Baseball and the Media: How Fans Lose in Today's Coverage of the Game

By George Castle | Go to book overview

FIFTEEN
Old versus New Media

A huge migration away from newspaper readership seemed to be picking up steam in the first half-decade of the twenty-first century. Waiting to absorb the defectors were the usual broadcast suspects plus a cornucopia of Internet properties, ranging from wellfunded sites with the ESPN brand to homespun blogs that featured analysis right out of left field.

The baseball fan had choices of information of which his father and grandfather could never conceive. Too many choices, in fact. The Internet was at the same stage of development as was radio in the mid-i920s or TV in, say, 1953: a wondrous new technology in a rapidly expanding mode that wouldn't fully mature until several decades down the line.

Could the summer-game rooter really get down-and-dirty, indepth, inside-story comprehensive coverage from the new media compared to the clunky paper, off-the-presses and delivered via truck or car to your front door?

Internet is immediate, even graphically spectacular. But the way the biggest purveyor of daily baseball coverage set up its business, its chronicling of each team's goings-on was not as unfettered as the old-fashioned newspaper dampened down by corporate conservatism and cost cutting.

National sites are comprehensive in the big picture, but can't zero in on any one team. And, naturally, the Eastern bias of their headquarters will crop up in selection of content.

Numbers-crunching sites can dissect and analyze baseball statistics like never before, but they often cut out the human aspect of the game. That has to be factored in before a complete, accurate anal-

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