Wednesday, October 31, 2007

We don't bash the Bee (unless they deserve it)

It never fails.

A Fresno Bee reporter will write something critical about Fresno State, and the Bee bashers are right there with allegations of the local newspaper "hating" Fresno State — as if the Bee has some agenda to be the negative publicity machine for the Bulldogs.

There was a headline about Fresno State"wobbling" after the Boise loss, and someone on started complaining about the negative slant because the headline didn't match the story.

It's a conspiracy, DAMMIT!!

Well, actually, it's not. The Bee has had some awesome sports writers over the past 15 years who have advanced to the apex of the sports journalism profession. Read on.

First off, I assure anyone pissed about the headline that B.J. Anteola did not write it. But that's beside the point. Here's the real issue.

There are no staff meetings where the Bee's bigwigs tell the reporters how Fresno State look like a pile of crap. There is no "the man" sitting in an office telling all of the underlings to screw Fresno State.

There might be some in charge who instruct the journalists to be more critical, but only because they see that as their job. Just as in every other career out there, some people go about their business in an aggressive cutthroat manner. Some don't.

It's not just the media. The same could be said of investing, insurance, retail, computers, entertainment or any number of other industries.

Many journalists think to get ahead they have to be very critical and almost pessimistic. They have to agressively report people's faults or mistakes and overlook or take for granted their positives. It's the nature of the business in a lot of places inside and out of Fresno. It's not just the Bee.

So don't support the Bee for what they've done if you want to, but knowing that in the past 15 or so years you've been treated to some of the best sportswriting around, it would be stupid.

In journalism circles, guys like John Canzano, Adrian Wojnaraowski, Andy Katz, Eric Prisbell, Jeff Passan and John Branch — all Bee alums — are revered for having climbed the rungs of the business. Even lesser-known guys like David White, Vaughn McClure, Anthony Witrado and Milo Bryant have left the Bee and gone to bigtime professional sports markets.

Those guys are why you think the Bee is against Fresno State. But they're also heroes to guys like Matt James and Daniel Lyght who are hoping to follow in their footsteps.

So you say you don't like the Bee because they have some agenda against Fresno State? Well the experts say the Fresno Bee is one of the best training grounds for up-and-coming sports journalists.

And as long as Bee reporters continue to get promoted, they'll practice the same style of reporting that's worked for them all this time.

1 comment:

  1. Part of the problem, I think, is that many Bulldog fans think the Fresno Bee should be part of the support staff of the local team. That is really not their job; reporters must report the news; columnists must opine about the state of affairs.

    Which brings us to the next point: too often the news is bad due to lousy decision making from the Fresno State staff and students.

    Finally, remember, it is man bites dog that is news, NOT dog bites man. I don't like the Fresno Bee either, but much of the Bulldog Fans' discomfort is FSU-inflicted, IMHO.

    Steve Burnes


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