The local paper in Phoenix has never been top notch but I have bought it on occasions and regularly use their site to keep updated on the local news and sports. I have now made a conscious decision not to buy their paper or frequent their site; I have also stopped following them on twitter and facebook.
Why you ask? Their coverage of the Phoenix Coyotes has always been lacking. I understood when the team were the perennial losers of the valley but they have made the playoffs the last two years and are playing well so far this season yet they still get no respect from the Arizona Republic or AZCentral (the online counter part). It's great advertising because it's true.
With no NBA season (so far), one would expect that the Coyotes may get some priority, maybe a front headline after a big game or sending the beat writer to an away game or two. This has not happened. The Coyotes are still appearing below the fold or buried in the inside. On AZCentral they are rarely the main sports headline, often getting buried under high school sports.
I have no issue with them covering high school sports or the NFL. I think all sports deserve coverage but it would be nice to see the Coyotes get a big headline when they win and the Cardinals lose. It’d be nice if they could be a little higher priority than high school sports.
A few people I know have emailed the sports editor for the newspaper. Instead of taking the time to reply to each individual, he replied to everyone on the same email and failed to use the blind carbon copy (BCC). To me, that is very unprofessional. The emails did not come from one person with all the addresses already on it; he had to take the time to put all the addresses in one letter. This was a form letter and now everyone knows it. At least take the time to send an email to each individual who took time out of their day to express a concern to you or learn the BCC feature.
The letter contained many items that sounded like excuses to me. It was the canned letter and excuses contained therein that pushed me to the point that I had to unfollow, unlike and chose not to read their paper/site again. I thought the whole ordeal was very unprofessional and the easy way out.
The reasons they can’t give the Coyotes more coverage? There might
be a NBA season so they need to keep that money ready and they have to think about the 2012 Olympics. This my readers is why the Republic chooses to use AP articles for all road trips and bury the Coyotes in the paper/site. Wow. Those sound like horrible excuses to me.
What if the NBA doesn't have a season? Why not invest in a team that is actually playing? Why not help the Coyotes get some of those NBA fans and build the sport? Even if the Suns start playing in January, why not cover the Coyotes in the mean time? What do you have to lose, besides upset Coyotes fans as customers?
As far as the 2012 Olympics, why do we need to send reporters there? Other than for their personal gain? There will be plenty of AP articles that can be used instead. Why choose to send someone on a much more costly trip for coverage of sports and events that not many people have a close connection to? Yes, I get Olympics are big and I watch them but I would rather have coverage on my local teams I follow year in and out over an event that happens every four years and have no personal connections to the athletes.
I started writing this last night and today there was even more interesting development. The Coyotes have let it be known that they have offered to have the AZ Republic fly with the team and use the team hotel rate. That means the reporter would have free airfare, what I’m sure is a deeply discounted hotel room and food costs, most businesses have around $40 per diem for food expenses. This sounds like a great deal yet the Republic still refuses to send a reporter along for even a few away games. This has disgusted me even more. Hell, I’ll go with the team if all I need to worry about is hotel and food!
I have tweeted both @azcentral and @azcsports but have not received any response. It doesn't surprise me at all. I would expect a form response anyway, one that everyone else is replied to in. I encourage all readers and fans to tweet the above two accounts and let them know how you feel. They can’t ignore all of us, can they? Also, feel free to email the AZ Republic sports editor so you too can receive his canned response. Here is Mark’s email address:
. Please, send him your thoughts on their coverage, or lack thereof, of the Coyotes.
An aside, the @azcsports feed is terrible. I get the ASU/UofA Duel in the Desert is a HUGE deal but all the Coyotes got was one tweet with the final score in the middle of a tirade of tweets leading up to the football game. Honestly, could they not tweet a little more variety? The Coyotes game was over before the football game even begun yet the Coyotes got one tweet that I’m sure many people missed.
As the main newspaper in the Valley, they have a responsibility to cover all the professional sports. This extends to their website, twitter feed and facebook page. Hockey fans may not be as numerous as football fans but we deserve quality reporting. I am glad to see fans starting to take note and raise the issue. Keep emailing and tweeting at them. As a friend brought up today, email, call and tweet the companies that advertise with them. Let those businesses feel some pressure so they put pressure on the Republic. Remember, money talks.
The reason I started blogging about the Coyotes back in 2007 is because coverage was even more limited. It has gotten much better but it still has a ways to go. Jim Gintonio does an excellent job with what he is given and has come along way since he was first assigned the Coyotes. I still follow him on twitter. There are also many more Coyotes blogs now but as bloggers we don’t get the press passes and opportunities to travel with the team. Our resources as limited. The Republic has access to all of that. They need to step up and give the Coyotes and their fans the respect we deserve.
I was provided a copy of the form email that was sent out. Please see below (I took out names and email addresses but left the first initials of those that received the email).From:
"Faller, Mark" <email@example.com
Fri, 18 Nov 2011 19:55:35 -0700To:
G; D; J; CSubject:
This will answer several e-mails I’ve received about our lack of staff road coverage for the Phoenix Coyotes.
We value the Coyotes and know they have loyal fans. But we have to make tough decisions about how best to use our resources to cover a myriad of sports in a crowded sports marketplace. At this time our policy with the Coyotes remains the same – we don’t expect to be able to travel with them. As the end of the regular season nears, and they appear headed toward the playoffs, then we will re-evaluate.
We are taking steps to minimize the impact of this decision by supplementing wire content with occasional staff stories on off days while the team is away – for example, reaching out to coaches and players on the phone when warranted.
Some have suggested that since the NBA is in lockout, we should reallocate travel money normally used on the Suns. That’s not relevant because we have to be prepared to react in case some form of a season still takes place. Also, we face new expenses in 2012, such as the Summer Olympics, that have to be considered.
Thanks for taking the time to share your concerns.
The Arizona Republic | azcentral.com