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[BN] Blitz, Media, Pay Walls, Journalism Survival, etc...


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#161 The Frankish Reich

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 07:22 PM

I sent the following to Josh Barnett this morning:

 

 I would offer the following:

 

  1.  Do you feel that the News is overstaffed with columnists for the size of the market?  With the hiring of Kimberly Martin you now have 4 full time columnists that opine on the Bills (Graham, Sullivan, Gleason,  Martin), and four for the Sabres (Harrington, Graham, Sullivan, Gleason).  While I applaud the News for trying to provide as comprehensive a coverage as possible, would money not be better spent on beat reporters?  What drives your decision to have so many opinion writers?

Absolutely correct.  These are the BN Bills columns that ran on Monday - all linked to on the TBD homepage.  This is just ridiculous.  I know we get 50 page threads here (on supposedly hot topics like "Can We Still Cut Vlad Ducasse and Recover That 3rd Round Pick"), but the BN has to ask itself: is there this much "expert" reporting and analysis to be had out such a lackluster game?  Or are you asking fans to pay for what is essentially the equivalent of the self-appointed expert analysis you get for free by reading this site?  I live in Colorado, so I enjoy reading some of the professional reportage from the BN and another WNY sources, but there's no way there's even 3-4 high quality pieces among the 19 separate articles listed below.  Again, in Denver - a pretty Broncos obsessed town - the sole surviving newspaper has one Broncos beat reporter, one general sports columnist who pretty much becomes a Broncos columnist during football season, and a couple of cheapo pay-by-the-story stringer types.  I have no idea what the BN pays these reporters/columnists, but I'd have to guess that it's too much for the revenue they bring in, and that the paywall is kind of a last ditch effort to save an unsustainable model.  As far as paying for it: I am very reluctant to pay for any "news" these days; free web content has spoiled me, and I think that's unlikely to change.  I have paid (at times) for premium sports coverage (I have subscribed on 2 or 3 occasions to Baseball Prospectus; I may add Pro Football Focus if they run a cheap offer), but it really has to be premium for me to do that; it needs to add something to the general musings of guys in a bar that often passes for "analysis."  Give me a really good digital All 22 on Wednesday, or a really good All 22 analysis of next week's opponent on Thursday and I may change my mind about BN Blitz. But then again, from the BN's perspective that would be an extremely limited niche market, which just proves my point: the model is unsustainable.  Period. 

 

Sullivan: Bills were sensational defensively, but it wasn't enough [1:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills played a sensational defensive game against Cam Newton and the Panthers. They sacked Newton six times, harassed him into a bunch of poor throws, stopped a dozen plays for loss in all, allowed a meager 2.8 yards per rush, didn't allow a touchdown. And still, it wasn't enough.'

Sullivan's Hot Read: Defensive effort goes for naught [1:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'If the offense had held up its end of the bargain – or done virtually anything – McDermott would have come away from Charlotte with a rousing victory, one that made him the first Bills head coach ever to start 2-0.'

Martin's Hot Read: There are no moral victories [1:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'There were plenty of chances for the Bills to put points on the board early. But instead, there were far too many three-and-outs and way too little production from LeSean McCoy (nine yards on 12 carries) in the running game. Save for that final fourth-quarter drive, their receivers were a non-factor for much of the afternoon.'

Gaughan's Hot Read: Punchless Bills suffer an entertaining L [1:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Get ready for what might be a carbon copy game next week when Denver brings its defensive studs to town.'

Skurski's Hot Read: Where have you gone, Sammy Watkins? [1:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'But the Bills haven’t done Taylor any favors at wide receiver. Outside of those awful Jets, there might not be a trio of receivers in the NFL worse than what the Bills possess.'

Carucci's Take Five: Credit the Bills' defense for making Cam not look much better tha [1:51 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'If you didn't know better, you'd swear the Bills were facing similar version of Josh McCown, the quarterback they saw in their season-opening victory against the New York Jets. Newton is supposed to be one of the best QBs in the league, but he hardly looked like that Sunday.'

Carucci's Points After: Panthers 9, Bills 3 [1:50 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Offensive ineptitude: The Bills came ever so close to pulling this out, with Tyrod Taylor firing a fourth-down pass for Zay Jones who got both hands on the ball before allowing it to slip through his fingers with nine seconds left at the Carolina 1. Otherwise, the Bills couldn't reach the end zone and couldn't get anything going in any phase of their offense. They finished with 176 yards. How about this for a stunning stat line? LeSean McCoy had nine yards on 12 carries, an average of 0.8 yards per carry. Of course, the Panthers managed only three field goals.'

Matchup Winners: Bills WRs couldn't exploit Carolina CBs [1:49 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills' wide receivers have 11 catches through two games. Not good enough. There are not any weaknesses in the Panthers' fantastic defense. It's hard to throw to the middle of the field where Luke Kuechly patrols, and it's hard to hit the running back on swing passes because outside linebackers Thomas Davis and Shaq Thompson are so fast. But cornerback isn't a huge strength. James Bradberry is pretty good. Daryl Worley is OK. Last year, Atlanta's Julio Jones went for 300 yards in receiving yards in one game on the Panthers. New Orleans' Brandin Cooks went for 173. Oakland's Michael Crabtree went for 110. Washington's DeSean Jackson went for 111. But those guys all are top-end wideouts. But the Bills don't have a true No. 1 receiver without Sammy Watkins in the fold. They couldn't get enough done outside the numbers.'

Ten Plays That Shaped the Game: Jordan Poyer's TD-savers kept Bills close [1:48 AM]

Buffalo News reports: 'Poyer, who started just 10 games in the first four years of his NFL career, now has two straight superb performances as a new starting safety for the Bills. The 26-year-old former Cleveland Browns special teamer was the biggest reason the Bills still had a chance at the end of their 9-3 defeat.'

Skurski's Report Card: Buffalo puts the 'Fs' in offense [1:47 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Downright unwatchable at times. Taylor completed three passes to receivers in the first 57-plus minutes of the game. The lack of a No. 1 option for the passing game is a gigantic problem. When there was separation, Taylor was off the mark just enough to make catches harder than they needed to be. His receivers didn't bail him out in those situations. Tight end Charles Clay had a minimal impact with three catches for 23 yards.'

Veronica's quarterly analysis: Panthers nearly repeat 2013 blunder [1:46 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills' defense deserves praise for Sunday's effort, even coming up with a goal-line stand late in the fourth on a hot day when the Panthers held the ball for two-thirds of the game. It yielded only nine points and 255 yards, proving that the unit is no fluke after a good opening game against the lowly Jets.'

 Third quarter analysis: Bills' defense keeping them in the game, hammering Newton, Panthers [1:45 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills' defense continued to make life miserable for Cam Newton, sacking him three more times in the third quarter while the Panthers gained negative-5 yards of offense.'

Second quarter analysis: Panthers somehow only ahead 6-0 [1:44 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The story of the second quarter was the Bills' defense, which sacked Cam Newton three times while keeping the Panthers out of the end zone (including the first career sack for Eddie Yarbrough). Safety Jordan Poyer had a key pass break-up in the end zone on a ball intended for Russell Shepard that forced the Panthers' second field goal, a 28-yarder.'

First quarter analysis: Bills offense going nowhere, but Panthers lead only 3-0[1:43 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills' defense had some lapses, especially in containing quarterback Cam Newton, but should get credit keeping the score close despite being on the field for 11 minutes and 53 seconds.'

Wearing Bills colors, Beane's parents shake the Carolina blues [1:42 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"We've got people we've been sitting with for 20 years," Bob said a couple of weeks before the game, "but we're going to have to wear our Bills gear. We're going to be tough. We're going to handle."'

Bills fans ready for the Nathan Peterman era [1:41 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'By the end of the half, many fans on Twitter had seen enough and began clamoring for the team to replace Taylor with rookie Nathan Peterman. The Bills chose Peterman, who played college football at Tennessee and later Pittsburgh, in the fifth round of April’s draft. He won the backup job after outplaying T.J. Yates in the preseason.'

Kirst: After the storm, even a Bills loss feels a lot like home at a Florida bar[1:40 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"People are venting," said Jerry Marcinowski, 75, a retiree from Clarence, watching as Bills fans danced, as they pumped their fists and hollered, as they sang along to "Shout," with the song cranked to high volume. "They've been cooped up a long time, and everyone here knows this thing could have been a lot worse."'

CBS' Harlan recovers, tries his best to make Bills game exciting [1:39 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'After a sub-par season opening performance in the Bills victory over the New York Jets, Harlan improved and had the kind of game expected of him.'

Tyrod Watch: Tracking Taylor's one-read-then-run plays [1:38 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'For Taylor, I think the pass plays in which he turns into a runner after only checking his first read are more indicative of a lack of quarterbacking refinement and thereby are more important to track on a weekly basis.'



#162 TakeYouToTasker

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 07:39 PM

What the hell

#163 Dr.Sack

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 10:38 PM

I think, nay, demand that I get my wings for free. And it should be a double order of whichever ones I prefer. And I want them now. Crispy, of course.
The entitled crowd that has ruined modern music by claiming "ownership" demanding it be free has moved on to wah-wahing about having to pay to read something they should've been paying for from the start of the internet.
As if information gathering doesn't require work or resources, or informed professionals should somehow work for pennies.
How pathetic. Perhaps, mommy or daddy can tie up your diapers.
Don't like it. Don't buy it.
Go to some fan-site and get all your information for free, because after all, Michael Vick is always a few posts away from someone's cousins, brother's gardener from being spotted at the airport.
Want proof the Buffalo News has an influence? How many Jerry Sullivan posts pop up here on a weekly basis complaining about one thing or another. For some folks who don't read him, his columns sure do get around.
But of course my take is typical, because work in the business and newspapers are supposedly dying.
Well, here's a way newspapers are not.
It'll cost you. As it should.

I don't work for free. You shouldn't have to either.
The thought of that is preposterous.

jw

pure and unfiltered baloney. here you are telling me, through your post, how to think.
and this bs about mainstream media, a crutch of a phrase used by the narrow-minded who don't have the capacity, patience or literate skills to evaluate a topic from different points of view.
the truth is beyond you.

JW, I actually have respect for AP writers like you. You have always been fair in your coverage, and haven't led with opinion over fact.

My main point of contention is against the sensationalism that has become the sporting News. Sully & Bucky thrive on the Chuck Dickerson news delivery approach.

I do appreciate reporters like Joe Buscalagia and Sal Capaccio for delivering factual football based coverage.

I also dig metrics and the science of sports. So I appreciate 538 & PFF. In that field, a person I've started following the past few years is Sam Monson with PFF.

I have lost patience with the self-loathing opinion based sports writers.

If you care to point me in the direction of real writers I'm open, but the ship has sailed on supporting the News.

Edited by Dr.Sack, 19 September 2017 - 10:38 PM.


#164 The Frankish Reich

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 12:45 AM

I think, nay, demand that I get my wings for free. And it should be a double order of whichever ones I prefer. And I want them now. Crispy, of course.
The entitled crowd that has ruined modern music by claiming "ownership" demanding it be free has moved on to wah-wahing about having to pay to read something they should've been paying for from the start of the internet.
As if information gathering doesn't require work or resources, or informed professionals should somehow work for pennies.
How pathetic. Perhaps, mommy or daddy can tie up your diapers.
Don't like it. Don't buy it.
Go to some fan-site and get all your information for free, because after all, Michael Vick is always a few posts away from someone's cousins, brother's gardener from being spotted at the airport.
Want proof the Buffalo News has an influence? How many Jerry Sullivan posts pop up here on a weekly basis complaining about one thing or another. For some folks who don't read him, his columns sure do get around.
But of course my take is typical, because work in the business and newspapers are supposedly dying.
Well, here's a way newspapers are not.
It'll cost you. As it should.

I don't work for free. You shouldn't have to either.
The thought of that is preposterous.


jw

pure and unfiltered baloney. here you are telling me, through your post, how to think.
and this bs about mainstream media, a crutch of a phrase used by the narrow-minded who don't have the capacity, patience or literate skills to evaluate a topic from different points of view.
the truth is beyond you.

I've known a couple former journalists who've had their lives changed by the internet.  I'm not being sarcastic when I say I feel their pain. One (I've lost touch with him) made a small fortune with an internet site, then went into corporate communications crap. The other went to law school. They were good at what they did as journalists. They'd rather be doing it than what they're doing now. They "shouldn't have to" work for free, but unfortunately nobody cares about that. Traditional journalism is dying.  I have another old friend who is a librarian.  She still works in the field, mostly teaching other librarians.  The (free/readily available) information age has killed that profession too.  Paywalls sound nice. They sound fair. They could bring back some level of professionalism.  Ain't gonna happen.  The few successful paywalled sites still bring value.  I subscribe to the Wall St Journal (print and online together); I wouldn't if it the online version were free. My wife subscribes to the weekend NYT (there's no accounting for taste); she wouldn't if the 10 article/month paywall were a little easier to get around. But those are the two premium newspapers in the country. The Financial Times (London) could be worth it too; I may switch to that if the WSJ cuts back on its original reporting.  That's it. You're not gonna get people to pay for any ordinary product. Should the world be the way it was in those glorious 1980s?  Maybe. Will it ever be that way again? No. The BN has every right to paywall their Bills coverage.  Warren Buffet has every right to pull the plug on the BN's bloated Bills coverage when it doesn't work. Appeals to fairness have some emotional appeal, but the new economy yawns. Sorry ...


Edited by The Frankish Reich, 20 September 2017 - 12:47 AM.


#165 Bad Things

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 02:52 AM

JW, I actually have respect for AP writers like you. You have always been fair in your coverage, and haven't led with opinion over fact.

My main point of contention is against the sensationalism that has become the sporting News. Sully & Bucky thrive on the Chuck Dickerson news delivery approach.

I do appreciate reporters like Joe Buscalagia and Sal Capaccio for delivering factual football based coverage.

I also dig metrics and the science of sports. So I appreciate 538 & PFF. In that field, a person I've started following the past few years is Sam Monson with PFF.

I have lost patience with the self-loathing opinion based sports writers.

If you care to point me in the direction of real writers I'm open, but the ship has sailed on supporting the News.

 

Well said, Dr. Sack.  I agree with everything you wrote.

 

 

That said, I just sent my email to the Buff News Sports Editor, and made sure to CC Jerry Sullivan and Bucky Gleason into the email, so those two idiots know exactly how I feel.



#166 SydneyBillsFan

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 08:09 AM

I recently subscribed to BN Blitz and am satisfied with the quality of the content. For a lousy three bucks a month! Not sure how anybody can complain.

#167 joesixpack

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 08:04 PM

pure and unfiltered baloney. here you are telling me, through your post, how to think.
and this bs about mainstream media, a crutch of a phrase used by the narrow-minded who don't have the capacity, patience or literate skills to evaluate a topic from different points of view.
the truth is beyond you.

 

Four words to refute your claim of baloney:

 

"Democracy dies in darkness."

 

Propaganda, that's all it is. Propoganda for the coastal elites.



#168 The Frankish Reich

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 08:33 PM

I recently subscribed to BN Blitz and am satisfied with the quality of the content. For a lousy three bucks a month! Not sure how anybody can complain.

I know it's probably irrational, but ... if there was some kind of vending machine dollar bill slot on my computer, I might just be tempted to feed in 3 bucks a month (let's say, one buck every Monday) to get the BN's Bills coverage. But I know that if I sign up I'll have a monthly automatic charge.  I may forget to cancel when the season ends. And even if I do (and also if I don't) I'll get bombarded with emails from the BN trying to get me to extend my subscription, etc.  All of this is a major annoyance, and it makes me reluctant to ever sign up for anything online, particularly if it involves a periodic charge.  And I know I'm far from the only one out there with this subscription aversion.  Online sites need to figure out a way to simplify this, to allow small one-time fees instead of perpetual subscriptions.



#169 bobobonators

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 08:36 PM

SDS,

I agree with you in the sense that "you get what you pay for". When I go to Wal-Mart to do our family's weekly shopping, there are certain things I buy for value. If I want to get some headache relief, I buy Great Value headache relief, because it's 3 dollars a bottle for 50 tablets, vs Tylenol which is double that for the same amount. Then there are some things I buy for the quality. I will gladly spend 20 dollars a bottle for Tide laundry detergent vs 6 dollars for a bottle of bargain laundry detergent, because I know it's going to get our clothes clean, be less harsh on the fabric, plus make our clothes smell great. Now these are just my opinions, and I'm sure others may disagree, but you get my point.

I don't think that 3 dollars a month is alot to ask, in fact it's actually pretty affordable. I've been reading Buffalo News articles for over 15 years now, and in my opinion the article quality has decreased over time. There used to be a time when I was reading informative, un-biased, thorough, and concise journalism. Nowadays it's the same opinionated, boring, re-washed, negative reading that is more or less saying the same thing I read yesterday, just with a different "i" dotted or a different "t" crossed. Don't get me wrong, I still prefer the Buffalo News articles vs the lower grade competitors, but I find the reading increasingly more difficult to digest. Couple that with the fact that we are used to getting this content for free, and now you are downgrading the quality of the product, yet asking us to now pay for what we are used to getting for free.

I get it, times are changing, everything in this world costs, and nothing is free. Someone has to pay the writers salaries, and I understand that. But you also can't blame people for coming on here and voicing their displeasure at being asked to pay for a product that they are used to getting for free, especially when that product is seemingly more and more watered down by the day.

Personally, I prefer the Buffalo News to all of the other sites on Two Bills Drive, and if I have no choice, I will pay for the monthly membership. If I'm given a choice, obviously I'd rather get it for free.


Im not going to lie, you just sold me on Tide.

#170 ExiledInIllinois

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 09:38 PM

I know it's probably irrational, but ... if there was some kind of vending machine dollar bill slot on my computer, I might just be tempted to feed in 3 bucks a month (let's say, one buck every Monday) to get the BN's Bills coverage. But I know that if I sign up I'll have a monthly automatic charge.  I may forget to cancel when the season ends. And even if I do (and also if I don't) I'll get bombarded with emails from the BN trying to get me to extend my subscription, etc.  All of this is a major annoyance, and it makes me reluctant to ever sign up for anything online, particularly if it involves a periodic charge.  And I know I'm far from the only one out there with this subscription aversion.  Online sites need to figure out a way to simplify this, to allow small one-time fees instead of perpetual subscriptions.


Yep! So gratuitous and unnecessary headache.

Now... Just get a Visa Gift card loaded with a small amount. I would never give them anything like a credit or debit card, are you nuts!

When the gift card runs out of $$$ too bad. Let them chase me.

Maybe develop something like an iTunes card across multiple papers?

#171 Idandria

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 02:00 PM

 
I think if you scroll down a few pages on Two Bills Drive, you will find usually a page, sometimes 2, of content from other sources.  TBN has the most, so it usually fills the first page. 
 
I'd post a screenshot too, but I think you can go look for yourself now that you have the secret decoder ring. :rolleyes:

the point I'm trying to make is that it appears that some palms have been greased to get the BN front and center at all times. The front page is the best page, and the BN always being there does not seem to have happened by accident.

#172 JoshBarnett

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 02:30 PM

For those of you who have asked me questions about our decisions related to BN Blitz, I have started a new thread with my responses. 

 

https://forums.twobi...s-to-questions/

 

Thanks, Josh



#173 yall

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 02:41 PM

When the BN went full-on paywall for sports news, I stopped reading. If I thought it was valuable enough, I'd pay. 

 

Simple decision really. 


Edited by yall, 22 September 2017 - 02:41 PM.