has not seen a cut in their coverage and neither have the Devils who the Islanders are 5-0 against and did lead them for a few months earlier.
I feel my questions were fair and so is this response.