Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
Sports journalism is hurting. The bad economy is often blamed, but in reality, it's only exacerbated a deeper problem. The Internet is permanently changing the relationship between readers and publishers. It's not going to go back to the way it was, even if the economy recovers.
So what will the future of sports coverage look like? Some have suggested that bloggers will take the place of journalists. The problem with that is that bloggers, for the most part, are still reliant on conventional sports journalists. They can't do their own legwork, and there's no clear way for them to get the money to do it, even if they wanted to.
Could this be the answer? Mark Zuckerman, formerly the Nationals beat writer for the Washington Times, lost his job when the Times eliminated their sports department. Taking a page from C. Trent's book, he asked for reader donations to cover spring training...and got a much more generous response than he expected. Everyone from devoted fans to family and friends to bloggers who recognize how dependent they are on beat writers contributed. Donations even came in from people not particularly interested in the Nats or baseball; they just like the idea of reader-supported journalism.
"Radiohead journalism" has also worked on non-sports subjects. Not sure if it's a long-term solution. Perhaps once the novelty wears off, people will tire of donating alms for the journalist. But it's an interesting trend to watch.
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