If you arenâ€™t aware that certain forms of traditional mass media are being threatened by the internet, then you must be one of the goons we in the field are worried will become oblivious to all local news at the expense of nationalized, marginalized, partisan sources.
In other words, you arenâ€™t paying attention. The fingers and rapid-fire thoughts that lead us to Web sites tend to lead us to obvious ones. CNN.com for news, ESPN.com for sports, YouTube for stupid videos, MSNBC.com and Foxnews.com for partisan BS.
Be afraid: The thought of not knowing local politics is a heady problem your professors fret about daily.
Be real: The thought of not knowing local sports is just pathetic, you two-bit pansy.
Think of watching football on ESPN. You might be a Falcons fan (you should be, anyway) and yet you have to watch highlights and analysis of every team in the league. And as my Dad says, â€œI donâ€™t give a crap about the Seahawks.â€
College football is worse. 120 FBS teams plus 120 FCS teams means about 120 games each week with about 20,000 players on the collective roster. And yet 95 percent of ESPNâ€™s coverage is of USC, Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Boise State, and Our Lord and Savior Tim Tebow.
â€œOy! Whereâ€™s Ryan Mathews, the nationâ€™s leading rusher? Where Carr pt. 2? What about the man with the â€˜stache? What about my team!?â€
And thus, from the least likely of sources, Disneyâ€™s evil empire offers a solution. About two months ago they started launching local sites. ESPNBoston.com, ESPNChicago.com, ESPNMiami.com, etc. If the model is successful other cities should see their names follow the infamous letters, and one glorious day there may be an ESPNFresno.com
In journalism, as in other things, the saying goes â€œThink globally, act locally.â€ There could be no more textbook an example of this. Think globally (ESPN) act locally (your city).
It may be scary to think of one company having a monopoly on both the national sports picture (as it already does) and the local sports picture. But it isnâ€™t as far-fetched as it may seem, as three companies now own virtually every newspaper in the United States.
Thatâ€™s right, fellow ectomorphic nerdy journalists, the promised land may be coming. If this idea works, local coverage will never die, and you might live your dream of working for the Worldwide Leader in Sports.
(But no, you wonâ€™t get to share a comp car with Erin Andrews.)