What a Tangled Web They Weave
On January 14 I posted an article titled, “Baseball and Blogs.” Among other subjects, I wrote about how major league baseball organizations continue to give near-monopolistic preference to mainstream media such as newspapers while ignoring, if not disdaining, Web sites and blogs.
I noted that, with subscriptions declining, newspapers are struggling to find a way to survive in the Internet era, somehow trying to find a balance between electronic and print media while those of us who’ve been on the Web all along are still treated as if we don’t exist — or, even worse, as a threat.
Which is why I was quite amused by an article in the Business section of today’s Los Angeles Times.
“The Times Shifts Its Focus to Web” was the article’s title.
I encourage you to read the entire article, but here are the most interesting excepts:
Los Angeles Times Editor James E. O’Shea unveiled a major initiative Wednesday to combine operations of the newspaper and its Internet site — a change he said was crucial to ensuring that The Times remains a premier news outlet.
O’Shea employed dire statistics on declining print advertising revenue to urge The Times’ 940 journalists to throw off a "bunker mentality" and view latimes.com as the paper’s primary vehicle for delivering news.
In his first significant action since becoming editor in mid-November, O’Shea said he would create the position of editor for innovation and launch a crash course for journalists to push ahead the melding of the newspaper and its website.
O’Shea named Business Editor Russ Stanton to the innovation post and said the "Internet 101" course would teach reporters, editors and photographers to become "savvy multimedia journalists," able to enhance their writing with audio and video reports. He emphasized the need for speed in reforming an operation that he called "woefully behind" the competition.
Forgive me for laughing.
FutureAngels.com is part of that competition they’re "woefully behind." I’ve been posting audio interviews since 1999, and video highlight clips since 2002. Not to mention doing all the photos too, this blog I started three months ago, and the podcast that debuted last week.
And that’s just me. Alone.
Despite all that, I and other Web sites are treated by major league teams’ Media Relations as non-entities or threats to the established order. Yet here’s the Times trying to train their scribes to be not just reporters, but also how to file audio and video files.
You can bet the Angels Media Relations will make sure to help the Times try to file their webcasts, while those of us who’ve been doing it for years will continue to be shunned.
It just drips with irony.
Don’t get me wrong. I applaud O’Shea for making a bold move to take the Times into the 21st Century. I hope he turns around the paper. The reporting is light-years beyond the Orange County Register. But at the same time, it seems to be a tacit admission that FutureAngels.com and other Web sites have been on the right track all these years. Yet Major League Baseball continues to shun us.
Anyway, I recommend you read the article, and the entire text of O’Shea’s address to the Times staff.
This article is copyright © 2007 Wordsmith Resources and FutureAngels.com. It may not be used elsewhere without the prior expressed written permission of the author.