ICYMI, dnj beat writer moves on


Blue Raider
Jul 17, 2014
He’s not a beat writer or reporter. He was basically an extension of the media relations office. I can’t remember one article calling a spade a spade.
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Blue Raider
Sep 28, 2018
Without a beat writer, how are we possibly going to know know the "5 Things to Watch" with every game and the "5 Things We Learned" with every win or loss?!? 🤔


Hall of Famer
Dec 5, 2005
I got to talk to Joe a bit when he was running the piece on Reggie last year - seemed like a nice enough guy. If you follow him on Twitter you probably saw this coming a mile away - prep coverage is basically all he was doing here the last few months. I gotta wonder if they bother replacing him, too. Last I checked that’s not much more than a $20-25K a year job. It’s a wonder anyone would do it in the first place. If they were smart they’d be hanging in the halls of the Mass Comm building floating their pennies around to broke, hungry college students about to graduate.


Hall of Famer
Jul 26, 2005
Haven't seen a print copy of the DNJ for years but it was rare for Spears to have two articles a week on the DNJ website and I can't remember when he had an article picked up in the print edition of The Tennessean (although they can get a whole s--t load from their Knoxville affiliate).

I'm old enough to remember that both The Tennessean and the Nashville Banner each had an OVC beat writer, a city schools beat writer, a VU beat writer, a UT-K beat writer, a "city" high school beat writer, and the mid-state high school beat writer. Additionally, the DNJ had several writers covering MT and county high schools and I'm aware of other mid-state papers which had sports staffs which occasionally covered MT.
Now I suspect that mid-state newspapers and TV (which at one time were the exclusive places to get local sports news) probably don't have 10% of the sports reporters they had when I became a fan, and that's with the imperative to cover the added pro-sports. While the blame does not all go to mistakes made by those entities "dead tree media" and TV sports coverage has virtually stopped covering local colleges (with $EC exceptions) and high schools which are my main interest.

The problem I see which no one has given me an answer: For decades I was forced to comb through headlines, articles, and TV coverage of sports teams I don't care about in order to get a smidgen of MT info. At least fans of those teams knew MT existed if they read the sports pages or watched TV newscasts. Today, I suspect many MT students come to college following The Titans or Preds. Do they ever hear or see anything about MT sports through the media? How does the athletic department at a school like MT in a media market like ours reach out to students, alumni, and potential fans if they don't look for the info first. Damn if I know.


Blue Raider Fan
Nov 21, 2013
Is this position still open or did the DNJ find somebody yet? Do they even want somebody?

I'm not convinced there is demand to justify having one tbh, and I'm a digital subscriber. I believe having local media is vital. But, how many people in Rutherford Co are willing to pay to read feature stories on a 5 win basketball team that hasn't approached .500 in almost 3 years? Let's face it, we don't move the needle as far as dollars go, at least not anymore. There was a time the DNJ had 3 writers covering home football games. and at least 1 dedicated beat writer for road games. But the landscape has changed, and we have largely failed to capitalize on those changes when presented the opportunity.

I want to give a shout out to Oliver for his basketball coverage. He clearly does his homework. Great work and much appreciated.
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Mar 19, 2018
Thank you @SigmaNuBlue. Your words mean more than I could verbalize. I enjoy writing about the team, even through these dark times. Looking forward to contributing more in the future, hopefully the content can become more positive at some point.