, Gloucester, MA


July 13, 2013

Why Did My Newspaper Do That? When sports news transcends sports page coverage

We’ve seen a number of cases lately in which sports stories or stories about sports personalities have transcended their usual athletic worlds, and thus extended beyond the sports pages of air slots of various newspapers and other media outlets.

The most obvious of those, of course, is the chilling, ongoing story centering on the murder charges facing New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who is accused of killing a semipro football player near his North Attleboro home and, according to news reports, may be tied to two other slayings as well.

But you likely noticed we had a Page 1 story on a sports event last Monday as well, and it was a much more pleasant tale to tell.

Unlike other Page 1 sports stories in the past — which have usually spotlighted Gloucester or Cape Ann high school or youth teams winning sectional or state championships — this one didn’t showcase a player or coach from Cape Ann.

The story, accompanied by two Page 1 photos and backed up by a match story and other photos on our lead Sports page, told of the Manchester Athletic Club debut of the Boston Lobsters, who had won their World Team Tennis opener the night before over the New York Sportimes.

It also came a week after we had also showcased the Lobsters’ new season with Page 1 photos of the MAC’s new Norton Tennis Center stadium, which is serving as the team’s home. And I would not be surprised if we carry more occasional Page 1 coverage of the Lobsters as they continue their jam-packed schedule, having played last night in Sacramento, returning for home matches Sunday and Monday nights, and playing through July 24.

Are tennis matches worthy of Page 1 coverage? Why are we giving this team this level of attention. In other words, why did your community’s newspaper do that?

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