I try my best not to insult the media or take them to task for their garbage but there are just some things that I can’t sit by and let happen without commenting. The Indianapolis Star has long since decided that they will not cover Purdue. They don’t have a Purdue beat writer anymore and instead just recycle Purdue content from other newspapers such as the Lafayette J&C. I understand it’s a business decision and that’s fine. I won’t tell you how to run your business. When they make me angry though is when they complain about the lack of comments on a Purdue story and somehow make it seem like Purdue fans don’t care or that there aren’t enough of us out there to justify covering Purdue. What do I mean?
bkravitzBob KravitzPurdue people rip us for what they view as IU-heavy coverage, but here ya go: Zeller column has 116 comments, Hummel column 26
Good old Bob Kravitz from the Indianapolis Star wrote this on his twitter account after posting a story about Robbie Hummel. Dan Dackich then tweeted at his friend Bob that, hey Purdue fans are dumb! They can’t come up with original criticism of your statement! Well maybe that’s because the original criticism is apt. Let’s think about this from a business perspective since after all they argue that’s what this is.
The Indianapolis Star, the biggest paper in the state, caters to the bigger fan bases in the state. These of course being IU Basketball and Notre Dame football (mostly the same people). I have no illusions about that. I know Purdue isn’t the largest fan base in the state. That doesn’t mean Purdue doesn’t deserve coverage. They had a Purdue beat writer and he had his Purdue blog on their website. Then it just stopped. They shifted him over to high school sports. I understand the J&C and Star are run by the same people so yes it may make business sense to simply copy and paste articles. The question for the average reader becomes why would I pay for two papers when I can get everything I need from one? The J&C does a much better job of Purdue coverage than the Star so why would I give the Star my money for recycled articles and homer IU articles by Terry Hutchins? In the end Purdue fans dropped the Star because there was no real reason to keep it. Then the people at the Star bitch and moan that their decision was justified because fewer Purdue fans are coming to their site. That’s what we like to call a self-fulfilling prophecy. If I stop writing about Purdue on this site and instead write about the Cincinnati Reds with the occasional Purdue article I will lose the Purdue fans that come here. Instead they will get their news elsewhere. You can’t ignore readers and expect them to stick around like little puppy dogs.
In today’s age of the internet and blogs I don’t know many people that get all their news from newspapers. The Indianapolis Star is a paper that has failed to adapt to changing times and was just in the unfortunate position of having to lay off many of their employees. That’s never a good situation and I certainly wouldn’t wish that on anyone or any company regardless of my feelings toward them. My point is that their business model needs updating. Purdue fans have abandoned them so they tilt more heavily toward IU and thus have earned the moniker the IU Star. I’m not going to link to the Indianapolis Star nor will I try and drive traffic there in any way. The fact of the matter is the Star lost me as a customer a long time ago and will never get me back. I know plenty of Purdue fans in the same boat as me.
My favorite part of the whole situation is when Dan Dakich decides he wants to chime in. The former IU coach felt the need to point out that none of the Purdue responses were original. I’ve been of two minds about Dakich for a long time now. When he was on the Big Ten Network doing games I think he does a fine job and he clearly has a wealth of basketball knowledge the likes of which most of us will never have. Then he gets on the radio or on twitter and he clearly slants toward IU. He panders to his audience despite the fact that I think he’s better than that. He takes the bullying tactic like many political talk radio hosts and won’t listen to his callers. He insults callers who he doesn’t agree with and belittles them. I’m not sure when this became the way to respond to criticism but apparently it’s all the rage. I know that the radio show is a business and he needs to move the needle but surely there are other ways to do so.
It’s perfect that these two guys seem to be buddies because they have the same attitude toward the problem. They misdiagnose the problem. They think Purdue fans don’t care enough or aren’t smart enough to make their voices heard. The fact is though the fans they are shouting to about Purdue have moved on down the road to the J&C or to Hammer and Rails, Boiled Sports, or even here. If you want to get your Purdue news I suggest steering as far away from the Star as possible. I hope the management of the Star realizes that in order to gain subscribes they need to change their tactics. Throwing Purdue fans a bone once a month isn’t coverage, it’s pathetic.