Cleveland.com picked a politics writer to cover the LeBron James beat" />
News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Wayside Furniture

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Sports


What's Joe Vardon covering LeBron James say about sports journalism?
Cleveland.com picked a politics writer to cover the LeBron James beat
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
LeBron James' return to Northeast Ohio has generated sales, excitement and a new beat for cleveland.com.
Courtesy of Sports Illustrated
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

The Northeast Ohio Media Group has found a unique fit for its unique beat. Joe Vardon – who’s made his journalistic name covering politics and government for the Columbus Dispatch – will be covering LeBron James. Not the Cavaliers overall -- but the media-fixation, businessman, philanthropist, sports star and hometown-boy-made-very-very good – LeBron James.

When the announcement came out yesterday, I called Malcolm Moran, who covered sports for the New York Times for nearly two decades and now heads the National Sports Journalism Center at Indiana University.

He says the closest he’s seen to this kind of beat was when Michael Jordan was dominating the NBA. But he says the LeBron beat is different.

 

LISTEN: Malcolm Moran's take of what the beat says about sports journalism

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:11)


“It makes a lot of sense because so much of the James story is going to unfold off the court. Because he’s from that part of the state, because the relationship always has been personal going back to when he joined the Cavs as a rookie.

"His foundation, his role in the community, his business affairs – all of those things take on a greater relevance now, and news can come out of any of those areas completely removed from his own progress with a new group and how the team plays on the floor.

From sports to politics and back, kind of
Joe Vardon began as a sports reporter at the Wooster Daily Record and his coverage included sports at the Toledo Blade. Moran says that’s not inconsequential in covering LeBron, but other skills matter more.

 “The fact that he has such a varied background and also experience in investigative and enterprise work really makes him ideal person to cover a brand, such as James. You’re talking about big business and how it affects the franchise overall and city overall.”

Moran says sports coverage has been evolving well beyond performance on the court of field.

Think back to Jackie Robinson
“I think that’s a process that’s been going on … in some places, back to the 1940s and Jackie Robinson. Certainly there were some enlightened places who recognized this was a story about far more than an African-American breaking into the major leagues.”

He cites the protests of high-profile college athletes on social issues – Bill Walton at UCLA, Tommy Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympics among them.

“So the whole notion of sports as it relates to society overall has become recognized more and more over the years. And it continues to evolve with coverage of things such as performance enhancement, race issues, gender issues.”

And money.
“That’s what drives it. Whether you’re talking about the professional or the major-college level. You see more zeroes and commas and you say, ‘That’s it, we’ve hit the threshold, it can’t get bitter than this.’ And every year, it does get bigger.”

That’s Malcolm Moran of the National Sports Journalism Center on Cleveland.com’s hiring of Joe Vardon to cover the beat that is just one man: LeBron James. Moran says one other factor makes this the right time to develop that beat: Social media and the role it plays in sports and in journalism.

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Terry Pluto: U of A's new athletic director has the toughest job in town
It is a hard sell. The Students do not want to go to the football games and they do not want to pay for the program. They have a lot of student loan debt and t...

Akron considering the future of the B.F. Goodrich smokestacks
This BFGoodrich alumna says, "Thank you, Dave Lieberth!"

State creates panel to look at Ohio charter school sponsors
It is more than disturbing that charter schools, which seemed like a good idea years ago, have begun to cripple public school education.

DEVO mural in Akron is now on display downtown
The installation is not at the former site of Chili Dog Mac. CDM was one block north on the other side of Main St.

New report shows growth in white collar jobs for Northeast Ohio
Unfortunately, there are fewer jobs in comparison to the number of professionals applying for them. I have been had a full time job since June 2012. In order to...

Advocacy group: Ohio could lead in clean energy
Ohio Legislators, You are supposed to be our leaders but you're not taking us where we want to go - where we need to go!

Campaign for and against marijuana legalization begins
Cannabis legalization needs to happen as soon as possible! But not if it gives monopolies to a selected few to grow and sell the herb. Responsible Ohio's mono...

Heinen's in downtown Cleveland sponsors a contest for food entrepreneurs
Love that this took place right here! What a way to support local. Thank you Heinens! Love this quote, as a small local biz, I agree, it's big!! "To be a small...

Pluto: How the Indians' blockbuster deal went bust
Terry, As a long time reader of yours I am generally on the same page - and we're also about the same age. Anyway, like many, I am dismayed at the greedy and en...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University