Monday, April 24, 2006

Following The Bouncing Puck In The New York Times Sports Department

Multi-Tasking For The Sake of Multi-Tasking?
OK, it's swell for the N.Y. Times to double-staff the Devils-Rangers series with two staff reporters. After all, this is a newspaper that had one writer during the season covering the sport, even though there are three teams in the metro area.
Jason Diamos was the Rangers beat reporter, while the Devils and Islanders were mostly relegated to wire coverage.
Which then raises the question of why Diamos isn't covering the hometown series. Instead, he's in Buffalo, writing about the Sabres in today's edition.
Instead, Lee Jenkins, currently flitting from sport to sport and acquitting himself rather nicely, and Jets writer Karen Crouse are covering the home teams.
I'm sure if you quizzed the Times brass, they'd point with pride to how versatile their reporters are, resulting in seamless coverage.
But if you assigned a reporter to cover a team for a whole season, it would stand to reason you'd want his insight, expertise and access at a time when interest of the team is heightened. If not, then there's no point to having a beat reporter.
Even more curious, Joe Lapointe, who once served as the Times' national hockey writer, at a time when such a position existed, was off covering the Yankees instead. Multi-tasking for the sake of multi-tasking doesn't necessarily serve the reader better.

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