The posts on The Players Tribune are not written by the players. If I would have thought about this, I would have realized that they were too well written…
Richard Sandomir of The New York Times provides that answer in an excellent feature on The Players’ Tribune that ran this weekend. Much of Sandomir’s piece looks at how The Players’ Tribune beat mainstream media to David Ortiz’s comments about drug testing, which is notable in its own right (and has even prompted a thoughtful response from Dan Shaughnessy, of all people), but the part that’s perhaps even more interesting, and concerning, is his discussion of how articles on the site come to be:
Like nearly every post on the site, the Ortiz essay was not written directly by its bylined athlete but instead crafted from a recorded interview with a Tribune staff producer. Hoenig said these interviews are less traditional question-and-answer sessions than monologues with questions to nudge the conversation along. Editing is minimal, he added, and the athletes get the final approval. The staff producers who talk to them do not get bylines.
It may not be shocking to many that most of the well-written pieces appearing on the site aren’t actually just the result of a professional athlete sitting down at a keyboard, but the actual discussion of this process raises plenty of questions. The way The Players’ Tribune presents its pieces is at best disingenuous, and it’s problematic from a couple of standpoints.
First off, there’s the nature of the portrayal. Having these pieces appear under an athlete’s byline, with no addition of “With [journalist],” suggests they’re actually written by the athlete. They may be using the athlete’s words, but it’s the uncredited producers who are actually assembling them into a piece. Yes, Hoenig says editing is minimal, and yes, athletes are signing off on the final pieces, but presenting these pieces as if they’re essays carefully crafted by the athletes themselves rather than assembled from interviews gives the wrong impression and context to readers. It also does a disservice to the athletes (and other prominent figures) who do actually write their own material.
Okay, this is about Olivia Chow but it can be about any politician.
So Chow abandoned the federal NDP to run for the Mayor of Toronto. After peaking early, she ran a horrible campaign and was easily defeated by John Tory.
Now she wants to be an MP again, a position she resigned, caused a massive expense as a by-election, and now wants her seat back since her Toronto adventure didn’t work out.
That stuff drives me crazy. I know other politicians do it but if you lose interest in a job once, why go back to it? Why should voters who were not compelling enough to serve the first time welcome you back?
We all know how this will turn out. Chow will beat Adam Vaughn and probably end up in cabinet. It will still bug me then.
After two days of being up at 4:45 a.m., I feel like I am slacking and sleeping in today. It’s almost 7 a.m.
Today we are heading to Heritage Park. I haven’t been there since I was in Grade 4. Much as stayed the same but a lot has changed. That was so long ago that the school I attended for Grade 4 has closed.
Before we go to Heritage Park, I need to take Mark to Chinook Centre so we can hit up the Apple Store and he can get a new iPod Nano. His died and then I leant him my old iPod Touch which he then dropped. So here we go again. I wonder if he can get an Otter Box for it.
Oliver doesn’t know there is a Lego store in that mall but I can’t see us walking by it and not going in.
After that it is to the park where we will wander around aimlessly and eat homemade food, ride a steam engine, take a cruise on a paddle wheeler, and see how Calgary was once.
Another obscenely early morning around here. Wendy posted late last night about the trip out here.
I am waiting for the crew to get ready before we head downstairs to grab breakfast and then hit the road to Banff National Park today. We are taking the old highway through Cochrane along a winding road to Canmore. From there we will make a quick detour into Banff for some fresh bread and food before heading to Johnston Canyon where will hike the trail to the second large waterfall. It isn’t so much of a hike then a stroll. It’s also a great place to people watch as there are tourists from all over the globe there and they are fascinated by a lot of things (like squirrels) that we find mundane.
From there we are heading to a picnic area called Sawback where we will have a quick picnic lunch, then proceed up the Bow Valley Parkway until we get to Lake Louise. Along the way we are checking out a campground that we plan to stay at next year. It looks good online but it’s always nice to see it first hand.
After we explore the Chateau Lake Louise, we are heading back to Banff where the Banff Gondola and Cave and Basin National Historic site wait for us. After dinner the plan is to see the Bow Falls chill out (or warm up) in the Upper Banff Hot Springs before heading back to Calgary.
The Cave and Basin National Historic Site is one of my favourite spots on earth. I loved going there as a kid and I can’t wait until I can show Wendy, Mark, and Oliver the site. As for the Chateau Lake Louise, it was there that I proposed to Wendy so it will be fun heading back there.