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January 8, 2012

Horse-race coverage of sports, politics, and business--and an egregious AY example

Atlantic Yards Report

From a 1/3/12 column by Reuters media columnist Jack Shafer, Presidential campaigns, sports writing, and the fine art of pretending:

The jobs of political reporters and sports writers are almost identical: Determine who is ahead and who is behind; get inside the heads of the participants; decode the relevant strategies and tactics; and find a way to convert reader interest into sustainable enthusiasm.

And that extends also to business:

[Washington Post reporter Paul] Farhi, who has reported on business, sports, politics, and the media, says business coverage also obsesses on winners and numbers. “Maybe all journalism is about success and failure, and we see it more clearly in sports,” he said.

And, I'd argue, that misses meaning.

The Times on AY

Remember the New York Times's horse-race analysis in the 6/9/05 article headlined Unlike Stadium on West Side, an Arena in Brooklyn Is Still a Go?

While the Brooklyn plan still has hurdles, its progress so far is providing an object lesson in how to navigate big projects through the often treacherous and choppy waters of New York state and city politics. In the Brooklyn project, backers have aggressively courted the local community since the project's inception, trying to placate those who could be its most aggressive foes. Perhaps most important, they have reached out to Mr. [Assembly Speaker Sheldon] Silver.

(Emphasis added)

Object lesson? Not anymore. Nor for a long while.

link

Posted by steve at January 8, 2012 10:37 PM