Thursday, June 23, 2011

Journalism All-Star Draft Pool

As a policy, my journalism all-star team is staffed by individual journalists, not organizations. (To remind you of the current makeup of the team, in no particular order: Rachel Maddow, Mariana van Zeller, Soledad O'Brien, Jon Stewart, Nate Silver, Gwen Ifill, Stephen Colbert, Sanjay Gupta, Andrew Sullivan, Fareed Zakaria, Matt Taibbi, Anderson Cooper, Christiane Amanpour, and Laura and Lisa, the sisters Ling. Shepard Smith, due to his continued presence on Fox News, is on the DL.)

I don't have any jerseys to hand out today. But there are two places from which any new addition to the roster is likely to come.

First is Bill Simmons' new venture in sportswriting, Grantland. To a fair degree, Grantland looks a bit like what I would do if I were focusing solely on sports and pop culture, and deleted all the quickie give-you-something-to-do posts. Long-form, free-flowing wavering between covering a recent event and telling a story that just happens to be on someone's mind at the time. And Simmons has called upon quite the stable of writers. Depending on how I feel about adding a pure sportswriter, I may end up inducting someone from Grantland soon, perhaps Simmons himself, perhaps someone else. Haven't made up my mind yet.

The second place is Journeyman Pictures, which you can find on this YouTube channel. Based out of the UK, they do mini-documentaries on a wide variety of topics from around the world. They're like a higher-output, faster-turnaround version of the National Geographic Channel, but without all the episodes of Dog Whisperer.

Why no inductees from here? A few reasons: first, their website hides full hour-long documentaries behind a paywall, which in and of itself is a bit of an obstacle. (The YouTube channel is of course free, although there it's nigh-impossible to scrounge up any names at all.) Second, they don't do a very good job of sorting works by reporter, and as a result, I simply haven't gotten through any one individual's various works yet. Again, we reward individuals here, not organizations.

Although if our all-star team needed a home stadium, we know who we ought to call.

Here's one recent piece from Journeyman out of, what a coincidence, Wisconsin (amazingly, it has nothing to do with the recall efforts):

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