Tuesday, January 4, 2011

North American online newspaper soccer coverage: The Winnipeg Free Press

Now for something completely different: the Winnipeg Free Press. Twitter people should know the newspaper through reading Jerrad Peters' column there via his profile link. When I first decided to review the WFP's soccer page, I assumed Peters would be front and centre. Instead, I was momentarily confused by this headline: "Deadline day a bust for soccer powers", thinking that I had just woke up after a three and a half week snooze, until I noticed it was dated September 1st, 2010. Have a look. Seriously.

This is what I mean when I talk about inept soccer coverage by North American newspapers. The Winnipeg Free Press is a small regional newspaper with very limited resources, publishing at a time when the newspaper business is getting its ass kicked by everything, and there are no notable professional soccer teams playing in Winnipeg Manitoba. Fine. But Jerrad Peters, a Canadian writer, has written a fucking book about soccer, a book that I've managed to locate in every major Chapters-Indigo outlet including one in Moncton, New Brunswick, and yet his soccer column appears, inexplicably, in the "Opinion" section of the paper.

Not only that, but you wouldn't be able to find Peters unless you deliberately searched for him. So the WFP has a dedicated soccer columnist who watches as many games if not more than many of his European equivalents (check his Twitter timeline), a published author, and he is completely missing from the soccer page. In his place are wire stories from six fucking months ago. Maybe Peters' was recently let go or something and hasn't told us yet, because I feel like I must be missing something obvious here. I have no more words for this until someone tell me what gives.

1 comment:

Grant said...

Hi Richard.

There's probably one or two guys who plug away at the back-end of the site updating pages and some sections simply get less attention than others.

I agree that in this specific case it's ridiculous - either update it or kill it - but I doubt there has ever been much discussion in the WFP newsroom about how to improve their online soccer coverage.

If it's any consolation I can tell you that Peters still gets a fairly prime spot in the sports section of the actual paper, which in Winnipeg a lot of people still read.