High-profile sports columnist Jay Mariotti, who dramatically quit the Sun-Times, saying newspapers are a dying industry, seems to have fallen in love with the Web. His former old media comrades aren’t buying it.
You signed a new contract, waited until days after the newspaper had
paid for your trip to Beijing at great cost, and then resigned with a
two-word e-mail: “I quit.”…. The fact that
you saved your attack for TV only completes our portrait of you as a
Newspapers are not dead, Jay, because there are still readers who want
the whole story, not a sound bite. If you go to work for television,
viewers may get a little weary of you shouting at them. You were a
great shouter in print, that’s for sure, stomping your feet when
owners, coaches and players didn’t agree with you. It was an
entertaining show. Good luck getting one of your 1,000-word rants on
And now Mariotti says the printed page is a dinosaur. He has embraced the Internet as his new forum.
We’re talking about a columnist who detested bloggers — mainly
because he was easy fodder for their biting humor. He acted as if he
stood on a level above bloggers. Most of the better bloggers have the
kind of wit he couldn’t touch.
Are bloggers bad? Absolutely not.
But those of us who work at newspapers have one edge over the
blogging world. We have access to the players, coaches, managers and
front-office executives. We can talk to key figures on and off the
record to get insight unavailable to others. It’s a privilege most of
us don’t take lightly. To not use it to our advantage is a waste — of
our energy and the readers’ time.