Thursday, July 3, 2008

Tenderhooks

Grahame Jones with Sunil Gulati
Nick Green spells out the dire situation for journalists, and specifically those who cover soccer, these days.
As Nick mentions, the latest cuts at the LA Times put Grahame Jones at risk.
It's hard to explain what Grahame means to the local press corps. He's seen it all, basically. Why look up information on the World Cup twenty-two years ago if Grahame is sitting right there to tell first-hand stories about it? Yet Grahame is never snobby, quick with jokes to lighten the mood, willing to share observations and just all-around the godfather of the LA soccer press (minus the threatening criminal nature). Grahame pays soccer the true respect it deserves - he never babies it along or gives it props for effort. He sets high standards and can be absolutely withering when players and teams fall short. Yet no one who knows Grahame holds any grudge against him - he's straightforward with what he thinks.
Thing is, every writer covering soccer is like a little light - people may not like the color or intensity of it, they may argue whether the light illuminates what it should, but different opinions are what foster debate. Every soccer beat that gets cut means the sporting landscape for the beautiful game gets darker, the discussion a little more limited. Grahame never thinks of his fellow writers as competition. If anything, his encouragement has kept some of us going through tough times. That sort of camaraderie used to be the best thing about the LA soccer beat.
It's like how this blog wouldn't exist if it wasn't for Luis being willing to work with me on it. Yet the Riverside Press-Enterprise is another paper making cuts, and if he loses that gig, Luis is considering a career change. "Doom and gloom" perhaps, but that's the view from this corner of the soccer world.

8 comments:

The Hammer said...

I read this earlier, and yes it looks like cloudy skies ahead.

I think from a business standpoint, this void that traditional newspapers are creating presents a business opportunity.

There are so many soccer blogs online right now that some have even made it a point to distinguish the cute from the bad with cute little banners.

It'd be something special if somebody brought it all together. Good luck, I'm sure something special will come to football coverage soon.

Soledad said...

Oh, the L.A. Times, not even a shadow of the former self I hear so much about. I realize the masses need to get their news from somewhere, but the masses can barely read and they're certainly not reading the L.A. Times.

the hammer, brings up a good point. Perhaps Mr. Jones needs to go the Alan Rich route*.


_
* http://soiveheard.com/

Anonymous said...

jones not snobby? maybe not to his journalist buddies, but to his readers he comes off as a grade-a asshole.

Anonymous said...

Jones is a fossil and it is time for him to retire.

Calling the Galaxy "cheaters" in his match report on the KC game was the last straw for me and I will not forgive or forget.

Anonymous said...

At least now I have a face to the name so I can give him shit should I see him at the HDC.

Baysider said...

The "cheaters" line did it for me too. As far as I'm concerned, Jones getting fired would be the one good thing coming out of the Times downsizing.

A.C. said...

Because, obviously, it's better for no one at the LA Times to be writing about the Galaxy at all? You guys must really love AP copy to be so adamant about one word.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

You guys must really love AP copy to be so adamant about one word.

Uh, a.c., AP copy ain't so bad. Take it from one who knows... ;D

With all due respect to Grahame and his experience, and with all due respect to the rest of the soccer reporters in L.A., nobody has the testosterone to take on AEG's constant incompetence, malfeasance and arrogance. We all know about it. We all know that Bozo the Mad Genius is nothing but a corporate tool. Given Grahame's experience and the fact that he is the only reporter in this town who has covered the Galaxy from Day One -- and given that he has a freer hand online than in print -- I would hope he would address this issue soon. He would be doing a great service to the soccer community in L.A.