Surviving Tabloid Professionalism Journalism 101

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/11/2011 07:38:00 PM |

Sadly for those interested in quality professional hockey coverage, there is not much out there these days.

Consider this the NYIFC guide to surviving tabloid professional journalism 101.

The best advice NYIFC can offer is find the tiny hometown papers, that have been covering a particular player since they were growing up, a year ago there were some great features on Tavares/Weight.

The News Pictou County, Nova Scotia: Is again providing that high level of quality coverage for Jon Sim/Colin White, Play the Pros, which includes Andrew MacDonald/Joey MacDonald.

The Standard: Has such an article where Ryan Strome is quoted.

Ty Wishart had a great interview like that this summer NYIFC linked to.

This is where you get the best interviews, those outlets do not need Youtube/worthless pictures to hide a lack of knowledge or outright laziness the large outlets do.

Beyond that even the dwindling professional media is mostly tabloid now. That means you have to exercise some good judgment, read through the editor/writer agenda and go directly to the quotes.

Bottom line you take the Canadian shock-jock media's view on the New York Islanders and twenty nine other teams as worthless. Same for a lot of lazy US media, even in New York where hockey is off the radar.

Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch is a good example of what's wrong with NHL media, any mention of the Islanders brings out the worst in him, but the team on his beat is treated like gold, despite horrible on-ice results/off-ice decisions?

For NYIFC that is not displaying professionalism. One rule fits all teams, even the beat-writers daily team.

Most professional outlets are entirely about throwing anything against the wall hoping for something to stick for page views. The writers real game is keep a paycheck (or get promoted to a higher volume assignment) by selling the teams who's ownerships/media departments can make or break them in advertising dollars.

Most media barely follow the teams closest to them well enough to provide anything of value, so their discussion of other teams has been reduced to tabloid journalism.

Sadly, people like Pat Hickey in Montreal, George Vecsey at the Times, no longer work the beat and their extremely rare articles no longer seem interested in doing any homework.

It's kind of like our little chats with Scott Cullen.

5/4/10 Tsn Scott Cullen's Sloppy Isles Report/Quick Hits & 5/4/11 Getting A Head Start Correcting Scott Cullen's Mistakes.

Personally, it's disappointing.

Scott Cullen:
Man games lost to injury does not tell the story of the Islanders.

600+ man games lost starting with Streit, Okposo, Weight Hunter, MacDonald a significant part of story.

Scott Cullen:
Weight & Hunter not very significant. Season lost by the time MacDonald hurt. Streit matters, half season for Okposo too.

Season already lost by Oct 26th with NY 4-1-2 in first place when MacDonald broke his hand and was sidelined until Dec 2nd?

Scott Cullen:
Yep, that's obviously what I'm referring to. You write your Islanders articles; I'll write mine.

That lack of knowledge and information makes them tune out (or get nasty) because they are so busy/lazy they do not dig too deep.

Alexei Kovalev may be many things on the ice, however his comments on media coverage were spot on. The Ottawa media could not handle the same criticism they are quick to dish out.

If the same Ottawa media called out Alfredsson, Sens media and advertising department would on the telephone or threatening to withhold advertising revenue which hurts the paper and gets the writer in hot water.

Different players, different agenda.

That's why some papers go off at other franchises but not the players who pay the bills and are generally salesman for the team/paper.

We all know some teams are outright owned by news outlets, good luck getting honest reporting about those teams when they lose.

Of course, the New York Islanders do not have a single professional media entity outside of their website, telling their story properly beyond a few rare articles.

This makes our team one of the biggest targets, no media will fight to correct incorrect information, not even on other teams getting taxpayer stadiums locally.

That means it's up to each of us to exercise good judgment in what we read.
Good luck.