Friday, March 25, 2011

All Things Avs blog: Fleischmann update

In this blog entry, Adrian Dater offers his readers a brief update on Tomas Fleischmann, whose season was cut short in January due to a pulmonary embolism. Fleischmann, acquired from Washington for Scott Hannan, thrived in Colorado and had a great chemistry early on with Matt Duchene.

I enjoy these blogs, with video of player interviews. As I have said many times before, things like this are exactly what a blog on a newspaper website should be used for. This was headed for a solid "A" grade, until Dater threw in this:

 It would be a tough blow to the team to see him walk away for nothing, which is why if I’m Greg Sherman I’m making it a priority to try to talk contract with him and his agent as much as I can until then. But I’m not Greg Sherman.

Once again, Dater lets the word "I" creep into his writing. There's no "I" in "journalism," Dater... except for that one near the end. If he wants to float the opinion out there that the Avalanche should re-sign Fleischmann, he could have written something like this:

"Fleischmann, who struggled at center with the Capitals, was moved back to wing by the Avalanche and provided an undeniable spark to the team with 21 points in 22 games (including six multi-point games), finding an instant chemistry with center Matt Duchene. It is unclear whether re-signing Fleischmann, an unrestricted free agent in 2011-12, is a priority for the Avalanche, but considering that the Avalanche are 4-21-2 since his final appearance in an Avs uniform on January 18, it would seem that his presence in the lineup cannot be easily replaced."

See? That's just as much "opinion" as Dater's was... we both think the Avs should make re-signing Fleichmann a priority this offseason. But in my sample, I let the facts speak for themselves, and I don't even have to mention "my" opinion... it's clear by the way I wrote it and the things I cited what my opinion is.

Dater, on the other hand, doesn't want to go through the trouble. He simply writes, "If I'm the Avs GM, I'd be re-signing Fleischmann as soon as possible." Blog or not, that's simply not good journalism... not only is there no objectivity there, there's not even the attempt to pretend there's objectivity. When you're at the bar with a couple buddies and you're talking hockey, that's the sort of thing one says. But when you're a professional writer covering a major sports team for a major newspaper, you have a higher standard. Dater fails to meet that standard.


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