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Thread: Annual Rant Against the Spokesman-Review

  1. #1
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    Default Annual Rant Against the Spokesman-Review

    We Lady Zag fans are really pretty lucky.

    More and more of our home games (and occasional games against the Big Sky) are televised by our local TV stations, so we can avoid the dreaded WCC streaming service.

    The Spokesman-Review, at least for home games, publishes relatively large articles on our Lady Zags and publishes fantastic pictures on their web site for us fans to enjoy. Has anybody else tried to find articles on games in the local papers for other WCC Wbb teams? Typically, a line score or a sentence or two, rarely an entire article. The Deseret and Salt Lake City Tribune(?) are a couple of notable (or occasional) exceptions. The S-R does a great job on the Lady Zag coverage of home games.

    So why the rant? In a word, at least some measure of equality.

    Take today's Spokesman-Review Sports Section as an example. GU Mbb playing mid-pack USF team in San Francisco.
    - Lead Story on Front Page of Sports Section - GU Mbb - "Zags Come Up Clutch" by Jim Meehan complete with picture.
    - Page 7 - Entirely devoted to GU Mbb including rest of Meehan's Story, a 2nd story (with picture) by Vince Grippi, + 3 Keys to the Game and a Stat Line.

    Great coverage on the GU Mbb team. I don't begrudge the coverage of the GU Mbb team at all, they have earned it. However...…

    What does the Spokesman-Review typically give the GU Wbb fans when the Lady Zags are on the road?
    - A copy of the AP story (& unattributed staff reports) of the game located on page 3 or 4 of the sports section. Nothing by a S-R staff sports columnist. Are the S-R sports columnists too busy to at least watch the Lady Zag's away games or at least a recorded version of the game and write their own copy? They do it for the GU Mbb, is it asking too much to do it for the GU Wbb?

    - Pictures, forget about it. The S-R does not even write their own articles, let alone obtain any pictures of the game.

    Jim Allen does a really good job overall, but we Lady Zag fans deserve much better coverage of our favorite Wbb team for away games.

    Hey S-R, it is the 2020's really need to get with the program and bring the coverage of the away lady zag Wbb games closer (not necessarily equal but that would be nice) to the coverage you give the GU Mbb team for their away games.

    ZagDad

  2. #2
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    Circulation-down; Advertising down; Sports staff-down; Newsroom-down. It probably won't happen in my lifetime, but it won't surprise many if newspapers in the printed form disappear entirely. Jim Allen, who covers the GU women, is also responsible for K-12 education. I am still a 7 day subscriber to the Review but I don't know many who are. That is a part of the problem, aka MONEY!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Section 116 View Post
    Circulation-down; Advertising down; Sports staff-down; Newsroom-down. It probably won't happen in my lifetime, but it won't surprise many if newspapers in the printed form disappear entirely. Jim Allen, who covers the GU women, is also responsible for K-12 education. I am still a 7 day subscriber to the Review but I don't know many who are. That is a part of the problem, aka MONEY!
    Understand perfectly.

    I am a part-time subscriber (Wed, Thur & Sun) but considering going back to full time.

    But if you can afford two (2) sports reporters covering the Zag Mbb and a part-time (only covers home games) one covering the Wbb, why can't you have one on the Mbb and one on the Wbb.

    Not necessarily trying to add coverage (cost), but trying to get some sort of equal coverage between the teams.

    ZagDad

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    It could be worse. You could live in Seattle where half of the sports page is dedicated to the Seahawks, EVERY DAMN DAY, 365 days a year. I would've thought they had run out of words to print about the Hawks by now...but nope, every day there are articles and analysis and projections or just blathering about nothing.

    We get a daily paper, but probably gonna let the subscription expire next time. Daily is $1.50, that's what the Sunday edition used to be. And there just isn't much content. Pay more, get less, doesn't make sense. They'll probably have to keep upping the price as they lose subscribers, so it's just a vicious circle. I agree w/ above, print media is dying. I could foresee eventually there just being a few major newspapers--Washington Post, NY Times, maybe a few others. Everybody else will fold.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seacatfan View Post
    It could be worse. You could live in Seattle where half of the sports page is dedicated to the Seahawks, EVERY DAMN DAY, 365 days a year. I would've thought they had run out of words to print about the Hawks by now...but nope, every day there are articles and analysis and projections or just blathering about nothing.
    Yup,

    I know that we are really very lucky with the S-R and TV coverage we do get and don't want to seem unappreciative of the effort it takes to provide that. We are grateful for the on-going coverage we do get, which is certainly a lot more than many, many women's BB and other sport's teams get.

    Just looking at the Mbb and Wbb boards, the Wbb board has only 10% of the Mbb board number of posts and posters (I am working on it - keeping up the fight). In discussions on the Mbb there are some Mbb posters who would just as soon eliminate all women's sports than have to watch them. I am sure this mentality extends over the S-R readership to some degree. There certainly are more posters and I assume more S-R readers that are interested in Mbb and maybe not in Wbb. Fair enough.

    That being said, the disparity in away game coverage between Zag Mbb and Zag Wbb is "huge" and certainly, could be more equally distributed, hence my annual rant.

    ZagDad

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZagDad84 View Post
    Yup,

    I know that we are really very lucky with the S-R and TV coverage we do get and don't want to seem unappreciative of the effort it takes to provide that. We are grateful for the on-going coverage we do get, which is certainly a lot more than many, many women's BB and other sport's teams get.

    Just looking at the Mbb and Wbb boards, the Wbb board has only 10% of the Mbb board number of posts and posters (I am working on it - keeping up the fight). In discussions on the Mbb there are some Mbb posters who would just as soon eliminate all women's sports than have to watch them. I am sure this mentality extends over the S-R readership to some degree. There certainly are more posters and I assume more S-R readers that are interested in Mbb and maybe not in Wbb. Fair enough.

    That being said, the disparity in away game coverage between Zag Mbb and Zag Wbb is "huge" and certainly, could be more equally distributed, hence my annual rant.

    ZagDad
    I hear ya. ESPN has made great improvement, but yeah generally there is a lot less coverage of women's sports and bb specifically, than men's. And most sports fans are fine with that, thus the reason it is so. For those of us that do enjoy wcbb and other sports, we'll have to accept what we get I guess.

  7. #7
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    As Section 116 said in so many words, print journalism is dying. The Seattle Post Intelligencer went totally to the web a few years ago, and I wouldn't be surprised to see our local paper do the same thing in a few years. Due to costs, I'm now down to a print subscription four days a week. I've been involved in high school ball for nearly 40 years. When I started dealing with the newspaper back then, they would await the calls from the various schools for the box score information, and double check it. Multiple reporters covered prep sports, they're now down to one, who has to cover everything, and one man can only do so much.

    The Review is one of the few papers that still cover high school basketball box scores, listing field goals, free throws, and three pointers made. Most papers today just list the point totals. A major change in the past few years is the rise of Scorebook Live, which gives the paper immediate electronic coverage of the games, eclipsing the reporting to the paper from the official scorebook kept at the game. Scorebook Live is only as good as whoever is doing the job at the school. If you look closely at the totals, they sometimes don't add up to the final score listed. Also, no one is keeping game by game individual scoring any longer. In past years, the scoring race would be highlighted through the season. Last year, the final totals never were shown. I kept a tally of my own, and Quincy McDeid of North Central became the first girl from that school to ever top the GSL in scoring. I doubt she even knew that, as it was never reported. Anton Watson, of course, led the boys' totals.

    Times, they are a changing in all aspects of life, and not always for the best, be it culturally, politically, or in sports reporting, especially on the local level. I do believe the S/R is doing the best they can with their limited resources, but I really do miss the old days.

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    It occurred to me if we wanted the definitive answer regarding the Spokesman-Reviews coverage of Gonzaga men's basketball vs. Gonzaga women's basketball, why not go to the guy most likely to know. So I contacted the Spokesman-Review's Jim Allen who covers the GU women, and asked him how the Spokesman-Review decides who gets what coverage and how much. To Jim's credit I received a prompt and honest reply. Here is his response:



    Thanks for writing, and also for directing me to the message board. I do look at it every few days, but didn't see this conversation until your email.

    Good points from everyone, the best being yours (I assume) about dwindling resources at newspapers.

    That's quite true, and it's worse than most people realize.

    Twenty years ago, the Spokesman-Review newsroom had 161 employees. Today we have 62, and only 4 1/2-time sportswriters (I'm the 1/2, as I also cover K-12 education). We also have several correspondents.

    With fewer resources we have to make tough decisions based on reader interest, which means that WSU football and GU men's basketball will get heavier coverage.

    I've tried to do the best I can to manage my time, but we can only do so much. I work well over 40 hours a week during the season

    That said, we have staff bylines on 16 out of 23 women's games so far, compared with 21 out of 24 for the men (we couldn't afford to send Jim Meehan to the Bahamas tournament).

    However, I can understand the frustration over lack of coverage for road games, and I will see what we can do on that front.

    At the same time, I will forward your letter to our editors.

    Best regards,

    Jim

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    Good job Section 116.

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    Thanks Section 116,

    ZagDad

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    I don't know if anybody else noticed, but the Pacific-Gonzaga Wbb post game review in the Spokesman-Review was written by Jim Allen, not the typical "AP with staff reports" coverage we have gotten in the past. The game review was much more complete and was obviously done by somebody who is very familiar with the Lady Zag team.

    I personally sent Jim Allen an e-mail, thanking him for ensuring that our lady zags got a very good write-up on their away games and appreciated the effort that he took. He responded and said that the remainder of the Lady Zag away games would receive the same level of coverage.

    Thanks Section for involving Jim in this process and reminding us all, that simple complaining is insufficient to effect change. Take it directly to the person involved and ask him (or her) to see if they can look into making some improvements.

    If you get a minute, take some time and drop Jim Allen an e-mail (jima@spokesman.com) or call him at (509) 459-5437 and thank him for the improved coverage of our Lady Zag away games.

    ZagDad

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