Jealous, I can only surmise, at other news outlets and their blog thingies, the West Island Chronicle has announced the creation of Sportlight (yes, with an “R”), a “blog” about Montreal’s professional sports teams, the Canadiens, Alouettes and Impact. (It’s also available in French as Montréal en sport)
Sadly, despite their claims of being “experienced” and “up-to-the-minute”, they’re clearly neither. The journalists who write these blogs don’t cover these teams regularly (or at all). They’re just guys who watch hockey on TV and think they’re experts about it.
In other words, it’s just like all those other Habs blogs out there. Not worth seeing unless you know the authors personally.
The problem is that David is trying to slay Goliath on Goliath’s terms. The Gazette’s Habs Inside/Out blog takes advantage of the paper’s access to the team and its reporters’ experience to make it a comprehensive resource. Armchair sports analysts can’t compete with that, so why are they?
I noticed the same problem years ago with student media. Instead of concentrating on university sports where they have the access, time and resources to do a good job (and the lack of competition that would make them the best at what they do), some student newspaper writers prefer to rant about the Habs, doing bad imitations of professional sports writers.
There is no limit to sports that local reporters can cover. Junior teams, college teams, high school teams, all get ignored in big media because there are too many of them and they’re not interesting enough.
The ball is in the court of the local papers to write about local teams. Why is it trying to compete on a level it is guaranteed to lose?
Full disclosure: I work at The Gazette (though I don’t do anything on its Habs blog), and I once interned briefly at the Chronicle.