Kukla's Korner

Canucks and Beyond

Friday Thoughts: Hockey Media, Stalkers, Sean Avery and Doping

1. This may seem strange coming from someone like me, but after nearly a decade of experience in this medium, here is what I believe to be an absolute fact: while blogs and other social media have been a huge boon to hockey coverage, they are also one of the worst things that ever happened to hockey journalism.

This is likewise true of news coverage in general, but unlike the news where there’s some concern about trying to maintain standards, in sports journalism—a field considered less important to some because of the nature of the topic—sports journalists don’t seem to lament the loss of quality to the same degree.  And I think we’re all the poorer for it.

In my ideal world, the trained journalists of the world would worry less about ‘competing’ with the lowest common denominators of the web, and worry more about setting a standard of writing—and ethics—for us all to aspire to.  At the very least, the quality of the discourse would improve.*

2. Say what you will about Sean Avery (and lord knows, everyone has an opinion) but the guy certainly injects a lot of color into into what often seems to be a beige sport.  That’s not always a good thing, but it’s not always bad, either. That being said, his alleged actions in last night’s brouhaha would seem to be a low point.

It makes you wonder, will Avery every find a balance between his interesting qualities and his loony ones? Between his talent and his sideshow antics? You’d think 31 years old would be old enough to have figured this out by now.

3. Thanks to a pointer from a fellow tweeter, I was reading The Active Stick‘s observations about the strange search terms that lead to her blog. Some classics there.  Curious, I looked at my own recent keyword search terms.  Aside from the ever-present sexually-laced stuff (“boob flasher” is a biggie because of this post) my first and last name appear to be the biggest search terms leading people to my posts this week. 

A weird internet stalker? An old friend? A bill collector?  Or maybe I’ve just been Googling myself in my sleep…

4. If the NHL ever conforms to Dick Pound’s world vision and manages to concoct an effective anti-doping policy, I wonder how many NHLers will fall. Or is the NHL as squeaky clean as some claim that it is

I’m not being a smartass here… I’m really curious about the outcome if there were more rigid testing standards. Do you think NHLers dope as much as, say, MLBers?

*note: I’m not meaning to paint all sports journalists with the same brush by any means; just saying that the industry as a whole seems to be trending in a bad direction.

Filed in: hockey media, nhl general, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink


Lindas1st's avatar

Alahnah, the second link (last night’s brouhaha) on your Avery thoughts goes to a KK error 404.

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 08/05/11 at 06:28 PM ET

Alanah McGinley's avatar

Whoops. Sorry about that. Changed it now.

Thanks for the head’s up. smile

Posted by Alanah McGinley from British Columbia on 08/05/11 at 06:32 PM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

Ah, the ole “if you didn’t have a badge” quote will get you every time. Probably because they do have a badge. Hahahaha. Dope.

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 08/05/11 at 06:48 PM ET


Ah, the ole “if you didn’t have a badge” quote will get you every time. Probably because they do have a badge. Hahahaha. Dope.

Are you implying that Mr. Avery would fail if the test in thought 4 were implemented? wink

Posted by Iggy Rules on 08/05/11 at 08:04 PM ET


Complain about standards and ethics but yet you use the word smartass in your article.  Most professionals of not all would not have included that word in their article.  Just sayin’

Posted by John on 08/05/11 at 11:57 PM ET

Alanah McGinley's avatar

I can appreciate your point, John. But I’m not a journalist, nor do I represent myself as one in any way. I’m a blogger with a fairly light-weight blog on the odds and ends of the NHL, and I’m writing to an audience with different expectations, for the most part.

But even if a proper journalist was to use language that we’d consider ‘inappropriate’ for a mainstream media outlet, it’s really not my concern and I’m not complaining about it here.  I wasn’t meaning to suggest today’s journalists aren’t skilled as writers—I greatly admire the talents of many of our hockey writers out there.  I just meant to convey that I feel there are aspects of the profession seem to have lesser standards than they did, say, 20 years ago.  But that’s a comment about some journalists, not all…. and I imagine that much of the time it’s because of the pressures put on them by their different employers, too.  A lot of pressures in their business, today more than ever.

Posted by Alanah McGinley from British Columbia on 08/06/11 at 12:47 AM ET

petshark's avatar

The erosion of journalistic quality and integrity is but one symptom of an impending Dark Age…

I mean yes, it would be a good thing if more folks tried to emphasize relevant facts over dubious fluff. But that can’t compete with the rule of supply and demand. :(

Posted by petshark from Nor Cal, and on Twitter @petshark47 on 08/06/11 at 03:45 AM ET

Alanah McGinley's avatar

I don’t mind fluff, myself. smile But it’s the ‘dubious’ I worry about. Plus, the lack of diversity of coverage that seems the inevitable result is this trend. And I believe you’re right… supply and demand is much of the issue.

I could post a very long, boring essay about all this, but I’ll spare everyone for today…

Posted by Alanah McGinley from British Columbia on 08/06/11 at 04:05 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Blah blah blah, everything is worse than it used to be.

I have a relatively small internet hockey bubble.  I love it in here. The journalists are all of incredible integrity and write their pieces with the appropriate weight and tact needed for each situation while the bloggers are entertaining and well-written (mostly).

Sometimes people fall in and out of my bubble, but this is not a harbinger of social doom and the death of the written word.  There are just more words out there than there ever have been.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/06/11 at 11:26 AM ET

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About Canucks and Beyond

Alanah McGinley has been blogging hockey since 2003 (with a notable gap in time through 2010, kicking it with new baby Lucy while living knee-deep in chaos while reading "parenting for complete idiots" during every spare minute) sharing opinions, rants and not-so-deep thoughts with anyone who will listen.

In addition to writing Canucks & Beyond and helping manage Kukla's Korner, Alanah was one of the founders and co-hosts of The Crazy Canucks Podcast. She has contributed pieces to FoxSports.com and the New York Times Slapshot blog, as well as other stray destinations in cyberspace.

So that's me. Who the hell are you? smile

Email: am@kuklaskorner.com

Alanah's Twitter: [@alanah1]

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