Feedback I’ve received from yesterday’s post on The Athletic has me thinking through my opinions on the site a little more. I may have stated a few things inelegantly, and the feedback helped me shape my thinking.
I’ve heard from people who work there and who subscribe that there are many young writers working on staff. I apologize for not acknowledging this, and I need to spend a lot more time with the site before I comment too much about the content or the writers. That’s on me.
Also, as several people pointed out to me, The Athletic is a major market or national brand. It’s not going to hire kids straight out of college, and nor should they.
My concern about this isn’t that one of my kids isn’t getting a job at The Athletic right after they graduate from SUNY Oswego. My concern is that there’s a finite pool of money that’s being invested in sports journalism, both by venture capitalists and by subscribers spending their $5-10 a month. It’s great that people are paying for sports journalism at the national level. But I’m concerned that that’s not translating down to the local level. And that’s where young writers are getting left out here. It’s not that they’re not getting hired at The Athletic. It’s that there aren’t jobs at the local and regional levels for them. There’s no branch of The Athletic in Olean or in Binghamton to help them out.
I worry that we focus too much on the national level and ignore what’s happening at smaller newspapers.
And if there’s not investment at the local level, if we look at sports journalism only as a thing that happens in major markets and nationally, there won’t be room for young writers to grow to the point where they are hired by The Athletic.