Baby steps for Booth Newspapers

January 12, 2006

For some time now, I have been harshly critical of the Michigan media for the lazy way they have gone about covering a team that has brought more success to the state than any in history.

Considering their success over the last ten years, the consistent positive mention in national media, their work in the Detroit community, the icons that have populated their clubhouse, their sales of memorabilia and their accessibility to the media; the coverage the Wings receive in the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press is miserable. 

Columnists largely ignore the Red Wings unless it’s training camp or playoff time. 

When’s the last time Wojo or any other Detroit news columnist wrote about the Wings

How about Rob Parker, Mitch Albom or Michael Rosenberg at the Free Press?  Not a single mention of the Red Wings in the last month.

Beat writers are so behind or seemingly lazy that stories such as Yzerman’s return (each time) from injury, are mentioned 48 hours after we read about them in multiple blogs.

The last effective beat writers to cover the Wings were Chuck Carlton for Booth Newspapers, who you can now read covering the Dallas Stars, and…yes Wing fans, Keith Gave (now apparently a human interest writer for the Bay City Times.)

Gave was controversial, and embroiled in the Bowman-Yzerman trade rumors in ’94.  But he dug and made us think.  Today’s beat writers for the News and Free Press give us the surface, the headlines we’d see on TSN.

Now…having said all that it’s only fair that we mention a refreshing development from Booth Newspapers ( For months, readers at the MLive Wing Forum have been clamoring for a Wings blog, written by a beat writer–similar to what the Toronto Star offers.

Well, apparently some wishes have been granted as MLive unveiled this week a weblog written by Ansar Khan, Booth Wing beat writer.  Will it last? That remains to be seen as Booth has developed a reputation among Wing faithful for introducing positive ideas, then abandoning them.  

Khan, among the three Detroit beat writers, seems to be the most tuned-in; so his weblog should be informative.  Here’s a bit from yesterday’s entry:

Kronwall’s return will feel like a deadline deal
Defenseman Niklas Kronwall, out since Sept. 27 with a knee injury, has been skating really well in practice and looks like he could probably step into the lineup tomorrow. But he still needs to see how the knee will react to some physical battles in practice. The team isn’t about to rush him back, but Kronwall believes he could return as early as late January.
There’s no underestimating the impact this great, young player can have. The Wings did well to compensate for his absence (as well as Jiri Fischer’s since Nov. 21), but getting Kronwall back is much better than any big deal the team could possibly make prior to the March 9 trade deadline. 

Not exactly earth-shattering.  But it’s a start.  Here’s hoping it gains momentum.  Wing fans deserve it.

Mlive Wing Weblog


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