Is "live-from-the-game" coverage important anymore?
It's a question that has bandied about a lot recently, from the print pages of the New York Times to the online pages of ESPN's Sportsguy's World.
With the influx of social media and video integration, many feel that a traditional beat reporter simply isn't as relevant as he/she was at one point in time. And with massive cuts to many traditional newspapers' sports' departments, it seems that many editors would agree.
But isn't a mix really the ideal option?
There's a reason why Doug Smith's Raptors blog at theStar.com is one of the most trafficked out there; he can offer insight and inside information that most simply don't have access to. Local beat writers also forge a certain rapport with players and coaches, again something that your typical blogger just can't do from in front of his tv or computer.
And believe me, this does make a difference.
At one point early last season I stuck around with the beat reporters from The Star, Globe, Post and Sun and was witness to some classic Sam Mitchellisms as he preached on everything from Jalen Rose to Hoffa. That's stuff you just can't find on Youtube or Twitter.
That being said, is it necessary to attend every game?
As Mr. Smith has pointed out ad nauseam, most of the time players give you the same tired quotes and sound bytes ("we played hard," "the other team wanted it more," etc, etc) over and over and only on a few occasions do you end up with something really juicy to write about.
Last year the Toronto Raptors began to give us access to games but this off-season we began to debate - did we even want to be able to attend every game even if we could? Often last season we found that our best articles were written in front of an HD TV, not from 50 feet up in the Foster Hewitt Gondola.
So here at the HQ we got thinking.
What about attending a game or two a month, and letting the readers vote on which match-ups they'd most like to see inside coverage of? After all, we've always done this site for the fans, so why not have a big Raptorsnation discussion on the games they want the most coverage of?
So that's what we're going to do once each month.
Below is a poll listing our top 4 October game options. Yes, pre-season, (we've all bought tickets to the home-opener vs the Cavs so that one's out) but some interesting early tests none-the-less. We'll be on Twitter and other sites as well getting other Raptors' blogs and opponent fan sites involved, and hopefully the result will be a very interesting, all-encompassing media package.
Let's rock the vote...