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Professional athletes are hiring their own beat writers

Dec 5, 2012, 9:40 AM EDT

press hat

Newspapers are dying and professional sports leagues are taking it upon themselves to break news rather than talking to the pesky press.  In light of that, what’s to become of Johnny Sportswriter? Why, covering individual athletes! From a recent story in the Wall Street Journal about the Brooklyn Nets Deron Williams:

By all appearances, Deron Williams has enjoyed the trappings of life as an NBA superstar … For most human beings, this would be enough. Not Williams, whose wide-ranging list of accomplishments and assets includes something extraordinary, unique even among pro athletes: He employs his own team of beat writers. Their mission? Spread the gospel of D-Will on his website, DeronWilliams.com.

Seriously: Williams employs his own beat writer to provide daily news updates on his website. Granted, its run by Williams and his agents/managers, so it’s not like this is “news” as we know it, but it is different than, say, an athlete updating social media sites or a publicist offering press releases. These are bylined stories that read like newspaper reports.

We live in a world where the message is being increasingly sculpted, crafted and controlled, even when the news goes out through independent media. In light of that, it’s not necessarily shocking that such a thing is happening, even if it is somewhat depressing.  I would not be at all surprised if we see several other athletes following suit soon and, eventually, this becoming the new normal.

 

 

  1. Kevin Gillman - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    Lebron James brought Brian Windhorst with him when he moved to Miami, to sort of be his goodwill beat writer. He is working for ESPN.

  2. yankeesgameday - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    I dont know why they still let reporters in locker rooms at all anymore. We all know they ask the same questions over and over and that athletes are trained to answer them with pat generalizations “we left it all on the field” etc.

    Why not take the 10 most common.questions and put them on a sheet for the manager and five player reps to fill out after each game and then have them each reference one play from that game they thought was important and have the answers posted on their website with 2 hours of the end of the game and be done with it?

    It’s all the same old unoriginal stories anyway. Beat writers can still provide narratives and maybe they’ll go the extra mile and provide some real analysis instead of relying on the sane boring quote to the same boring question.

    The good writers will still succeed and the hacks will be proven ad such.

  3. Lukehart80 - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    I look forward to the day when athletes’ personal beat writers get a Hall of Fame vote!

  4. Jeremiah Graves - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    Someone get me Lew Ford’s phone number, STAT!!

    I’ll work for pennies. I’ll work for free. Hell, I’ll pay him to let me be his personal beat writer.

    LEEEEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!

  5. hushbrother - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    I don’t think tis will become the new norm in baseball. In the NBA, maybe, where everything about it is a freak show, and possibly the NFL, but not MLB. It could never happen here.

  6. lewp - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    Someone get me Josh Hamilton’s phone number, STAT!!

    OK, maybe just Craig’s number. I could enjoy hanging out in nashville myself!

  7. sportsdrenched - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    Who is Deron Williams?

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 5, 2012 at 1:50 PM

      Pedro, is that you??

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 5, 2012 at 1:52 PM

      maybe he knows Kareem Garcia……………

      Pedro(sitting under a mango tree)

  8. theotherfamousamos - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    This is not a new trend. Back in 1998-2001 during the bubble, athletes and coaches did this when they all thought having their own web site would make them rich. A friend of mine covered Minnesota Vikings games at the time and he told me that in the press box, there were something like 8-10 seats reserved for the “beat writers” for Dennisgreen.com.

  9. montethecolorman - Dec 5, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    What’s the big deal? Those @KingJames tweets aren’t going to write themselves…

  10. agelardi - Dec 5, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    Shouldn’t this have been posted in ProBasketballTalk?

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 5, 2012 at 1:49 PM

      crap is crap no matter where it is located.

  11. fanofevilempire - Dec 5, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Have you seen the crap these so called sports reporters put out.

  12. marshallnbrown - Dec 8, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    They’re not reporters any more, they’re not even beat writers, who adhere to “homer” journalism… they are press agents.

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