WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR NEWS?

I wonder how you get your sports news. I find myself using twitter a lot these days along with google search but less and less time is being spent going to ‘trusted sites’ because the facts delivered there are not exactly, well, factual.

I undersand the difference between a news item and an opinion piece, but even then the opinion’s are often based on flawed information or frame a storyline to suit the author’s agenda. On a completely unrelated note, Damien Cox has a new item up today called “Edmonton Oilers damage rules designed to protect them” that makes several points worth discussing.

  1. The Edmonton Oilers have signed contracts in the past that damaged rules designed to protect them. Is the Taylor Hall contract–the one Cox is focused on–a good example?
  2. When Cox suggests that the Oilers didn’t need to talk to Hall until next summer, would a quick note about offer sheets have been worthwhile?
  3. When discussing contracts of this length, is it a good idea to state the number of ‘unrestricted free agent seasons’ purchased by the team, as to give the reader a balanced view?
  4. Do you give greater or lesser weight to articles ‘written with an agenda’ like this one, designed to frame the issue as out of control NHL teams signing crazy contracts and then crying poor? Does that lend credence to the argument?

I’m finding fewer and fewer places on the internet where actual reporting followed by opinion can be believed at point of entry. That may be the cost of everyone having a voice, but the msm seems to have given up doing the hard work of being accurate and no one is getting the story right. Bloggers like me will always rely on someone in the msm to report the facts. Reason? Access.

What does it mean?

I believe we’ll eventually reach a point where ‘news’ and ‘facts’ come from places we know to be credible. As an example, if Tyler Dellow wrote the identical piece Cox wrote–with balance like the number of free agent seasons and sans the tag-a-long shot at owners–I can tell you it would be more credible for me.

There is nothing in the Cox item that is incorrect, and still we’re left with half the story. Modern NHL contracts have nuance, but if the reader can understand buying free agent seasons, isn’t it important to include that piece of information to give the reader a full view of this issue?

On a wider scale, how do you feel about msm? I’ve been reading newspapers, listening to radio and watching television since the 1960′s and the trusted voice of msm seems to have grabbed a cab downtown and headed for someone’s house. Call me crazy but the one thing mass media had as an advantage–staff size, fact checkers, balance and truth–seems to have slipped away one night not so long ago.

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96 Responses to "WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR NEWS?"

  1. dessert1111 says:

    Being on the internet all day anyway, I’ve found myself over the past couple of years to get my news and information almost exclusively from non-mainstream sources; when it comes to the Oilers and hockey, blogs like this one, for example. I think it’s a great thing in that people like me can pick and choose what writers we want to receive information from, since if there is something worth knowing going on in the hockey world, one of the blogs I read will surely mention it. Since there are a myriad of places to get the same information, now, for me, what is most important is the quality of writing, and, to a certain extent, the topics that are covered other than breaking news.

    If you’re like me and you read enough about hockey and the Oilers, I think you have a pretty good idea of how to suss out what the facts are and what opinions, and even if a balanced view isn’t shared in a particular article, chances are you’ve read something else that allows you to better frame the issue; the article you linked to, for example, isn’t really presenting any new information to me. I think perhaps if this were 20 years ago and there weren’t as many news outlets, “bad” reporting would anger me more, but at this point I moreso just shrug and read something else.

    Thanks for continued posts in these dark times!

  2. jonrmcleod says:

    Why does Damien Cox hate the Oilers? Seriously.

  3. ed says:

    Not convinced that cox could write that balanced article or that he understands the nuances you suggest. He’d be at the top of the list of msm types to ignore.

    Now if you are looking for an article about tennis he might be your guy…

  4. Lowetide says:

    Jon R McLeod: I don’t know that he does. Cox isn’t someone I’m overly familiar with, seem to recall he did some CFL stull and maybe tennis? Anyway, he rips the Leafs often from what I recall, so it isn’t like he’s in the back pocket of ownership.

    I don’t think this was a hatchet piece on the Oilers, but I was surprised that he chose the one contract I’d defend to the death as an example of the Oilers shooting themselves in the foot. It’s like being at a restaurant that serves steak, prime rib and Chateaubriand and asking for a hamburger.

  5. daryl says:

    If I stop reading opinion sites, how will i know what i think?

  6. HBomb says:

    I try to filter down and clean up my opinion of Cox, and even after that process is complete, I’m still left with “f*cking idiot” as a summary statement.

    Then again, when the starting point for said filtering is “ignorant (word that rhymes with “runt”)”…there’s a reason I don’t follow him on Twitter. Stan Fischler and his “Jean Beliveau, perhaps the greatest center ever” nonsense is enough for my liking.

  7. Jesse says:

    I remember as a teenager the extent of hockey news I got was from The Edmonton Journal and hockey magazines and books. I remember being frustrated to the point of ripping the newspaper in half at the poor writing and reporting I’d read, thinking that the one breath of fresh air was Matheson. Now, since I’ve started following the many Oiler blogs for the past couple years, I feel I’ve got a much better perspective on the news and magazines I read as a kid. I do agree: they have gotten worse, but for crying out loud as long as I’ve known MSM hasn’t set a really high bar for itself.

  8. wunderbar says:

    I think one of the (many) problems with Cox, and of eastern based sports media in general is that they are so detached from the western teams that they simply can’t be knowledgeable enough about the teams to form complete thoughts and opinions on them.

    Those of us in this time zone are plugged into the the Oilers and most Western teams a lot more than the folks down east because they simply don’t watch and follow the teams out west. Most Oiler games start at 9 or 9:30pm ET, and teams from the left coast start at 10 or 10:30ET. While I’d like to think that they stay up late to watch a lot of those games, I’m also a realist. If I lived in Toronto I probably wouldn’t get to see as many Oiler games as I would like, and I would go out of my way to watch them.

    That is one thing I truly hate about MSM in the sports world. It is worse than “regular news” in the east/west divisions.

  9. regwald says:

    I wonder if Cox really just doesn’t understand the nuances of the CBA and what the approach is with regards to signing these young players. I agree it is an opinion piece, but maybe he doesn’t believe it is a good strategy because he doesn’t think an offer sheet is a risk. Maybe he thinks this is still the 70′s and you can arm twist a young player into taking less money because there are not many options to get more $$ and financial security. Of course there is, but maybe he just doesn’t see it that way.

  10. dawgbone says:

    Nothing beats the MSM for news breaking.

    In terms of analysis though, with the exception of a few, most of the msm is lacking.

  11. borisnikov says:

    Msm comes across as a bunch of old farmers sitting around the coffee shop bitching about what bothers them as if it were gospel truth but only a select few are worth listening to because they actually back up there thoughts with valid facts. Cox et al can go fall in a deep hole for all I care.

  12. SK Oiler Fan says:

    I find MSM sources and some blogs over the past few years have placed the emphasis on entertainment value and hits ($$$). Factual information comes a distance third. I find that more and more bloggers and MSM are just trying to stir the pot for more hits. They publish radical opinions that I have a hard time believeing that they actually believe it themselves then sit back and giggle as the hits and comments roll in. Storytelling if you will. Half of the audience agrees and the other half strongly disagrees – and the comments war is started.

    And I’m not even going to discuss the possibility of political agendas.

    I don’t know who to believe anymore, as there’s so much conflicting information out there.

    Having said that – I read this blog everyday for factual information, well formed opinions backed up with facts, and entertainment.

  13. Woodguy says:

    On a wider scale, how do you feel about msm? I’ve been reading newspapers, listening to radio and watching television since the 1960′s and the trusted voice of msm seems to have grabbed a cab downtown and headed for someone’s house. Call me crazy but the one thing mass media had as an advantage–staff size, fact checkers, balance and truth–seems to have slipped away one night not so long ago.

    I don’t think the MSM has changed much at all.

    I think the level of sophistication of the readership, especially those of us who obsess over our favorite teams, has risen dramatically in the last few years. I think this is mostly due to blogs such as this one, the SB Nation blogs, mathy blogs, BTN, Dellow etc.

    With the increased knowledge of the readership its much easier to see when the MSM writer is completely full of shit, making stuff up, or simply leaving out important information. (partly due to negligence, mostly due to lack of awareness of information. I think many fans knows the intricacies of the CBA, player usage etc much better than most MSM)

    A good example of this was 2 things Marc Spector wrote in the past year.

    1) Cody Hodgson has taken Manny Maholtra’s job. http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2012/01/27/spector_subban_lupul_nhl_trade_deadline_rumours/

    Here’s a nice impartial look at what Spector said: http://vansunsportsblogs.com/2012/01/30/did-cody-hodgson-take-manny-malhotras-job-mark-spector-thinks-so-jonathan-willis-does-not/

    2) Cam Barker is the 3rd best Dman on the Edmonton OIlers (said it between periods during a game)

    Spector and Matheson are both referred to in this Staples article regarding Barker’s trade-ability at the deadline: http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2012/02/23/barker/

    Those are just two examples that came off the top of my head.

    The MSM has some serious competition from amateur and professional bloggers and most are losing the battle for new readership and aren’t even stepping their game up to compete.

    Despite the plethora of high quality information on the Al Gore from many sources the usual MSM response to bloggers is the typical “cheezie/mom’s basement/pajamas” response.

    Its telling that this response is more prevalent from the worst offenders such as Cox, Spector, Garrioch, etc.

    The fact that the ultra-conservative, message controlling overlords that is the Edmonton Oilers PR department are starting to recognize blogs as legitimate sources of information shows that the pendulum is swinging everywhere, not just with the people who grew up reading screens and not papers.

    Attrition will probably take care of the dinosaurs, but it may be a long time coming.

  14. russ99 says:

    Twitter rules – get current info faster than any other media, and character limit ensures that there are no bloated tweets. Plus if you’re really interested, there’s usually a link.

    Lately, the only sports website that I like to read opinions on is Grantland, and maybe McKenzie’s column on TSN. Otherwise blogs work, and I prefer to form my own opinion than listen to others’ being trumpeted as news.

  15. Ducey says:

    Newspapers like the Journal used to make their money on classifieds. That has all gone to the internet.

    I expect the Journal to be gone in 5 yrs. They have “improved” themselves by not having a Sunday paper, cutting staff, adopting a lot of fill from wire services, and basically stuffing the paper with ads and flyers.

    I can get everything on line almost instantaneously, rather than wait until the show is on or my paper is delivered. There is really no reason to get a paper or wait for the 6:15 pm sportscast.

    I think guys like Cox (and I don’t mind the piece linked – although it was mostly fluff) have realized that controversy drives hits and therefore revenue.

    It usually comes back to money and we need to support the sites that provide good, honest analysis. Keep calling those Cougars!

  16. jdhardy says:

    Has the media really changed that much, or is it just rose-coloured glasses? Or a side-effect of growing up in the era of Woodward and Bernstein, when it seemed like reporters actually had a beneficial effect on society? Yellow journalism has been around for a long time — probably before Pulitzer & Hearst; probably since humans learned to write.

    So I don’t think the media is actually getting any worse, it’s just that the internet has opened things to show just how mediocre they always were. In the media, like anything else, 90% of everything is crap. There are great bloggers, like you mention, but the MSM has people like Friedman and Mackenzie who are very good reads as well (mostly because of their connections).

    Comparing the best bloggers to the worst journalists is just a bit unfair.

  17. Dalton says:

    Here’s a straightforward answer:

    Here, OilersNation, Coppernblue, Down Goes Brown, Oilers.nhl.com, http://www.nhl.com, okcbarons.com, aeros.com, Cult of Hockey and the Edmonton Journal website. And for soccer, The Daily Mail sport section.

    I keep an Oilers.nhl.com RSS feed on my browser toolbar.

  18. uni says:

    LT, might I suggest removing the link to the Cox story? All that link does is drive your readers to his story and increase his page views. These are readers that would normally not bother with someone like Cox and his ilk.

    In essence you’re helping to justify his article and continued ‘relevancy’ to the MSM by increasing the number of visits to his stories.

  19. DSF says:

    @ LT

    I must admit I was a bit surprised to be served up an ad hominen attack on Damien Cox with my morning coffee.

    Just for the record, Cox has been a hockey, football and tennis reporter and columnist for the past 22 years, has worked extensively in radio and television with TSN, SN, ESPN, and is the co-authour of 2 books. Suggesting, however subtly, that he doesn’t know his stuff is ridiculous.

    While he can be very abrasive, he isn’t afraid to question conventional wisdom no matter who he might be caught in the crossfire.

    In the opinion piece you linked to, he takes a balanced view on the off season signings of Hall, Eebrle, Skinner and the lack of the same kind of activity in the case of Alex Pietrangelo.

    The crux of his arguments bears repeating:

    “So how, exactly, can we explain the seven-year, $42-million extension signed by Hall on Aug. 22, three months before he even turns 21, a year before his first contract expires and five years before he could become a UFA?

    Well, the short answer is, you can and you can’t.

    You can by believing the Oilers think Hall is a superstar, that they’ve cleverly locked him up until 2020 and that other clubs have been doing the same with players of similar age and experience.

    But really, what the Oilers have done is blown past the very safeguards that were supposedly put in place to protect them, haven’t they?

    They didn’t even need to talk to Hall until next summer, at which time they’d have a better read on his ability and, quite likely, a new CBA might put the team in a more favourable position.

    He sure looks like a good one, but he’s also missed 37 games in his first two seasons. Surely waiting another year would have been sound business. This is a team, after all, that gave Shawn Horcoff $33 million back in 2009 and has regretted locking him up ever since.”

    This is precisely the argument I made when the Hall/Eberle contracts were signed. There was absolutely no good reason to have extended Hall and Eberle when there is time available to get a better read on their abilities especially with a mind to Hall’s propensity for injury and Eberle’s unusual shooting percentage.

    You then go on to cite Tyler Dellow as a more reliable source of “information” than MSM.
    Well, here’s what he had to say on the Eberle signing:

    “What option did the Oilers have to paying Eberle now? Well, there was nothing preventing them from letting him play out his contract and see what he does next year.

    It’s unfathomable to me that they were likely to end up with Eberle in a position to ask for more money than he’s getting. For one thing, if you’re paying attention to the CBA negotiations (good for you if you aren’t), the salary cap is coming down, at least in the short term. For another, for the reasons set out previously, it seems exceedingly unlikely to me that Eberle’s going to match his numbers from last year.

    The Oilers, for whatever reason, eschew sensible risks and prefer the comfort that comes from paying top of the market prices for things that probably aren’t worth that.

    For the record, I think that they’ve probably overpaid him by at least $2MM per year. Here are the guys who earned at least $4,000,001 last year and were playing in the RFA years of their contract.”

    Hmmmm, same argument and everything contained therin also applies to Hall.

    I assume your reaction to the Cox piece was triggered when your ox was gored but rather than consider the logic of the argument you, disappointingly, assumed the role of the Iraqi Information Minister while Lowe, Tambellini and MacT were in their tanks fleeing for Baghdad.

    As a former member of the MSM, I can tell you that what builds credibility is an unending quest for objectivity (achieving it is the subject of another debate) but credibility is lost when you approach a subject as a fan rather than an objective observer.

    The bottom line here is that there was almost zero risk in the Oilers waiting to extend Hall and Eberle and significant risk in doing it now due to the anomalies in both players performances and pending changes in the CBA.

    The only risk in waiting is the chance that Hall goes “supernova” as you’ve suggested might happen but, given the likely restrictions in the next CBA I seriously doubt, even if that occurred it would cost the Oilers much more.

    Dellow summed it up pretty well IMO:

    “The Oilers, for whatever reason, eschew sensible risks and prefer the comfort that comes from paying top of the market prices for things that probably aren’t worth that.”

  20. Chris Hext---formerly EasyOil--- says:

    I agree with Dawgbone – I tend to go straight to TSN to see if there’s any breaking news, and if there is then I go around a whole range of sites – TSN, NHL.com, Lowetide, OilersNation, NHL Numbers, Copper & Blue, Oil Drop, Cult of Hockey, Edmonton Journal etc. – to get all different sides of the story and see where different people with discernibly different attitudes towards hockey are coming from with their opinions.

    I’m not on twitter, but do get Facebook updates from the NHL, the Oilers, plus the SEL, the KHL and the EIHL. They break news fairly fast. Not Dreger or McKenzie fast, but pretty fast.

    If there’s a video/radio interview I will watch/listen to it. I don’t live in North America, don’t get a chance to hear the “word on the street” type things or even watch many of the games, so I rely on things like that. But I do not ever take my final opinion directly from one source. I’m not afraid to think “Matty, you’ve got to be kidding if you think that”, or “Zona, that’s a bit much”, or “Stauffer, I’m mad as hell and I’m not taking it any more”.

    Sidenote to watching videos – you guys in North America don’t realise how good you have it in terms of match highlights. Here in the UK, the main sports websites are terrible – they don’t put up any highlights for games after the match, and any put up on YouTube are taken down instantly. It seems like the TV companies have complete rights over the broadcasting. In NA, at least with the NHL, but I have noticed with the US Open Tennis as well, the broadcast rights belong just as much to the league as they do the TV companies, enabling full highlights to be put up on the websites minutes after the game is over and watchable for months if not years after. Plus the NHL puts their stuff on YouTube too. And there’s hardly any restrictions on watching from abroad. Crazy.

    Anyway, I do tend to lean more towards the opinion of guys like yourself LT, or Willis, or Staples, or the C&B boys. I’m more of a moderate, I adore the sport but will never act as a fanatic in any one direction. It’s always worth listening to other’s opinions, even if you believe they’re totally wrong. No point in boxing yourself in to one ideal, much like there’s no point limiting yourself to one particular band or genre of music – I love classic rock as much as I love jazz as much as I love funk as much as I love classical as much as I love Irish trad. I love Pink Floyd as much as I love Miles Davis, Jarle Bernhoft as much as Caladh Nua. You get the point – all totally different but all great in their own way, and people who only listen to, say, punk and say everything else is shite is clearly just desperate for one singular identity – by trying to be “different” they’re actually joining one huge singular movement of people.

    So as much as the comments section on TSN articles might be filled with enough hate to make the British National Party look like the Teletubbies, I still enjoy seeing what other people think, even if they are often wrong – in my opinion.

    But that’s just me.

  21. Chris Hext---formerly EasyOil--- says:

    uni,

    What would be wrong with him getting page views? You might not like him, I’ve never heard of the guy, but many people might like him. LT explained the article and who wrote it in his piece, if you know who Cox is and you know you don’t like him, don’t click the link.

  22. uni says:

    regwald,

    Don’t bother wondering. Cox gave up a long time ago (that is if he ever actually tried) on being fair, accurate, insightful, or even just relevant. Remember this is the same guy that published an entire article pushing for the Oilers to trade the 1st overall pick (Taylor Hall) in the 2010 draft along with Dustin Penner and/or Tom Gilbert for a 2nd round pick in order to rid themselves of those “toxic contracts” that no one would otherwise touch and were killing the team.

    Penner only got a 1st round pick 19th overall (Klefbom), Colten Tuebert (form 13th overall pick) and a 2nd round pick when he was traded, and Gilbert only got Nick Schultz (actually this was pretty bad). So i guess Cox wasn’t very far off his valuations there.

    Man if only the Oilers were as clever as Cox they could have traded away Taylor Hall, Dustin Penner, and Tom Gilbert for a 2nd round pick back on 2010. But like Cox stated himself, they’re not smart enough to have done something like that being as they’re not as intelligent as him.

  23. LMHF#1 says:

    I don’t really care much about “breaking news” or “access stories” and much prefer to look at the bigger picture of the team and the game, so blogs and opinion pieces by writers who actually know something about the game (such as this place) are where I read about hockey.

    The “mainstream media” (which isn’t going to be mainstream in terms of people’s content consumption for much longer) is near useless to me. Most of the writers charged with the intricate task of breaking down what went on in a game, or what management is thinking, know less about hockey than I did when I was 12. It’s really really sad actually, because part of their job is to watch the games and you’d think they’d have learned something about the sport over the years. Maybe it sounds overly harsh, but guys like Cox, Spector and others prove the case nearly every time they open their mouth or write an article. There are very few quality people involved in the media and most of them are either not too far from retirement or will be standing on their own apart from the monstrosity fairly soon.

    One of the biggest challenges right now is quite frankly that going into sportswriting as a career is not only perilous due to the state of an industry in transition, but would also be a large pay cut for people who could be quality journalists but rightly value themselves more highly than the industry can pay at present. With the same level of attention and time, these people could do amazing things that people would read and indeed pay for, but the industry is not there yet. When someone like LT can do this full-time, be rewarded adequately, and receive the respect from the team that he deserves, then we’ll be talking.

  24. Moosemess says:

    I think there’s quality to be found on both sides. Some of the blogs cited will have a more nuanced understanding of issues impacting the local team because it’s almost all they focus on. Conversely, no blogger I’m aware of can deliver the breadth and accuracy of reportage provided by a BBC, NY Times or Globe and Mail.

    I grew up reading SI and I think you’ll still be hard pressed to find a publication that can cover a topical sports story as thoroughly as those boys. Their ongoing investigative series on Lance Armstrong was as detailed as it gets and I can only imagine the level of vetting a story like that has to pass with internal legal.

    Btw, I see Dellow’s name mentioned often in this thread with a great deal of respect, and rightfully so as his posts are consistently well reasoned and thought provoking. It does bear emphasis however that, like all of us, Tyler has his closely held opinions on issues as well, and these opinions colour his perspective in much the same way as some of the MSM being criticized here. The primary difference is Dellow has none of the restrictions the mainstream media has, in terms of word count and editorial oversight, to plead his cases.

    Personally, I’ve always enjoyed and sought out opinionated journalists as I find well argued opinions (however controversial) eminently more entertaining than a dry dissertation of the facts. I suspect the MSM and bloggers alike realize that most folks are like this and they are catering their content accordingly.

  25. VOR says:

    I think first of all the line isn’t as simple as msm versus bloggers. Staples who is a great blogger is one of the best investigative journalists in Canada. Our current host now has a radio show. I could go on.

    The best sports reporters often have both accurate information and the experience to put it in context. The best bloggers provide a level of analysis that wouldn’t ever be possible in the msm. You really need to check out both.

    Then there are the amalgamation sites. As far as I know there is nothing yet like Naked Capitalism. Despite its name Naked Capitalism is a safe at work blog site that summarizes the best writing and thinking on issues of economics and the markets. Nobody seems to do that for any pro sport but I am betting the day is coming.

  26. prairieschooner says:

    I tend not to want to have to think when dealing wit the news so my only hockey stop is Lowetide
    (any single malt will be fine LT)
    I can find all of the pros and cons from the array of posters that regularly contribute here.
    LT how about a pre season review of your posters?
    could be good fun

  27. loosemoose says:

    After listening to Derek

  28. DSF says:

    mc79hockey ‏@mc79hockey

    I was with Cox right up until he said market forces put the Oilers in a tough spot. What market forces? Hall/Eberle were signed for next yr.

  29. commonfan14 says:

    jdhardy: There are great bloggers, like you mention, but the MSM has people like Friedman and Mackenzie who are very good reads as well (mostly because of their connections)

    Just curious – if people were betting, would they put their money on Mackenzie’s very early “Schultz to Oilers” prediction as being just an educated guess, or something he had pretty solid sources on?

    And what exactly are we to suppose the real deal was with Smytty’s trade demand? That he told Mackenzie and asked him to leak it but told him that he’d deny it if asked? It was interesting how Mackenzie never remotely backed off from the story after Smytty said it wasn’t true and then didn’t seem to hold a grudge at all afterward.

    It would be great if somebody could do a documentary about him or Dreger and how they operate.

  30. loosemoose says:

    loosemoose,

    Well that didn’t work to well. Let’s try that again……..

    After listening to Derek Van Deist on 1260, and then Jim Matheson, and Marc Spector, I came to the conclusion that writers should probably stick to writing, and stay off the radio/TV. None of these guys can articulate a thought when asked a simple question on the radio, but all can write fairly well.

    Some people can do it, but more often than not, I lose respect for a writer after listening to them live. Some, like yourself LT and Brownlee can hold there own,but you’ve been in radio and Brownlee has come a long way(with that voice, he should be a hypnotist!).

    MSM is not the MSM anymore. With sites like this and Oilernation, Puckdaddy, etc etc, TSN and Sportsnet don’t really break anything. If Rishaug breaks something, how long before Lowetide’s or Willis’s twitter feeds tell them what’s up and then they have a post ready. I just come here to get my news. If its important, I’ll find it here in a post or comment. Almost like meeting up with the guys and BSing. Much bettter than the paper.

    MSM is dying. Hop on the Lowetide bandwagon while you can!

  31. LoDog says:

    For news all you need is Bob and Darren. I like this blog for analysis, even though I disagree with a fair bit of the opinions I still want to read them and make my own conclusions.

    I can’t believe you used Dellow as your example against msm. Fair and balanced he is not.

  32. art vandelay says:

    Newspapers didn’t have to die. If they’d leveraged their massive head-start in physical assets, goodwil in the community and – in some cases – intellectual capital, they’d dominate the algores right now. Instead, they saw the internet as a cost centre.
    The Calgary Fishwrap let one of their ad reps occupy an office in the mid-90s when he begged the publisher to let him develop a web presence for the newspaper. They starved him for money for years while the series of tubes grew up around the MSM, like ivy wrapping itself around a Douglas Fir, choking the life out of it.
    Then when Ken King jumped from publishing the red scandal rag to publishing the Fishwrap, he drove this ad rep-turned-web pointman to halfway to Edmonton for a meeting, stopped at the Greyhound in Red Deer, toid him to get out and find his own way home. Career over.
    King stood in the hallway of the editorial board hearing the pleas of the Sports Editor for more resources to chase down the Graham James story as it was breaking. He refused. Well, he got the sports feature writer and an intern. Maki and Duhatschek were reserved for the important work of wondering whether Theo Fleury was going to crack 100 points, not whether he was accountable for being part of the ownership group that had hired James to coach the young Hitmen.
    The mandate at the time was that any Flamers game meant photo above the fold on the main front the next day. Mandatory.
    In Edmonton, the sophisticates still think Jim Matheson is a hockey insider. I used to. When I was a paper boy. When I got to the Pimple on the Prairie and started reading wire copy on the desk, I could see that Matheson patched together AP and CP snippers, over-indulged in ellipses, made a quick call to Slats or Bill Tuele or Bruce Macgregor for local flavor, and slapped his byline on it. Anybody with access to an Underwood could have punched out his columns in less than a half hour.
    Terry Jones, John Short and Chubey Dick plugged up valuable column space with semi-literate ramblings while genuinely insightful columnists like Cam Cole were hired away.
    Today’s e equivalent is Staples – a barely disguised advocate for the Oilers’ corporate welfare pleadings – passing himself off as a journalist, with the Pledge shine of approval because he’s got a spot on the Cu#t of Hockey.
    Like both versions of Total Recall, newspapers are mostly a good idea wasted.
    Shed no tears.

  33. art vandelay says:

    Radio and TV? Phht. The Lowetide show might be the only genuinely informative sports radio program in Edmonton history. I grew up listening to, “Hallsie, is Warren Moon a moonie?” from some drunken Esks fan (is there any other kind?) followed by 10 minutes of Hallsie’s ramblings. Or 2 hours of Oilers fans calling in John Short’s program to wonder whether the Oilers could get Ray Bourque out of Boston for Rusty Patenaude or Ron Chipperfield.

    TV sports was Chris Cuthbert or Al Nagy talking over 55 seconds of highlights. Or reading that TV ticker to see if you got any goals and assists for your roti team.

    These are the good ol’ days.

  34. justDOit says:

    When Fox news argued in a Florida courtroom (around 2004) that news may not be entirely factual, that pretty much summed it all up. That the court agreed with them is, well, disappointing. TV based msm has been jumping the shark for years now – pushing for higher and higher ratings through sensationalism, rather than with credibility, fairness and honesty. We don’t really need to address the corporate influence for why msm news is where it is today. Pulp based msm is suffering from a downward spiral in readership (due largely to providing yesterday’s news, today), and has since had to reduce costs (staff).

    So be it either by outright lies, bias, or just poor research, msm news is really not relevant any more, to me.

  35. Jordan says:

    LT, there isn’t a news site, let a lone a sports news site, that actually does reporting anymore.

    It’s all about trying to connect people to stories, or re-writing stories that someone else wrote on a blog or elsewhere. Willis does a great job of pointing out how much plagerism actually goes on right now by many news outlets.

    The MSM dies a little more every time a story comes out that they don’t get right.

    They don’t get it right because of their limits in both time on TV and Radio, or space in print.

    There are no limits on the interwebs – people can go as deep as they want, and really look into the issues. So as people like you, Tyler, and others continue to do actual research, and provide better content, you make the MSM and their focus on Quantity stories (# of articles of X length) look like bears on unicyles in too-toos next to a broadway production of phantom of the opera.

    As for where… I don’t get the news. It comes to me. From everywhere I look online.

    The only place I still do the MSM thing is driving to and from work,, and good god am I happy it’s Gregor I’m listening to. You and the crew over at ON have really done a lot to help his perspective grow over the last couple years. Sometimes I almost think he’s a frustrated with some of the garbage that comes out of spector’s mouth as I am!

    By the way, you might want to double check your links on your landing page – Dohfs’ page isn’t loading, and I seem to recall someone posting the new address.

  36. blackdog says:

    The number of msm sites I look at for news/sports is down to two or three, the rest of the time I rely on sites like this or that I link to from Twitter.

    The reasons? Well there are many. You have msm that cannot be trusted because they are trying to drive an agenda. I remember in 1983 (83 or 84) when the federal election was being held. This was after the debates and the country was clearly heading for a majority for Mulroney. Front page of Toronto Star, giant headline, POLL SHOWS TURNER IN LEAD. Buried in back of paper, Mulroney headed for majority says poll.

    First poll had been done long before. Second poll had been done the day before.

    So you have that. You have the fact that there are writers such as yourself and Tyler and Ellen Etchingham who are better writers and researchers than 99% of the journalists out there. You have staright out ignorance. The Cox ‘trade Tom Gilbert and first round pick for sixth round pick’ example. Pierre Maguire saying Ales Hemsky could play centre for a contender at the deadline.

    You have ‘journalists’ who are bought and paid for shills.

    There is the fact that despite their trumpeted access they don’t actually tell us anything but the basic soundbites fed to them. No insight. No real stories.

    Just look at HNIC’s and other outlets’ treatment of Kovalchuk in finals. Guy is known to be hurt. He still rips it up and then in the Final he is ineffective. The story – he doesn’t care.

    So he kills it the entire playoffs and then suddenly, with the Cup right there, stops caring. Right.

    But this is what they tell us.

    2 minutes left in the final game as Hughson talks again about him sucking, Healey of all people says ‘Well yeah he’s playing really hurt’

    First mention of it. And Hughson fires back ‘well then why is he out there?’

    Just garbage.

    lol ok end of rant

  37. jonrmcleod says:

    LT: I may have overreacted a bit. I was also thinking of the column below in which he suggests Skinner is better than Hall. But you’re right, Cox is often negative. He’s probably been much more negative about the Canucks (at least on Twitter).

    http://thestar.blogs.com/thespin/2012/03/taylor-less-than-tyler.html

  38. justDOit says:

    jonrmcleod,

    I just read part of a Bruins blog that was suggesting Skinner’s new contract was more deserved than Hall’s, because he’s been more consistent in his two years in the league and Hall has been injured more. Conveniently forgetting Skinners production drop-off last seaon while missing 16 games with a concussion. They didn’t even address that fact that Skinner has had premier linemates from the beginning, while Hall has been trying to pull this team up from the depths of H-E-doublehockeysticks.

  39. Ribs says:

    Damn you, Spam Filter.

  40. justDOit says:

    blackdog,

    Nice one. The only thing more troubling than an inept msm, is how some people just latch onto those stories and soundbites and take them to heart. Hemky’s bad attitude and body language, for starters.

  41. DSF says:

    jonrmcleod:
    LT: I may have overreacted a bit. I was also thinking of the column below in which he suggests Skinner is better than Hall. But you’re right, Cox is often negative. He’s probably been much more negative about the Canucks (at least on Twitter).

    http://thestar.blogs.com/thespin/2012/03/taylor-less-than-tyler.html

    So telling that you would condemn an opinion without actually addressing the arguments.

    Where, exactly, is Cox wrong in that article?

  42. maudite says:

    As time progresses, I find myself as much, if not more, of a fan of the information control and processing surrounding the NHL (and in particular the oilers) than the actual game itself. I’m fascinated by the power of, in most cases, biased media. In the case of a sports franchise it’s a lot simpler to see than in the case of socioeconomic type issues, so it’s a no harm no foul, ‘media control lite’. The amount of people that just regurgitate the company line without ever questioning it (when the underlying facts are, in all honesty, much easier to uncover and digest) is pretty crazy.

    Hard to describe really but I’m stunned, in general, how many times things are presented to suit someones alterior motive and it seems so obvious, that I find myself saying “There’s no way people are going to buy that”….and usually I’m wrong.

    Shrug.

  43. Undisclosed_Personal_Reasons says:

    David Staples is an ass clown with an axe to grind in every article. He epitomizes reporting that is slanted and is either devoid of fact or avoids facts that run counter to his slant. I imagine him as the type who thinks the louder voice wins. He’s Edmonton’s version of Bill O’Reilly.

    Here is a recent exchange between a writer I respect and said ass clown.

    ——
    Jonathan Willis
    8:01 PM on 8/28/2012
    “A minority of folks can’t get past the notion that the city is building an arena to be used by a billionaire owner and millionaire players.” –from Staples’s article.

    Is it actually a minority, David? I can’t find any super-recent poll conducted by a third party (the last Edmonton-specific one I can find is from 2010) that shows a majority of Edmontonians support the current funding model for the arena. The older polls I can find – both Edmonton-specific and general ones conducted in Western Canada – show that a majority of people oppose subsidizing arenas with public money.

    If there’s a recent third-party poll that shows majority support for the project, I’d be very interested in seeing it.

    David Staples
    9:27 PM on 8/28/2012
    Yes, Jon, those who hold this position are actually a minority, and it’s often held by most strongly by folks who don’t live here, don’t know anything about our downtown and its issues, but oppose the arena on idealogical grounds.

    The major survey done by the city shows widespread support for the project, if it’s financed properly.
    ——-

    Reading the full article would provide more context but basically Willis calls out Staples for not fact-checking and Staples replies by re-asserting his opinion, providing no factual information, and ignoring the surveys that Willis puts forth.

  44. Moosemess says:

    WTF? Staples references the City of Edmonton poll in his reply. Is that not sufficient, or does he have to send Willis the link to satisfy the Internet police?

    http://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/projects_redevelopment/2010-consultation-summary%20.aspx

    Personally, this is a huge pet peeve I have about internet discourse. Any yahoo can challenge an opinion and it’s then up to the person being challenged to do their challenger’s homework and provide them with the pertinent links.

    Yes, Staples could’ve been more detailed in his facts and response to Willis, but let’s not forget that the burden of proof rests with the accuser, not the accused. Why is it Staples’ fault that Willis is ignorant of the most recent poll on this issue?

  45. Dalton says:

    Jordan: you make the MSM and their focus on Quantity stories (# of articles of X length) look like bears on unicyles in too-toos next to a broadway production of phantom of the opera.

    Lol, that’s going a little overboard. Good for LT’s ego, though!

  46. delooper says:

    I get my news from the Economist and Google News for the most part. A little bit of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report tossed in there, some on-line forums and talking with friends. I’ll read the Singapore Straight Times and the NYT occasionally.

    Oh, **sports media**.

    Meh.

    I thought sports journalism positions were largely fluff positions. The whole idea of sports journalism since the dawn of time was they’re basically advertisement. People who are paid to advertise local sports teams, local events. That’s the role of sports journalism. Advertise local fluff, the kind of local fluff that’ll bring eyes to the newspaper. You hope they’ll glance at the front page, too. Few publications ever treat their sports journalists like actual journalists. Go to Edmonton Journal reporter dinners and see how they treat their sports journalists first-hand!

  47. jonrmcleod says:

    DSF,

    He’s not necessarily wrong. But he’s just trying to annoy people to get a reaction (i.e., what you love to do).

  48. maudite says:

    Staples and arena support are some of the most hilarious things out of this corner of interweb. I took a hiatus from his site after whole debacle was going down (Bruce Willis dragged me back there).

    The poll in question was constructed by the oilers marketing with a Quebec referendumesque grey to their question. That issue and it’s handling by the Edmonton media was one of the saddest instances of reporting and investigating I’ve witnessed north of the 49th.

    You want to throw money in a business’s lap to ‘revitalize’ downtown….Use 450 million (plus likely 100+ in overage/surrounding costs) to subsidize actual businesses to set up downtown. Which one wins? There is no defensible position to be taken for the city of Edmonton paying for a buidling and freezing the current non profit organization out of the more substantial Concert revenue pie to simply hand it all over to Katz. Zero. It’s a ridiculous idea.

  49. Bar_Qu says:

    Undisclosed_Personal_Reasons,

    I think you need to apologize for making your argument an ad hominem attack. You are disrespecting Staples & Willis the way you frame what you have said. An unworthy comment.

    As for the question at hand, I still actually enjoy MSM articles, but I never know when new stuff will be up, so I just stopped checking after a while. Here & the other oiler fan sites there is always new, interesting & well written stuff, relevant to my favorite NHL team.

    The MSM isn’t so much irrelevant as it is slow.

  50. slats432 says:

    I agree that Damian Cox’s tripe can get weary. The problem is the blogosphere isn’t accountable or consistent enough to replace it. So you have two halves not great enough to equal the whole.

    For hockey, I read MSM in Bobby Mac, Dreger, Eric Duhatschek, Freidman, Lebrun, Brunt. (I don’t read Matty, Ireland etc for opinion pieces and leave that to (Formerly good but now a shill) Stauffer, Gregor, the newly added Strudwick, and the rest of the 1260 line up. I take Spector with a grain and enjoy the twisted humour of Brownlee.

    I engage almost exclusively through twitter so my news is instantaneous.

    The intelligent fan knows garbage when he reads it…(much like Allan Walsh’s twitter account)

  51. maudite says:

    In case you hadn’t noticed funding was an area of concern and it has not and will not be addressed by the City Council.

    1. Would you like a new arena?
    2. Do you think a new arena would be good?
    3. Would you like a new arena if money grows on trees and in no way effects your taxes or impacts the cities ability to provide other services?

    4. Do you think Edmonton city council should vote to publicly carry the whole cost of the arena, attempt to impose a non competition in place for Northlands and Katz recieve 100% of the revenue?

  52. commonfan14 says:

    Bar_Qu: You are disrespecting Staples & Willis the way you frame what you have said.

    I don’t see where he disrespected Willis. Quite the opposite.

    Calling Staples an ass clown I’ll give you. Although I might need a link to statistical evidence confirming that Staples is not, in fact, an ass clown.

  53. Moosemess says:

    Can understand that some people feel passionately about it, but the arena funding is such a non-issue for me. There’s markets out there financing and building arenas just in the hopes of attracting lowly expansion teams and we’re balking at replacing the 2nd oldest building in the league for a team that’s won 5 Cups. Not to mention giving ourselves a state of the art concert venue in the process.

    Someone said it best on here a few months back. The previous generation understood that building and financing legacy projects is the implicit burden of the taxpayer, and it’s one we should willingly shoulder to improve the quality of life for us and future generations. Those that rail against this kind of thing can always move to the burbs (where they can escape the tax burden but still enjoy the perks) or somewhere else entirely where the low tax burden is commensurate with a complete absence of amenities. I hear Daysland is cheap.

    Why is it ok for the gov to finance museums and expansions to the space sciences centre to attract a frikkin’ Stars Wars exhibit, but building a sports arena/concert venue crosses the line?

    And yes, Katz can and should’ve done more to pony up, but last I checked spending “other people’s money” is what tycoons do?

  54. maudite says:

    maudite:
    In case you hadn’t noticed funding was an area of concern and it has not and will not be addressed by the City Council.

    1. Would you like a new arena?
    2. Do you think a new arena would be good?
    3. Would you like a new arena if money grows on trees and in no way effects your taxes or impacts the cities ability to provide other services?

    4. Do you think Edmonton city council should vote to publicly carry the whole cost of the arena, attempt to impose a non competition in place for Northlands and Katz recieve 100% of the revenue?

    Forgot one question on that to properly complete the ‘survey’

    5. Do you support a fully public funded arena if money doesn’t grow on trees and likely will impact your taxes/cities abilities to provide other services?

  55. DSF says:

    jonrmcleod:
    DSF,

    He’s not necessarily wrong. But he’s just trying to annoy people to get a reaction (i.e., what you love to do).

    Having a point of view that contradicts conventional wisdom often seems contrarian to those whose ox is being gored.

    We’re now up to several dozen comments reviling the MSM because Cox (rightly IMO) called into question the wisdom of signing Hall and Eberle to huge contract extensions one year before they needed to and while questions about the CBA and the players performance remain unanswered.

    That LT cited Tyler Dellow as a source of balance and insight, when Dellow agrees with Cox on this issue is hilarious.

    While I agree Dellow is a source of sober second thought, Cox is also not one of the “go along to get along” thinkers that populate the media and blog world’s.

    Dellow and Cox certainly don’t agree on everything (nor should they) and their Twitter bun fights have been delightful but, in all of this, it’s truly amazing how few of you have actually even responded to the column Cox penned or taken a close look at Dellow’s arguments that these contracts are not what a smart GM would do.

    Dellow, it must be said has been far more critical of the Eberle signing because he is convinced his numbers will drop and I have been just as critical of the Hall signing but the underlying principle of Dellow’s, Cox’s and my arguments is the same.

  56. shawnmullin says:

    I think the role of the media is evolving like it always does. As mentioned earlier in this discussion, does breaking something really matter? If I get a piece of information first and post it even in Swift Current it then gets tweeted by multiple sources and every news source has some kind of article up shortly. The job — especially for newspaper folks — is to provide insight and details you can’t get on twitter. A newspaper is never going to have the news first (unless it’s online) and even if they do they hardly have time to write a real story before it’s all over the place. There is almost no point in reporting strict news in their paper the next day when everyone knows it and the blogs have picked it apart.

    Heck teams are reporting their news in a way some newspapers used to. Every hockey team has a press release with quotes and details on their website almost instantly as a story breaks. If all people want are the basics they can get it from oilers.nhl.com and not bother with the media at all.

    In the media our job now is to provide as much in-depth insight into that news as we can. Track down credible sources for several angles and analysis that your typical blogger or twitter couldn’t get. Cover a team well enough that you have an understanding of the dynamic an average fan can’t have… so what you write about it has meaning to the person reading it. Dig deeper and offer something you can’t get with just the facts.

    That’s something a local writer could do. A national writer like Cox commenting on Edmonton might run into trouble because there’s no way he can know the team or the players as well as the bloggers who painstakingly analyze everything about it. There was a time trusted national columnists knew all the teams better than the fans do, but we have such incredible access to everything these days that fans who want to will be able to know far more about their teams than anyone covering a broad spectrum of things could hope to.

    So IMO again it’s up to that person to use their sources, their access to people the fan wouldn’t have access to in order to provide a view on things a fan couldn’t get. Otherwise it’s just another opinion that a fan make not take as seriously because that writer doesn’t understand the team as much as they would. In that case the writer had better be good enough to compensate for their lack of in-depth knowledge or at least use the sources so they can sound like they have something special to offer on the issue.

    There is still a lot for media to offer, but the basic facts don’t just belong to them anymore.

  57. Undisclosed_Personal_Reasons says:

    I didn’t realize the example could be that misinterpreted.

    –Staples makes a bold claim based on results from an outdated survey (a lot has happened since 2010 and opinion has likely changed and I think Willis is implying as much).
    –Willis points out to Staples that there are no recent polls (including the 2010 city of Edmonton) that indicate people actually have a problem with a billionaire owning a rink that millionaires will play in. In fact, he brings a more balanced list of evidence to the table and points out that other old polls show the majority of people oppose publicly subsidizing an arena, which is in opposition to Staples’s claim. Willis suggests a recent third party poll would provide more validity.
    –Staples responds by ignoring the sources Willis puts before him, reasserts his opinion with even more ludicrous claims (for which facts or sources are not provided), and then cites the Edmonton poll as if it is new evidence when Willis had just pointed out that it shouldn’t be considered the be-all end-all.

    I thought the example showed a nice contrast between a journalist who brings facts to the table in an effort to provide a balanced meal versus a journalist who tries to force feed his opinion as fact.

    I stand by my opinion that Staples is a no-talent ass clown, and while citing one example may not constitute proof, it’s a helluva a lot more than what Staples does. If you really want to be convinced, read almost any Staples article on the arena with a discerning eye and you’ll find plenty of Bill O’Reilly-esque material.

    I’m only sorry for having to rehash what I thought was a pretty straight forward example.

  58. Moosemess says:

    Since we’re doing leading questions on our survey, how bout this one?

    5) Would you rather have a nice arena or nice roads with nowhere interesting to go?

    Or how about this? Katz built a rink outside his house. How about the team plays all their home games there and the only way for citizens to watch the team is via PPV?

    100% user pay and no additional burden to the taxpayer. Sounds like nirvana for the arena haters!

    Btw, has anyone considered the fact that Edmonton City Council has committed 1% of all capital budget expenditures to public art? That number will absolutely dwarf the arena expenditure over time and gives us lovely things like silver balls alongside the Whitemud to look at. Much better than watching NHL hockey!

    Wanna get upset about people wasting your money? I think you want to look at things like that or how big pharma agendas impact your health care costs, or monopolistic consolidation amongst banks/insurance companies/utilities, etc. I would think all those things rob us more over time than a one off arena hit, but why would we ever focus our energies on those systemic issues when a hockey arena is such a convenient cause célèbre?

  59. pboy says:

    Milan Hjeduk explaining why he gave up the C in Colorado.

    “(The captain) should be somebody with a significant role on the team, probably on the top two lines, which I was not last year,” said Hejduk, who is nine regular-season games shy of 1,000 and 29 goals short of 400. “It kind of feels weird when you’re playing on the third and fourth lines and being captain. It didn’t feel right.”

    I wonder if Horcoff does the same thing next season?

  60. LP says:

    art vandelay,

    Interesting post, Art. I agree with you that LT’s show is arguably the best nhl sports show in town. And I do also like Jason Gregor (he’s an excellent interviewer). But whenever I can, I’m tuning in to the team 1260 on saturday at 12pm.

    As for the the arena thing, in my opinion, Willis likely seems like the more factual (and better) writer than Staples; although I do like reading both. But ya, why do we accept that we all pay through our taxes this big arena that will make Katz’ and company even more money? In any case….

    Funny how time changes things.

    Do you remember when Chris! or Mike from Covered In Oil (man I miss that blog) got kicked out of the press box during a game? My point is, back in 2007, the Edmonton Oilers had the opportunity to embrace the Oilogosphere and didn’t. I remember being pretty mad at them; sure I wasn’t the only one. Back then I remember other NHL teams trying to build bridges with fans and bloggers and allowing them some inside-access. But no, not the oilers.

    Now, in 2012, they The Oilers have begun tweeting information directly to fans. What a concept?!.

    I hope that quality writers such as LT, Willis, Dellow, and others I’m forgetting, do get more recognition for their excellent work. They surely deserve so. More than the old timey guys from the EJ and the Sun.

    Last comment, LT, I remember when you didn’t want to join Twitter. Look at you know!

    Cheers!

  61. Ducey says:

    maudite: Forgot one question on that to properly complete the ‘survey’5. Do you support a fully public funded arena if money doesn’t grow on trees and likely will impact your taxes/cities abilities to provide other services?

    Give it a rest. I would point out its not fully publically funded, that you can’t just dump $450 million downtown and magically watch it sprout, and that the City will get infinitely more out of $100 million (the other $250 M is user pay) it will put into an arena than a $200 million museum a few blocks away – yet no one gets outraged about that.

    This isn’t the time or the place to have a big debate about the arena; it is interesting how people like to hear from people they agree with.

    Why do I get the impression that for some Staples is an “assclown” if he favours an arena but if he comes out against it, he is justified in his position?

    We all come to things with our own biases. I fear the demise of the newspaper will lead people to gravitate to only their view of the world (for example Chuck Norris might have watched too much Fox news lately) and never have to question their opinions.

    If you don’t like something then just slag it as “MSM”, or liberal, or republican or american.

    I think Staples is a good egg. How many journalistists actually keep track of stats in every game, and bring stats with the masses? And he is not just spouting off some Corsi stat. He is trying to figure out his own. I think he is trying and has to keep some balance between those than have no interest in math and those that live for it.

    You may not agree with everything he says (I don’t), but that is to be expected. The fact that it bothers some people says more about them, than him.

  62. Woodguy says:

    Moosemess,

    There’s markets out there financing and building arenas just in the hopes of attracting lowly expansion teams and we’re balking at replacing the 2nd oldest building in the league for a team that’s won 5 Cups. Not to mention giving ourselves a state of the art concert venue in the process.

    If the other markets jumped off a bridge, would you want to jump off a bridge as well? /mom

    Why is it ok for the gov to finance museums and expansions to the space sciences centre to attract a frikkin’ Stars Wars exhibit, but building a sports arena/concert venue crosses the line?
    And yes, Katz can and should’ve done more to pony up, but last I checked spending “other people’s money” is what tycoons do?

    Because Museums are public goods where the entire community theoretically benefits, whereas a private company profits from the arena.

    Google “public goods”, it explains it better than I can.

    Katz’s 100M “skin in the game” is payable over 30 years. Less than $4MM/yr, while handing him the concert business in Edmonton.

    Unreal deal. I’d say that kind of deal is impossible if you presented it to me as theortical.

    I want a rink, but Lordy, the current deal is heavily one sided.

  63. Woodguy says:

    Moosemess,

    Btw, has anyone considered the fact that Edmonton City Council has committed 1% of all capital budget expenditures to public art? That number will absolutely dwarf the arena expenditure over time and gives us lovely things like silver balls alongside the Whitemud to look at. Much better than watching NHL hockey!

    Public Art is a public good. You cannot exclude anyone from using it.

    I like Talus Dome (whitemud balls), it reminds me somewhat of cloudgate in chicago (which was hated at the start and now a major point of interest, albeit in a great location)

    Tallus Dome is best enjoyed up close on a sunny day.

    Chicago is my favorite city to visit, mostly for architecture, art, and food (maybe in that order)

    i think its great that we have having public art as a part of capital projects, chicago is renown for it public art as they have been demanding art budgets on public and private projects for years.

    My wife, who loves Chicago and Cloudgate, hate Tallus Dome.

    Ha!

  64. Woodguy says:

    Ducey,

    Give it a rest. I would point out its not fully publically funded, that you can’t just dump $450 million downtown and magically watch it sprout, and that the City will get infinitely more out of $100 million (the other $250 M is user pay) it will put into an arena than a $200 million museum a few blocks away – yet no one gets outraged about that.

    A fully privately funded areana would attract the same level of investment in the downtown area.

    No one privately owns a the provincial museum and generates profits.

    Using your logic the government should fund movie theatres because most people like to go to the movies.

  65. Ducey says:

    Woodguy: Ducey, Give it a rest. I would point out its not fully publically funded, that you can’t just dump $450 million downtown and magically watch it sprout, and that the City will get infinitely more out of $100 million (the other $250 M is user pay) it will put into an arena than a $200 million museum a few blocks away – yet no one gets outraged about that.A fully privately funded areana would attract the same level of investment in the downtown area.No one privately owns a the provincial museum and generates profits.Using your logic the government should fund movie theatres because most people like to go to the movies.

    Why is an arena or movie theatre less important than a museum?

    If there was no other way to get a movie theatre, then the government should and would fund it. Thats what the Space Sciences center is.

    Government funds all kinds of things (crops, milk, beer, churches) thru incentives, grants, tax credits, subsidies, etc.

    Paying $200 Million for a museum and then paying $10 million a year to operate it, is not a great deal. Does it make you feel nice that someone else isn’t making a profit?

    Having a nice museum doesn’t put us on the map, nor is it soemthing that the average citizen will ever visit.

    People get bent out of shape because Katz is going to make money. I couldn’t care less. We can build him an arena or he can take his marbles and go elsewhere. He is the only game in town.

    Look at Quebec City or Winnipeg. They let their teams walk. Who is paying/ paid for their arenas? 100 % tax payer funded baby.

    The benefit to the current deal is that Katz puts in $100 million (+ he has had to buy the land), we get a stimulus to downtown growth and we avoid years of gnashing of teeth, self pity, and pain when our team moves.

  66. justDOit says:

    Woodguy,

    Thankyou! You’ve keyed my thoughts better than I could have.

    To those who may point to all these publicly funded stadii and arenas in the US – have a good look at what they’re brewing down there, and then tell me in all honesty that you want to drink from that cup. In fact, there was an article recently in one of their msm’s about how much of a failure the ‘public builds it, they will come’ idealogy is, and now after several downturns economically, the support for things like this had dried up.

    Heck, even the $1B renovation of MSG is being funded privately, by the family that owns it. How old is that building, anyway?

  67. justDOit says:

    Ducey,

    I read that the MTS center was 100% privately financed. Quebec’s hasn’t been funded or built yet, merely planned.

  68. blackdog says:

    Justdoit – thanks and yeah I forgot that whole Hemsky thing, there’s a perfect example. Oilers put out the word, shills in the media (and media outside of Edmonton who are ignorant) perform a hatchet job on the guy with the exceptions of Gregor and Robert T. from the Sun and then Hall pipes up and says they had better sign him and all of a sudden there’s a huge about face by the org and the local media.

    lol I say lol

  69. DSF says:

    Woodguy:
    Moosemess,

    There’s markets out there financing and building arenas just in the hopes of attracting lowly expansion teams and we’re balking at replacing the 2nd oldest building in the league for a team that’s won 5 Cups. Not to mention giving ourselves a state of the art concert venue in the process.

    If the other markets jumped off a bridge, would you want to jump off a bridge as well? /mom

    Why is it ok for the gov to finance museums and expansions to the space sciences centre to attract a frikkin’ Stars Wars exhibit, but building a sports arena/concert venue crosses the line?
    And yes, Katz can and should’ve done more to pony up, but last I checked spending “other people’s money” is what tycoons do?

    Because Museums are public goods where the entire community theoretically benefits, whereas a private company profits from the arena.

    Google “public goods”, it explains it better than I can.

    Katz’s 100M “skin in the game” is payable over 30 years.Less than $4MM/yr, while handing him the concert business in Edmonton.

    Unreal deal.I’d say that kind of deal is impossible if you presented it to me as theortical.

    I want a rink, but Lordy, the current deal is heavily one sided.

    And, what, pray tell, is the alternative?

    It’s easy to say Well, Katz can build it, but we both know he won’t.

    Considering he has already sunk $200M into a money losing hockey team, its exceedingly unlikely he would even consider plunking another half billion into an arena.

    His ROI on the deal would be incredibly poor.

    So, you’re left with renovating Rexall for, say, $300M, totally on the taxpayers’ tab.

    Flush.

  70. Woodguy says:

    Ducey,

    You are misunderstanding what a public good is.

    Please research it, as you are arguing 20 different things in your post and are missing the point.

    Paying $200 Million for a museum and then paying $10 million a year to operate it, is not a great deal. Does it make you feel nice that someone else isn’t making a profit?

    No, I would prefer not to have to subsidize museums. I pay enough tax as it is.

    Many museums in the world are private since they generate so much interest they can charge and make a profit. I’m all for charging and making a profit provided that I didn’t have to provide the majority of the infrastructure though my taxes to generate that profit.

    In the case of the Provincial Museum, it has been determined that it cannot exist as a private enterprise and the government deems it important enough to make it a public good.

    Why is an arena or movie theatre less important than a museum?

    If there was no other way to get a movie theatre, then the government should and would fund it. Thats what the Space Sciences center is.

    Exactly!!

    An arena is no more or less important than a museum or a movie theater.

    Theaters have the ability to generate profit from the revenues they make, so the private sector runs them.

    Many museums do the same and are private.

    Many arena too. Most in Canada actually.

    The provincial museum does not, but the government thought it important enough to fund and make it a public good.

    TWOS is in kinda the same category, (Bruce can probably chime in here with better info)

    Telus feels its important enough to put profits back into the community it makes them from and is the major $ source of the facilities in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.

    The government supplements these $, as do fundraising efforts to make these centers much cheaper to access than if they were strictly private. They probably would not exist as a private enterprise due to low revenue, so they are like a quasi public good.

    The arena, however, is a producer of large income, as is the Edmonton Oilers.

    These types of ventures do not require gov’t $ to exist, therefore should not get public $.

    We can agree on the benefits of a downtown arena (I’m pro-arena), but the level which the City of Edmonton is financing this thing and holding the bag on bills when they come due is embarrassing.

  71. Woodguy says:

    DSF,

    And, what, pray tell, is the alternative?

    It’s easy to say Well, Katz can build it, but we both know he won’t.

    No, he probably wouldn’t on his own, but suggesting that Katz paying more then $4MM/yr for 11 months of 12 running this facility for 30 years is ridiculous. People would be lineup outside the city for that kind of deal.

    Considering he has already sunk $200M into a money losing hockey team, its exceedingly unlikely he would even consider plunking another half billion into an arena.

    According to Forbes, the Oilers were the 15th highest valued franchise in the NHL: http://www.forbes.com/teams/edmonton-oilers/

    …and the 15th most profitable franchise: http://bizofhockey.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=442:inside-the-forbes-2011-nhl-valuations&catid=33:nhl-news&Itemid=51

    His ROI on the deal would be incredibly poor.

    So, you’re left with renovating Rexall for, say, $300M, totally on the taxpayers’ tab.

    Flush.

    His ROI on the rink given that he pays under $4MM/yr is actually ridiculously good. Stratospheric.

    No, the other option is not a renovation of Rexall, its getting a better deal for the city on the rink.

  72. LoDog says:

    Woodguy:
    Ducey,

    Give it a rest. I would point out its not fully publically funded, that you can’t just dump $450 million downtown and magically watch it sprout, and that the City will get infinitely more out of $100 million (the other $250 M is user pay) it will put into an arena than a $200 million museum a few blocks away – yet no one gets outraged about that.

    A fully privately funded areana would attract the same level of investment in the downtown area.

    No one privately owns a the provincial museum and generates profits.

    Using your logic the government should fund movie theatres because most people like to go to the movies.

    And Katz won’t own the arena, the city will. It is infinitely better to have a new arena downtown that costs the taxpayer 200 million than a renovated rexall for 300 million. And that is what would have happened had Katz not stepped up.

  73. Woodguy says:

    LoDog: And Katz won’t own the arena, the city will. It is infinitely better to have a new arena downtown that costs the taxpayer 200 million than a renovated rexall for 300 million. And that is what would have happened had Katz not stepped up.

    Please tell me what Katz is “stepping up” with?

    He sold land he had the option on to the city and the city is financing the whole thing.

    Katz pays ticket taxes and under $4MM/yr from cash flows.

    What is he “stepping up” with?

  74. Woodguy says:

    LoDog,

    And Katz won’t own the arena, the city will.

    And because of this fact there will be no property tax on this building even though 48 of 52 weeks of its life is spent producing profit for a private business.

    My business produces profit 1 more month of the year and I have to pay property tax.

    Sweet deal.

    Nice work,if you can get it.

  75. DSF says:

    Woodguy:
    DSF,

    And, what, pray tell, is the alternative?


    It’s easy to say Well, Katz can build it, but we both know he won’t.

    No, he probably wouldn’t on his own, but suggesting that Katz paying more then $4MM/yr for 11 months of 12 running this facility for 30 years is ridiculous.People would be lineup outside the city for that kind of deal.

    Considering he has already sunk $200M into a money losing hockey team, its exceedingly unlikely he would even consider plunking another half billion into an arena.

    According to Forbes, the Oilers were the 15th highest valued franchise in the NHL:http://www.forbes.com/teams/edmonton-oilers/

    …and the 15th most profitable franchise: http://bizofhockey.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=442:inside-the-forbes-2011-nhl-valuations&catid=33:nhl-news&Itemid=51

    His ROI on the deal would be incredibly poor.


    So, you’re left with renovating Rexall for, say, $300M, totally on the taxpayers’ tab.

    Flush.

    His ROI on the rink given that he pays under $4MM/yr is actually ridiculously good.Stratospheric.

    No, the other option is not a renovation of Rexall, its getting a better deal for the city on the rink.

    I would be interested in your perception of a “better deal”

    While I was surprised that the city allowed Katz to contribute his $100M over a very long period of time, the dollars are still guaranteed and the city received the benefit of 4 weeks of arena usage in return.

    Franchise value does not equal ROI and, as a business owner, I am sure you are aware of that fact. Katz only realizes that return if he sells the business and, in the meantime, if he is taking annual operating losses in the millions, he would be better off investing in Apple stock.

    Using Forbes numbers is like using a Ouija board, they bear no resemblance to reality so, unless you’ve had a peek at Katz financials, I can just as easily accept that the Oilers are not profitable on an operating basis given they play in one of the smallest arenas in the league and haven’t had playoff revenue since Christ was a cowboy.

    So, tell me about “the better deal”

  76. DSF says:

    Woodguy: Please tell me what Katz is “stepping up” with?

    He sold land he had the option on to the city and the city is financing the whole thing.

    Katz pays ticket taxes and under $4MM/yr from cash flows.

    What is he “stepping up” with?

    An NHL hockey team that he paid more than $200M for.

    Anyone else stepping up with that kind of investment?

    No?

    Didn’t think so.

  77. maudite says:

    Ha,

    Meant to come back to this but Woodguy does a better job than I could here. First thing, the Oilers are profitable. Now, it would be reasonable to assume that a partner using this as one of his points for public investment in private enterprise might have to substantiate this widly laughable claim…They refused to open their books. REFUSED. So, we took his word on that and handed him the cash. Put it this way, the only way they are losing money is because Katz group is paying back Katz the 200 million initial investment at whatever rate Katz has agreed to pay Katz, or they are grossly mismanaged to the point that no sane investor could justifiably bet more money on them operating a successful business.

    The oilers are a small piece of the puzzle here. Not only building a new building and initially attempting to flat out restrict Northlands from competing for concerts (which they backtracked from only due to the fact that the idea of it is compeletely illegal). Katz is getting handed all the revenue from one of the top ten busiest concert revenues in North America for absolutely nothing. Seriously nothing. It’s beyond obtuse that people throw up all the strawmans they do trying to justify this scenario.

    Bookie, I don’t like government waste of anykind but any reasonable person really looking at this thing without blinders on cannot seriously agree with it. It’d be great to have a new arena but I assumed he was starting from this absurd stance strictly to make it look like a win for the city when they negotiated a better deal. Never could have imagined he actually moved backward from his opening position and we’d crawl towards him with our mouths open.

  78. LoDog says:

    DSF: An NHL hockey team that he paid more than $200M for.

    Anyone else stepping up with that kind of investment?

    No?

    Didn’t think so.

    Don’t forget the 250 million from the ticket tax and annual payments. So 450 million that he might get back before he is dead. If he lives a long long time.

  79. Woodguy says:

    DSF,

    I would be interested in your perception of a “better deal”

    He’s entering a lease with a 30 year term, with no money down, and all payments dependent on cash flow of the property, and those are under $4MM/yr on a $450MM property.

    Its hard to think of a worse deal.

    A better deal?

    How about $50MM down in real $ from Rexall, then guaranteeing all payments at a 5% discount rate, (not what the city pays), and guaranteeing the CRL as well.

    Franchise value does not equal ROI and, as a business owner, I am sure you are aware of that fact. Katz only realizes that return if he sells the business and, in the meantime, if he is taking annual operating losses in the millions, he would be better off investing in Apple stock.

    The two key components of owning a major league sports franchise in North America are:

    1) Get and amazing deal on a facility from a government

    2) Use your appreciating franchise value as leverage (collateral) for other monies.

    This is pretty standard stuff. Rexall can even use the freshly levered franchise value to invest in Apple!

    Using Forbes numbers is like using a Ouija board, they bear no resemblance to reality so, unless you’ve had a peek at Katz financials, I can just as easily accept that the Oilers are not profitable on an operating basis given they play in one of the smallest arenas in the league and haven’t had playoff revenue since Christ was a cowboy.

    They are the best numbers available, and very reasonable when examined.

    Hell, Allan Watt himself mentioned the Oilers having revenue of $95+MM before being put out to pasture.

  80. Woodguy says:

    DSF: An NHL hockey team that he paid more than $200M for.

    Anyone else stepping up with that kind of investment?

    No?

    Didn’t think so.

    No one forced him to buy the hockey team.

    He paid $200MM for it using his own free will.

    That doesn’t give him access to interest free financing from the city with no money down.

    When Katz was trying to buy the team he also promised to build a new Oiler practice facility at the UofA and a new rink for the Bears to play in.

    Where are those?

    *crickets*

  81. Woodguy says:

    LoDog: Don’t forget the 250 million from the ticket tax and annual payments. So 450 million that he might get back before he is dead. If he lives a long long time.

    The ticket tax is from future cash flows like I mentioned, nothing comes out of his pocket today.

    He is paying nothing out of pocket.

    If he lives another 30 seconds he’s lived long enough to make money on this deal.

  82. Woodguy says:

    DSF,

    the dollars are still guaranteed

    No.

    No guarantees in this deal.

    That is my biggest problem with the deal.

    If the cash flows fall short (ticket tax, Rexall Sports annual $3.35MM) (unlikely) or the CRL falls short (waaaay more likely and those cash flows are far into the future) Rexall Sports in on the hook for 0% of the shortfall.

    There is no guaranteeing by Rexall Sports that the City will see the projected cash flows.

    No money down, no guaranteeing of revenues, but 11 of 12 months of use of a $450MM facility because he owns the hockey team.

    Pathetic deal.

  83. Woodguy says:

    Perhaps Katz was up late one night and saw a Tommy Vu informercial about making millions in real estate with no money down?

    And he thought, “Sure, why not try? At worst they say no.”

    Leasing a $450MM facility for 30 years with no money down and only $4MM/yr.

    Tommy Vu would blush.

  84. DSF says:

    Woodguy: No one forced him to buy the hockey team.

    He paid $200MM for it using his own free will.

    That doesn’t give him access to interest free financing from the city with no money down.

    When Katz was trying to buy the team he also promised to build a new Oiler practice facility at the UofA and a new rink for the Bears to play in.

    Where are those?

    *crickets*

    No. No one forced him to buy the team and we are all aware there was a long lineup of purchasers hoping to get their hands on the team.

    Oh wait….there wasn’t.

    You are asking the tenant to guarantee the mortgage AND guarantee that property values will increase if he takes good care of the property?

    Sounds reasonable. Phhhtt.

    Likely a more reasonable approach would have been for the city to underwrite the entire cost of the arena and ask a reasonable annual payment which, along with a ticket surcharge and CRL would have retired the debt.

    But, of course the phlegmatic burghers of Edmonton always feel a need to “make the rich pay”.

    And, so, you end up with a camel.

  85. spoiler says:

    Re: MSM

    When one starts to doubt the official stories, it’s not long before one realizes that for things to be the way they are, both the education system and the government must have been compromised first.

    Re: Arena

    Why do people say “government funding”? No government anywhere has ever funded anything.

    Thank god WG was here. Smart people don’t want museums funded either. In fact funding one in a small market destroys any chance of a private venture (that could support a family) from ever existing — since competing against every single taxpayer in the entire community would be suicidal.

    But in absence of private ownership due to the lack of profit, at least Museums provide other public benefits and I agree with using taxpayer money if the taxpayers agree themselves that this benefit is meaningful to them. But one would hope that the enterprise can be brought to a profitable level and sold to return to taxpayers their generous investment.

    However the arena is a profitable enterprise, and as such can be financed rather than donated. There is no need for taxpayers to be involved, like a movie theatre, other than an implied threat by the owner (I’m goin home and I’m taking my ball with me). If he can’t do finance and profit with record low interest rates, then either he ain’t much of a businessman or he’s dreaming way too fancy on the building (and playing on our councillor egos the same way)

    And that implied threat is a joke. There’s no hockey mad market anywhere near the size of Edmonton available. Public funding in the USA has disappeared now that the stupidity of spending public money freely has brought municipalities to their knees and some to the brink of bankruptcy. Alberta has one of the most resilient economies on the planet. Moving isn’t really an option for Katz.

    And Downtown Revitalization is another straw man. When will the Central Soviet Planner types realize this fact? You want to revitalize downtown? Cut its tax burden and get out of the way of downtown business profitting from revitalizing their own lifeblood.

    But that would mean government getting smaller and governments never vote to do that.

  86. Ducey says:

    And Downtown Revitalization is another straw man. When will the Central Soviet Planner types realize this fact? You want to revitalize downtown? Cut its tax burden and get out of the way of downtown business profitting from revitalizing their own lifeblood.

    But that would mean government getting smaller and governments never vote to do that.

    Hey Mitt, isn’t your plan just another way of shifting the tax burden from downtown to everywhere else? Don’t you realize that whether you shift tax burdens around or just increase it for everyone its just a different branch of the same policy?

  87. vishcosity says:

    Quite a discussion you caused here in AZ. Good enough that I burned dinner. The elder Republican says he grew up at the altar called Walter Kronkite, now 40 years later watches Fox news because, he says, they let opposite pundits dialogue together while NBC only offers one side’s spin. At least with Fox he says that he gets both. Spin. Attourneys. sigh.

    in his perspective there is no such thing as fact or opinion because he says they are completely inseparable (except in science which is definitely what drew me towards it). So while it may be both easy and fun to slag Damion Cox, none of us can communicate a fact without including our opinion. Everybody is selling something, Cox’s agenda is just a bit more transparent than others.

    I haven’t read a newspaper or watched tv “news” for 10 or 15 years. If it doesn’t appear on Puck Daddy, its probably not that important.

  88. Schitzo says:

    Late to the party, but I don’t think that the Cox piece was a hatchet job on the Oilers at all. Not sure that I agree with his conclusion that “external market forces” were to blame, though.

    He kind of dances around a point that I wish he would have given more consideration – the leverage that comes from the uncertainty of the next CBA. If Hall wants 7 years of security, why pay market rate? Tell him he can have 5 years under the next CBA, or take a discount for a larger overall guarantee before the rules change. (And if I had Hall’s injury history, I would be signing for the most guaranteed money I can get).

    As for Eberle, still not sure what the panic was. If Stamkos and Doughty can reach RFA status without an offer sheet, somehow I think Eberle’s situation would have resolved itself.

  89. art vandelay says:

    Bravo to Woodguy and Spoiiler for representing what any sane person would regard as the facts re Katz getting a free rink courtesy Edmonton taxpayers (Alberta taxpayers’ contribution pending).
    DSF checks in with some truthiness. The pro-giveaway crowd has no third-party verifiable data – NONE – to support their case. NONE. Your entire premise is based on what I have to – excuse my strawman – presume is a grievously shortened middle leg. Your lives are so pathetically stalled of any emotional development that you need a new rink full of blue and orange jerseys to make your miserable lives more meaningful.
    Here’s $20. Buy yourselves a box of Extenz.

  90. Woodguy says:

    DSF,

    No. No one forced him to buy the team and we are all aware there was a long lineup of purchasers hoping to get their hands on the team.

    Oh wait….there wasn’t.

    Gary Gregg, one of the investors in the Edmonton Investors Group, wanted to buy the Oilers instead of Katz.

    He backed off when…get this….Katz promised to build a new rink using his own money to kickstart the project and Gary’s group couldn’t compete cash wise.

    I bet Gary burns everyday with the deal Katz is getting on the rink. Gregg and his partners could have handled that too.

    You are asking the tenant to guarantee the mortgage AND guarantee that property values will increase if he takes good care of the property?

    I’m asking the main beneficiary of the project to guarantee the cash flows that the entire financing scheme is based upon.

    If its a house of cards, then the cash flows from the arena should pay the shortfall.

    No ground breaking suff.

    I bet Cincinnati wishes they had that as part of their deal: http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20110925/NEWS0108/109250373

    Likely a more reasonable approach would have been for the city to underwrite the entire cost of the arena and ask a reasonable annual payment which, along with a ticket surcharge and CRL would have retired the debt.

    That’s very close to deal on the table, but the main recipient of the revenues, Rexall Sports, refused to guarantee anything.

  91. Woodguy says:

    At the end of the Cincinatti article I linked to there are 3 links to other articles describing cities and counties getting killed when projected stadium revenues didn’t appear and they are left holding the bag.

    Cutting government services to finance debt on stadiums. Edmonton better be careful or it will wind up in the same spot.

    Clevland: http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20110925/NEWS0108/109250370

    Orlando: http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20110925/NEWS0108/109250368

    Indianapolis: http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20110925/NEWS0108/109250371

  92. maudite says:

    Which, is why this issue is relevant to the article. It was very poorly presented in the local media. I don’t think “ass-clown” is really conversation advancing, but the way Staples covered this issue and repeatedly marginalized the no side of this arguement IMO, did some damage to his respectability. I personally stopped reading his stuff after how doggedly he towed a party line he’s not even a an actual employed member of.

  93. spoiler says:

    Ducey: And Downtown Revitalization is another straw man. When will the Central Soviet Planner types realize this fact? You want to revitalize downtown? Cut its tax burden and get out of the way of downtown business profitting from revitalizing their own lifeblood.But that would mean government getting smaller and governments never vote to do that.Hey Mitt, isn’t your plan just another way of shifting the tax burden from downtown to everywhere else? Don’t you realize that whether you shift tax burdens around or just increase it for everyone its just a different branch of the same policy?

    Yet another straw man. Good work, counsellor, I expected nothing less. I would cut the tax burden on every taxpayer, given half a chance. Why in god’s name would you assume that I would arbitrarily redistribute it?

    And as for your “Mitt” comment, I am in no way, shape, or form, a Republican, You’re only exposing your own ignorance of the issues and their context by such ad hominem, tactics. Again, well done, counsellor.

    *gags*

  94. Media Monday Edmonton: Update #52 - MasterMaq's Blog says:

    [...] wonders how you get your sports news. “I’m finding fewer and fewer places on the internet where actual reporting followed by opinion [...]

  95. Wolfpack says:

    Late to the party here…

    I think the key term in MSM is “main-stream”. The reporters or columnists or whatever are writing for the masses. In many cases, despite the decline in print readers, many MSM writers have larger audiences than ever because of the growth in their digital audiences. So I don’t think it is really that true to say that they are under stiff competition from bloggers. The overall size of the pie has grown. I am sure some MSM writers are not as knowledgeable about analytics, etc. but I also believe some are but simply know that their audience is not.

    Those of us who are on sites like this one are in fact a very small portion of the fanbase. I have a lot of friends who would call themselves big hockey fans and big Oiler fans but if I were to explain buying UFA years to them in terms of contracts, or corsi, or anything beyond who plays on whose line, I guarantee it would be new to them. Probably 95% of fans are not on sites like this one enjoying the statistical analysis and everything else.

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