Quality hockey reporting by the mainstream is rare these days. So when we lose a good one, it’s a sad day.
Helene St. James. Anser Khan. Ted Kuflan. They are all beat writers for the Wings; a dream job for most. Yet reading them, you get the feeling that they not only know only the very basics of hockey, but are putting the bare minimum effort in. How many times have you seen the exact same article written by the major outlets? It’s almost every day in fact. The “deep diggers” lack of actual digging is why the first blog I started to read came about, the great Abel to Yzerman. And the rest they say is history.
The Wings little brother, the Grand Rapids Griffins, was lucky enough to have one of the best beat writers in the business covering them. Michael Zuidema did a hell of a job for the Grand Rapids Press in keeping us up to date with the Griffs. He’s one of those rare beat writers who seem to get it and gave us interesting stories on the future of the Wings. Here’s a recent article showing his ability to go just a little farther than others in bringing us an interesting story.
Hit the jump for the sad news and how coverage will continue.
Well, unfortunately, today’s Zuidema’s last day at the Press. They’ve essentially cut their entire sports department, and thereby eliminating all coverage of the Griffins (and GVSU, Whitecaps, etc.) and that’s a shame.
According to a radio show that I’m a huge fan of, the Free Beer and Hot Wings show, all coverage of the Griffins in the GR Press and Mlive will now be supplied by the Griffins themselves. While I’m sure they will do their very best (as they have former blogger great, Kyle Kujawa of Babcock’s Death Stare working there), there’s no way that the quality and freedom of the reporting will continue.
Now, this isn’t unexpected; all newspapers are struggling. The Press has dropped delivery to three days per week and something had to go. But Zuidema was the only reason I read the Press when I lived in town and I still counted on his reports to keep me up to date. I’m not sure what reason I have to today.
We were lucky before to have a guy like Zuidema covering the future. Without him, we’ll have to rely on the blogosphere to take over. Guys like Matt over at On The Wings, a GR native, will have to pick up the slack. And I’m sure they can. But it’s still a sad day.
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