Editors note: Yesterday, the Denver Newspaper of Record continued its hero worship of departed QB/Punt Protector Tim Tebow. I took exception via Twitter with Lindsay H. Jones, the Post’s Broncos beat writer. She took exception to me taking exception, and I was invited to have a “civilized discussion about this” in more than 140 characters via email with the Post reporter.
Of course, I obliged. Here, now, are the contents of said email. (Note: I have not yet received a response. If and when I do, this will be updated with more information.)
First, I think I should clarify something. I think you’re one of the best, most thorough writers at the Post, and I enjoy most of your dispatches on the Broncos. You do a good job. You ask good questions and write good stories, so this isn’t a critique of you necessarily, but rather of your editorial staff and the insistence that you continue covering a player who no longer plays in Denver. A certain amount of that is to be expected with a player like Tim Tebow. I get that. I was once a journalist, majored in Journalism (yep, proper noun), so I know things like “if it bleeds, it leads” are still the rule when it comes to publication.
I just think you (the paper and editorial direction, I suspect) take it over the top, and honestly, from an outsider who wants BRONCOS news from a local perspective, it appears to be hero worship first, trolling for pageviews second, and “journalism” last.
You’ve got to understand that good Broncos coverage is pretty limited in this town. There are a few blogs that do it right (It’s All Over Fat Man is one, Mile High Report has its moments) but they don’t have what would classically be considered “access” to the team, which is really what superfans like me are after. Sports Talk Radio is loud and extreme on all sides; built with loudmouths and silliness more suited to internet message boards than mass media. The columnists on DP are a special kind of nightmare. Kiszla hates everything and Woody was so in the bag for Tebow it blurred the lines of journalistic integrity. Klis has, in my opinion, forever tainted his brand as a journalist by openly shilling his book about TEEEEEBOW and the broncos. The fact that he continues to push the book is pretty embarrassing. And for a town like Denver, which fights the stigma of being a cowtown in a flyover state on a daily basis, to have our Newspaper of Record report daily on the whereabouts and happenings of a quarterback who now plays in New York merely compounds that stigma.
So with access limited as it is, leading a Tebow story with “BRONCOS NEWS” is wrong-headed and simply inaccurate. Tebow is no longer Broncos news. “Tebowing” is going to be in Madden? Um, okay. It’s not Broncos news. Tebow is changing the name of his dog???? What a scoop! Still not Broncos news.
I understand the draw of the Teebs. On our blog we’ve done VERY well with Tebow coverage… when he was a Bronco. Because it was relevant. It was relevant to me as a Broncos fan and to our readers, most of whom are from Colorado. And yeah, if there’s a major story about Tebow, I fully expect to see it in print. I’m not naive. But really? Re-naming his dog? Where he’ll live in Jersey? REALLY? Are you The Denver Post, or TMZ?
As the only newspaper in town, The Denver Post is a public trust. Your resources are limited and shouldn’t be wasted on a player who isn’t here anymore, whether his name be Vaughn or Cutler or Marshall or Tebow.
We’ve got one of the best quarterbacks who has ever played the game under center now. We have a new Defensive Coordinator famous for his aggressive looks, and a couple draft picks who are still relative unknowns to Broncos fans. I’d like to see more coverage of that and less coverage of a high school girl taking a Tebow cutout to prom.
I look forward to your response.