Published on December 8, 2011 7:22 PM by cflwatcher.
Written sports reporting has become a lost art. Print media, undergoing changes to the delivery method (from physical to electronic — web or app) and what is considered “news” in a connected world, is trying to survive in a world of Twitter, 24-hour sports channels, online video, reduced literacy and short attention spans by following the industry and directly competing for the time of an overloaded viewership. This drives the industry to the bottom about who broke the story first rather who told the story right and had all the facts.
The result is the death of the long-form article, researched and informative, the general interest story and the stories about the game and those who are a part of it. Local papers focus on ever-shortening team coverage and analysis. Most national reporting is actually opinion pieces on the hot topics, written hurriedly without the time given to subjects in the past. It is hard to find reporting on general interest topics with a readership that knows everything and is only interested in seeing things in black and white, they are right and you are wrong.
Today CFLdb presents our 2011 Outstanding Reporting Awards. This year we have one recipient for Outstanding General Interest Reporting. We are not awarding other categories this year as we don’t feel the beat reporting, analysis or long-form article reached an outstanding level this year.
The award for Outstanding General Interest Reporting in 2011 goes to Malcolm Kelly of CBC.ca Sports. Mr. Kelly has shown an ability in the past to bring the off-the-beaten-trail stories to the page and 2011 was no different. Mr. Kelly’s articles inform, teach, remind and entertain his readers. He talks to players and coaches, former and current, about football. This is a reporter letting his subjects tell a story, not writing the story he wants to write.
Some samples of Mr. Kelly’s outstanding reporting in 2011:
Is Mr. Kelly perfect? Not at all, though his gimmicky articles are better than most. See his CFL‘s mid-season: 10 things we learned (what’s that #10 Spokane, WA all about?) and 10 things we learned this CFL season. Reporters still want eyeballs. Getting eyeballs is much different in the web age versus the paper age. Headlines and controversy bring in readers, so there is more of a tendency to magnify and exaggerate issues rather than temper them. However, no one else has brought the type of writing Mr. Kelly has as exampled above in quality or quantity.
Congratulations Mr. Kelly and thank you for your good work.
Of course, we don’t have the time to review all the written word on the web and print on the CFL. For next year, if you would like to nominate a reporter for an award, send their name along with some examples of their outstanding writing to us.