Zuri Berry: Just to be clear, this is a giving relationship
Personally, I don’t think a catfight is ever necessary.
You know, the elevated conflict in which names are called and feelings are hurt, intentionally and unintentionally.
But there’s a clear reason why conflict is necessary: to resolve even the most minute of disputes.
This week, the sports section has had to resolve a dispute going on with Little League baseball in the area. Luckily, there are more cool heads than hot tongues in the matter and an escalation to any sort of catfight was unnecessary. But through the fracas, I came to understand that a rehashing of old understandings needs to be articulated, especially on where the newspaper stands as a community body as well as how other members of the media in this area fit into the equation.
In western Nevada County, we have a special situation. There are a number of outlets for folks to turn to for sports coverage. In the fall, football fans can listen to Nevada Union and Bear River games on the radio, read their story in the next day’s paper (no matter where they are) and watch it on TV shortly thereafter.
There is no other place in California where this happens. None.
The uniqueness of this situation is not, for the most part, lost on people in this community. They’ve come to enjoy their game commentary from Dan Miller, their write-ups from Union Sports Editor Brian Hamilton and Touchdown Production’s Gil Dominguez doing play-by-play with instant replays to boot. And I think it’s fair enough to say, the collective media here is glad enough to bring their talents to this community because in turn, you tune in to the programs and you read our products. But even more so, it’s what you want from us, so we deliver.
In the most basic sense of understanding, it is a mutual benefit.
Parents, read: subscribers, want to see their kids’ pictures in the paper. So we take their pictures and plaster them on B1.
In the case of Little League, parents (also known as subcribers) want to see their kids’ pictures in the paper. So we take their pictures and plaster them on B1.
Is that clear?
Bio-technically speaking, it’s a symbiotic relationship.
There are also times when the win-win scenario is lopsided, when we do more to get those Little League pictures in than is logical for their demand. At The Union, we find this to be balanced because we value our community sports above the national and international stuff. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked to Brian about a kid we’re covering at NU that he covered in Little League. The whole exchange has become cliche.
At Touchdown Productions, they’ve rescinded on their “no pay” policy in order to cover Little League games, paying out a fee for each game they cover with the ante being upped in the latter stages of the tournament. It’s a situation which is not ideal for access television programming.
But because of our special situation, our connection to the community is strong, and therefore our commitment is strong.
All of the media here covers Little Leaguers, the rodeo, youth sports and preps pretty thoroughly. It’s come to be expected.
There’s no other place in the great state of California like this. What’s being done here is at times a service but inherently a duty that has been taken up by some dedicated people in each major media form.
We do this for our community because this is what you want.
And we’re glad to deliver.
Zuri Berry is a sports writer at The Union. His columns appears Wednesdays. You can also read his blog online at http://www.theunion.com/blogs/sports. You can contact Zuri via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4244.
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