Thoughts on Boston

A few scattered thoughts on the past week:

  • I've always been a bit skeptical of the notion that, after a tragedy, sports acts as an agent to "bring a city together." You hear this all the time. Maybe it's just the contrarian in me, but I've always been wary of that. There are a lot of people who aren't sports fans. And the lives victims and their families of the marathon bombings aren't magically improved by the home team playing a game again. That being said, the Star-Spangled Banner at Wednesday night's Bruins-Sabres game was a sight to see. I mean a sight to see.
  •  To me, it's the best rendition of our national anthem at a sporting event. Yes, better than Marvin Gaye, better than Whitney Houston. Our national anthem is not at its best when it's performed. It's at its best when it's sung as a collective, thousands joining together, letting the emotion of the moment pour out.
  • I'm critical of PTI a lot, but Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon quietly did great work this week. They handled Tuesday's show and Friday's opening segment with the right balance of solemnity and seriousness, and their transitions to sports news was as seamless as possible
  •  As far as journalism ... a lot has been said and written about it, and I don't have much to add other than this: We're in an era in which journalism is changing. I use the phrase "journalism paradigm" a lot, which is just a fancypants academic way of saying how we define and understand what is real journalism and what isn't. That paradigm, that world view, is changing dramatically, and this week demonstrated that.  Developing news, as Gaye Tuchman called it, is always confusing and chaotic. It's just that confusing chaos used to live just in the newsroom and our notebooks. Now, it's public. That's not to excuse the errors - the New York Post's embarrassing coverage, CNN's massive mistakes, the rush-to-judgement of the people at Reddit - but it does contextualize it a bit. It highlights the challenges news organizations face trying to figure out this new journalism world. Things are constantly changing. The paradigm is evolving before us, and anyone who claims to know what the future of journalism is is either lying, stupid or trying to sell you something. That change, like the news, is unfolding in real time.