Constructive Criticism

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/26/2008 02:22:00 PM | | | | |
Point Blank: Chris Botta did an e-mail interview with Greg Logan which he put on his blog several questions and answers about the teams beat.

It's only appropriate a blog that puts the media coverage of our team under the spotlight responds and asks the tough questions.

First let me write going into this that Greg Logan is not the sports editor at Newsday in control of how much space the team is permitted or what the sports department decides to give him in terms of coverage space. As I have written several times he's not required to be a New York Islander fan as part of his job which unfortunately for our fans seems very apparent and given his long experience no writer can be fans of every subject they are assigned.

Mr Logan responded to Mr Botta and wrote:
I feel an even stronger obligation to the fans to provide as much information as possible because I sense how much they are relying on Newsday for insight.

New York Islander Fan Central strongly disagrees with this statement.

When Steve Zipay writes triple the blogs Mr Logan does most days and dresses up the Ranger page at Newsday with links and information (which he said he was able to do) while a team with Four Stanley Cups and this clubs incredible history is not even a footnote and who's team page looks terrible. I disagree he does any more than what's required of him by his job description.

Newsday's Ranger page is even linked to the Hartford Wolfpack coverage while the best writer in the AHL at the Ct Post in Michael Fornabaio's work is not featured on the Islander page.

I'm also highly skeptical Newsday's Islander blog cost Mr Logan or the sports editor anything more than time it takes to write it at a small price. I have seen a marginal improvement in this regard since the Canada road trip with a blog appearing around 5pm most days but it's nothing close to the blanket coverage Mr Zipay is providing from morning skates to in game and even some post-game blogs.

I'm also not a big fan of Mr Logan's statement this teams beat needed rebuilding considering Alan Hahn for most of his time had an infrequent mailbag that Mr Logan has not been provided and that the Islanders occupy a special place on Long Island as if the club does not occupy a special place in New York?

If the Giants occupy a special place in Newsday coverage and play in the New Jersey Meadowlands perhaps Mr Logan would care to acknowledge the large Islander contingent at the Meadowlands and the Garden for games mandates a priority?

Given Mr Botta was critical of Alan Hahn on the club's website in March of 2006 for some comments about Mike Milbury, it's fair to speculate Newsday's relationship with the club was not good for a short time but I have seen nothing different in terms of space provided since the previous writer moved onto the Knicks beat. Come playoff time on Mr Hahn's beat you saw blanket Islander coverage so I'm a little unsure what Mr Logan felt needed to be rebuilt between Newsday and the fans?

Mr Logan wrote:
But from Day 1 on this beat, I recognized how much passion was out there waiting to be tapped. I checked the fan Web sites to get a sense of what issues concerned Islanders fans not only in relation to the team but to the coverage of the team as well. If you go back and check the first two blogs I ever wrote on Islanders Beat, I let everyone know my experience with the Islanders dynasty of the past to assure them of my appreciation for the history of this franchise, and then, I promised in the second blog to do what I could to expand coverage of the Islanders. I followed through by taking a different approach with the blog to supplement coverage in the paper with what amounted to full-length articles on a variety of subjects on the blog. The feedback I've received from the fans has been overwhelmingly positive, and 90 percent of the criticism has been constructive. I consider my relationship with Islanders fans to be a vital part of the job. We're not always going to agree on the issues, but we're going to keep the conversation going and I believe the coverage has responded, in many cases, by attempting to answer the fans' most pressing questions..

It's absolutely true Mr Logan's blog updates are like full articles and far longer than Mr Zipay's shorter blogs where he provides several frequent updates. Having written that Islander fans still go days between updates and longer blogs should not mean less blogs. I have seen no increased expansion in print from Mr Hahn's or even John Valenti's tenure on the beat and I see nothing special from Mr Logan in terms of making up for what the city beats are not providing in his space which he seems to have no interest in doing which may be unfair of me to ask but should be suggested.

What I have also seen is no Johnette Howard, Joe Gergen, Shawn Powell coverage with only Mark Herrmann when he's not subbing for Mr Logan doing additional features for major events.

Also for Mr Logan to make light of the fact Giants coverage only eliminates the Islander notebook means it only eliminated about fifty percent of the coverage which is a very big deal and suggests he does not have a good grasp of how important more coverage is necessary for this team to draw attention which sells tickets and increases revenue which attracts free agents. Given Mr Logan at times has written about the club's viability in this market he should be the first to tell us coverage is critical and losing fifty percent for even a few days is a very big deal.

All I can add to this is what I have been writing all along. This team needs a passionate Islander fan in the beat at Newsday. Just like you see John Dellapina, Sam Weinman, Larry Brooks after their team plays games whether it be positive or critical because winning and losing does matter for them as fans.

Greg Logan has written two passionate things to me all season. First was his comments about Chris Simon being suspended, second was traveling to Edmonton from Colorado.

Not personal on my part but constructive criticism that does have to be written or I would not be doing my part as someone writing about this teams media coverage and looking to see it expanded.

As for Newsday's sports editor there is no excuse that can be made for the paper not being in Atlanta to cover Rick DiPietro at the all-star game. We will see a stock feature Sunday in Newsday.

We will not see Islander-centric coverage.