Final State of Islanders Media: Time for Changes

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/20/2009 10:00:00 AM |
I guess we will call this entry Final State of Islanders Media as we look forward without NYIFC.

I only consider the print media a credible source of information with Mr Botta
now in that mix only because he worked for the Islanders over twenty years.

I do not agree with a lot of what's presented by the print media these days and the quality is not very good but I respect that whatever is written is professional and that sets it apart.

Caveat Emptor beyond that.

We are at a point where anyone writing anything anywhere for some is considered a credible hockey source because they read it on a blog/website/whatever.

New York Islander Fan Central falls in that later category.

You see folks now on sites with credentials that are at best spotty and because they were given space (enough have asked me to write for them also) and we like to read we accept anything presented as fact.

It's tough out there for our fans when most of the professional writers who occasionally write about the Islanders can only name the 1999 team but not the 2009 version and throw things against the wall just as filler. You get these people from SI or THN and it's obvious they don't watch the games.

You see this level of reporting and wonder how much worse it can get and start reading anything you can find.

I understand why many fans go in that direction but my advice is do not go that way or read it for what it is but do not take what's presented as fact.

It's not.

NYIFC is not a member of the PHWA, you visit here for the same reason you visit other hockey non-professional sites, what I have written here is my perception and not professional.

I only hope moving forward you can tell the difference. I pull no punches and only had the New York Islanders best interest and fair coverage for the team in mind.

Caveat Emptor.
*********************************************************************
With regard to the Professional Media:

At some point Cablevision will go subscription-only with Newsday, life goes on.

New York Islanders at the very least deserve a beatwriter in Newsday who works at least as hard as Steve Zipay does for his team.

My personal take is it's time for Newsday to hire a new beatwriter for our team and Greg Logan to move on to his next assignment.

It's sad that Mr Logan does barely the minimum for the only paper with a full time blog for our team while Steve Zipay puts in the time with a lot of entries. A lot of his updates are long ones and he does more chats while Newsday does more live game blogs for Mr Zipay's beat.

The only time Mr Logan picks up his pace is when it's time to quote anonymous players
or air the lockeroom's dirt which is fine but we do not see that with the Cablevision owned teams and we do not see the same work put into hyping up the team for individual accomplishments.

That does not even count Mr Herrmann's so-called NHL, Islander, Ranger blog that runs about eight to two in favor of his favorite local team.

My advice to everyone would be simply just read the quotes and understand the people asking the questions have their own motivations and for our team it's just a paycheck and an assignment for Greg Logan who is not a life-long Islander fan like many other hockey writers covering teams.

This does not make Mr Logan a poor writer or Hank Winnicki a poor sports editor, but it is what it is because it's someone simply doing his assigned job who is not required to be a big time fan of the club or should be obligated to be.

A lot of NHL teams in this league have Newspaper writers passionate about their beat and treat their team as a public trust, our team deserves no less.

Greg Logan is not the right person for that level of New York Islander coverage and he never will be.

Unfortunately I suspect coverage at Newsday will not be improving for the New York Islanders and the hardest work by the staff I suspect will be on dishing the teams dirt or when the paper is not given full access/disclosure as we saw when the staff went harder on the Islanders about the NHL injury policy than any media in the league here.

If they covered the club as hard as they went after the injury policy there would not be a problem.

My advice is if you must read the articles concentrate on the quotes, understand some/many questions are meant to stir the pot and that all teams are not covered the same when teams are owned by a paper. The Islanders are covered with the glass half-empty, the Knicks-Rangers with the glass half filled.

It was that way before Cablevision bought Newsday too, it will only get worse.

Maybe if the Islanders do draft John Tavares it will force regular game coverage from the city media again. Hopefully at some point a newspaper will hire a few Islander fans who will tell the teams story and not pull punches but also be there to hype up the team when merited.

What would you have me write about Dan Martin at the Post, Peter Botte at the Daily News or the two/three articles the Times allowed Dave Caldwell to write?

Their print space was limited, most days the coverage was not very good or made no effort to tell us something we did not know already and I could never get an answer as to why their editors would not let them watch games and blog afterward but I tried behind the scenes. Mr Martin had more from DiPietro than Newsday. The Islanders have no one better than Mr Botte in the print media with the experience to tell this teams story best and unfortunately we did not get nearly enough.

The Islanders:
For the Islander organization it's their team, their coverage and it's up to them to get their message to the public or deal with the consequences which means less tickets sold and less people telling their story.

If the revenue is there to show the coach and players being questioned by the media on occasion they should have every second available for the fans so no one misses a thing and we do not have to guess what the exchange is with the media.

In 2008-09 the Islanders did a terrible job not showing Scott Gordon meet the media daily at practice or putting up the full press conference after games beyond CJ Papa/Stan Fischler softball questions. Chris King and Steve Mears video from practice was cut or eliminated during the season but we see highlights of games for kids teams on the Islanders website?

Mr Botta or any blog should never be a substitute for the teams website.

The pregame/postgame website coverage was worthless all season. Why was a broadcaster's blog added and why did Mr Witt not update more? Chris King and Steve Mears used to update regularly.

The Long Island label stamped on virtually everything this franchise puts out is doing a lot of media damage. You want an outdoor game in New York and city media coverage on television/radio start acting like a New York team with the advertising and drop the Long Island campaign for the final time.

This is as misguided as the Giants and Jets demanding they be recognized as only New Jersey and media walking away from them.

The logo and team name says New York, Islander fans are in all three local arena's, start acting like a New York based franchise.

It's killing this team in the media and providing an excuse for media to do so.

Msg:
Msg was a nightmare in every area and as long as they own the broadcast rights it's only going to get worse. When you cannot get summer or live coverage when a new coach is hired, a pregame or even preseason games on the internet for days because Msg does not want competition (every Ranger preseason game was on TV) there is little else to write aside from this is the non-sense we don't see written about when low ratings come out for the club and Neil Best defends not giving the club more coverage.

If I owned a team's broadcast rights, hid them year round of course the ratings would be poor, that's the idea behind paying so much for the rights. The media does the rest to justify less coverage after that.

Mr Botta's Point Blank:
I do not agree with about half the things Mr Botta writes at Point Blank but he works very hard for the fans and that's the kind of passionate coverage the team needs a lot more of.

I wish he would be as quick to call out local media coverage as he did when he worked for the team or when Mr Logan this season pointed out he has a team sponsored blog but that's his choice.

No matter what at some point writing what he thinks will offend someone, it's his space and he has to make the best call.

Either way I hope he continues to write his blog and the team continues to sponsor it. He was always a class act with me and a pleasure.

I only hope the team adds to what he's doing with more professional writers.


The Blog Box:

From where I sit the Islanders need about four more professional media folks in the same capacity Mr Botta is in now whether it be hiring them from Newspapers cutting staff or how Craig Custance in SI/Pierre LeBrun Espn changed from media to websites that cover hockey.

I emphasize the words professional media. Michael Fornabaio who does a great job at the Ct Post is the professional media, NYIFC is not the professional media.

Full time which means they go on the road with to write what they want and full access just like the folks with Newspaper credentials.

This will only push the print media to do more, they cannot do much less. Mr Botta's work has forced Mr Logan to work a little harder, a box full of professional media team sponsored will demand ever harder work from the print media to keep up or at the very least provide more details of a story.

The Islanders no longer need a blog box program with amateur writers doing a few updates when they can now that. They have Mr Botta and his brand of coverage, they should simply add to that with several professional team sponsored blogs moving forward.

Perhaps they should create/keep a side page of folks who want to link their amateur blogs on the Islanders website but the blog box had it's time and served it's purpose.

The Isles (Mr Botta/Mr Witt) were first class with this blog and at the end of year one they took my advice to add as many blogs as possible.

Now it's time for changes again. This should all be about what we can do for the Islanders, not the other way around.

It's also about the best coverage they can find to tell the teams story, if they can add Mr Botta they can add more professional hockey media.






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