I had the opportunity Thursday to make a guest appearance for Frank Shorr's Sports Journalism class at Boston University to talk about media criticism.
Thanks to Ken Fang of Fang's Bites, who wasn't able to make it and referred me over to Frank.
At first I wasn't sure if I'd go or not, but made the decision that it could be a good opportunity for me.
I got the chance to meet Keith Thibault of the Sports Media Journal as he was the other guest.
I'm so glad there was two of us. It beat being drilled with questions upon questions for two straight hours.
I'll be honest, I'm not sure if I was perhaps the best guest of the topic chosen. If I had to grade myself on my performance I'd have to give myself either a C+ or a B-.
It's been over a month since I've posted here on my blog. At the beginning of September I started a Boston Bruins blog for MassLive.com, the online home of The Republican in Springfield, Mass. Since starting that, I haven't had time to update Batter-up with Bruno much. I could, but I wouldn't really have much of a social life.
Because it's been a while, I was a bit rusty with the whole "media criticism" and I'll admit I wasn't fully prepared with the firing of questions. Some, I didn't even know how to answer and it was apparent, but I did the best I possibly could.
What I should have done was read my Top 10 posts/stories of 2009. This would have been perfect, but Frank told me just to show up and I didn't need to prepare anything. Boy wish I didn't listen to him (no offense Frank!) and I should have known better.
I did talk about The Boston Globe and its possible shutdown in April of 2009 dragging all the way until June and mentioned some media movement with Mike Reiss leaving to join ESPNBoston, perhaps the biggest blow to the Globe. But I failed to even mention Chris Forsberg, who in my eyes started the whole high school sports video craze. Boston.com was first and now everyone is trying to copy them including ESPNBoston who launched its High School Sports page over the summer.
Another person I failed to mention was Boston Red Sox beat writer Gordon Edes. He left the Globe joined Yahoo! Sports to be the National Baseball Writer, then came back as the Red Sox beat reporter when ESPNBoston was launched. Clearly, he missed covering the Sox.
I'm not sure what the students thought of me, but I think some might have been taken back when I expressed my disliking of the sports tabloid website Deadspin. Wish I said it like that last night, "sports tabloid website."
Keith backed me up, but that was eminent. I think the students were expecting me to praise the site because of my age and the new movement of sports journalism, but I honestly cannot stands those sites. Deadspin, Sports by Brooks (yes now I'm awake), those are all about hit counts.
Boston Sports Media Watch, Fangs Bites, those are legit and clean (and completely different styled sites) and I visit them quite often.
So I'm sorry, not all 20-something-year-olds love tabloid sports websites. I'll admit I am old-school in some ways, like when I briefly mentioned about newspapers dying off. I like to hold the news in my hand and I'm not talking about on an iPad. I said sometimes it's easier having the newspaper to find certain content than on the site. I think it'd be devastating if say, 20 years from now, everything would only be accessible on the web.
Unfortunately this really can't happen unless poverty doesn't exist anymore, which will never happen. You still need newspapers and media guides, and books. If the world were to have a blackout and everything was digitized, we'd be in a lot of trouble.
Anyways I'll conclude with this. If Frank Shorr's class ever has a discussion about why or why not newspapers will eventually die off and only be accessible online, I'd love to come back and debate why they cannot die off. I couldn't imagine not having my town newspaper (which gave me the opportunity to get into the industry only as a senior in high school) let alone The Republican, The Boston Globe, and even the Boston Herald. How would inspiring journalists start off? You have the work your way up. No one just starts working for ESPN, NESN, the Globe, The New York Times, etc. and I'm not sure if some of Frank's students understand this since I wasn't able to really take that argument that far.
But I'm glad I was able to be a part of last night's discussion and I hope I wasn't disappointing to anyone. There were a few students who didn't look too engaged, but that happens everywhere unfortunately.