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  • #16
    OK, here's a specific request for a narrowly focused story that shouldn't require much heavy lifting (or embarrassment to gh):

    Did USATF get its money's worth for awarding the 2008 and 2012 Trials to Eugene?

    According to Stephanie Hightower, in my Q&A with her today, "We negotiated $250,000 for Eugene ’08, and in 2012, the rights fee is $300,000."

    But USATF prez rival Bob Bowman says: "The money ($500,000) received for the 2008 Trials was given to an outside organization of professional athletes (PAA), with no accountability as to where the money went from there."

    Issues for T&FN (or any other news outlet) to explore:

    1. How much money did USATF get for Eugene 2008 -- $250,000 or $500,000?
    2. Where is this money going?
    3. Was this amount high enough?
    4. How much do other Olympic-sport NGBs charge host cities?
    5. Where in usatf.org is the Trials rights fee discussed or disclosed?

    Stuff like that.

    This isn't "airing dirty laundry." It's trying to assure accountability.

    Here's a link to the interviews:
    http://www.masterstrack.com/news.html

    K E N
    K E N

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by TrackCEO
      1. How much money did USATF get for Eugene 2008 -- $250,000 or $500,000?
      I'm surprised that the host city isn't paid by USATF to be the host! TV and other ancillary rights can go into the USATF coffers, but I wouldn't thank that ticket sales and concession %'s (etc.) would pay for the staging of the meet.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by Marlow
        Originally posted by TrackCEO
        1. How much money did USATF get for Eugene 2008 -- $250,000 or $500,000?
        I'm surprised that the host city isn't paid by USATF to be the host! TV and other ancillary rights can go into the USATF coffers, but I wouldn't thank that ticket sales and concession %'s (etc.) would pay for the staging of the meet.
        The OT are owned by the USOC. If USATF doesn't get a "rights fee" for awarding the meet, they'd get nothing from the LOC.

        Lawdude should subpeona the financials from USATF to see where the $ went. If it was given to the PAA, someone should go to the PEN.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Mighty Favog
          .....

          Where I take offense is being told that if I don't like it to not read the magazine. I'm a 20-year subscriber and been on two tours. I care deeply about the sport and want to address the issues it faces. If you don't want customers like me, I'll be happy to do as you wish.
          You're putting words into my mouth. K E N got insulting and my direct response to his post was, "if you don't like our style, don't read us."

          I/we care very much what mainstream subscribers think. Mr. Stone doesn't fall into that category. The response was you-singular, not plural.

          We know we can't please everybody all the time, so we aim for a product right down the middle with the broadest appeal possible (while still having a fun time).

          In our humble estimations, delving into political intrigue has almost no reader appeal. Hence the overview just so they have an idea of what's going on.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by gh
            delving into political intrigue has almost no reader appeal. Hence the overview just so they have an idea of what's going on.
            Yup, yup, right!

            But thanks for putting my interview links on your home page anyway!

            K E N
            K E N

            Comment


            • #21
              Dear Ken,

              I usually try to stay out of forum debates, but I feel an obligation to enter this one and come to the defense of Gary Hill and my other media colleagues at Track & Field News. Moreover, I feel that I have to post the following comments in public - instead of just in an email to you personally - in order to defend them from your public admonishment. [Note: I have not spoken to Gary about this, nor did he request that I write this post.]


              Although at times I have questioned your methods, I have always admired and continue to appreciate your enthusiasm, passion and commitment to the masters and overall running communities. I also appreciate your kind words and praise for TheFinalSprint.com's "ElectionCast 2008" which featured in-depth audio interviews by TFS Associate Editor Jimmie Markham with all three of the USATF Presidential candidates.

              It was great to see T&FN join our efforts to cover the upcoming USATF election in the article you cited. They reported, and deserve credit for doing so, on what I believe is a crucial moment for the American track federation. I was also pleased that they decided to mention the allegations delivered by Lynn Cannon, the USATF Secretary, at the workshop at the end August.

              Could T&FN, as you suggested, have used quotes from TheFinalSprint.com's interviews with Bowman, Jensen, or Hightower? Sure. I would have been honored for them to cite excerpts of our podcast episodes. However, they already featured each of our interviews in their list of breaking news found on their homepage (an accumulation of news links that I think we can all agree is probably the most comprehensive on the web). Could T&FN have delved deeper and included some investigative research on the USATF Board, the allegations by Cannon, etc? Maybe so, and you - just like every other reader has the right to express their views on the content produced by media outlets.

              In the abstract, Ken, you were justified in expressing editorial criticisms. However, in my opinion --and I'm sorry to say this-- the methods used to communicate your complaints were very inappropriate. The same is true of your unfounded accusation about T&FN's conflict of interest when it comes to criticising USATF.


              T&FN, just like TFS and essentially every other media outlet, has a contact form and/or directions on their website for how to submit comments, questions and criticisms to the editorial staff. You also know how to contact Gary through T&FN's private message feature and I think it's safe to assume that you have his direct email address as well. If your intention was to sincerely and solely express a desire for T&FN to expand its editorial scope, then why didn't you just contact Gary directly?

              In terms of T&FN, it's tours and USATF - did you actually have any credible and confirmed evidence to support your accusation? I honestly doubt it. Did you give Gary the common courtesy (and one that I believe is a requirement of responsible journalists) to comment on the accusation before stating it as a fact on his own forum? Obviously not, and that was wrong. Plain and simple.

              Unfortunately your decision to publish these criticisms and the false accusation in such a public and irresponsible manner once again raises questions about your intentions. I also believe that it sadly undermines what could have been the potentially positive impact of your editorial feedback. Before you criticize the journalistic efforts of others, maybe you should take a good, hard look at your own behavior. You have worked as a journalist and been involved in the media industry for a very long time. Frankly, you should know better than to act like this.

              TFS is actually working on an in-depth and investigative article on the USATF Board, the USOC mandated reforms, Cannon's allegations and the crossroads that USATF is quickly approaching. It will be published on or around Nov 10th and I believe that you will find that it addresses many of the issues that you wish the media would look into and report on. However, I can tell you that this project has taken a tremendous amount of time (including hours and hours of interviews) and significant amounts of money to pay for interview transcripts and more. This has and is continuing to be done at what is an undeniable cost to our other coverage and in an effort to publish an article that is 100% accurate, supported and filled with thoroughly researched information that is not vulnerable to questions of credibility. We believe that that is necessary in order to maximize the positive impact it has on our sport and for the overall running community. We made the decision to dedicate such resources to this issue, but it would be impossible for us to consistently put such time and resources into every topic and piece of content.

              Small publications like TheFinalSprint.com and T&FN, which make up the large majority of media outlets covering track & field, road racing, cross country and marathon running, are made up of journalists and entrepreneurs that are pouring their blood, sweat, and tears into their work. Our teams have to put in twice as many hours as many other outlets and often work (like Gary mentioned) nearly 80-100 hours a week, because we don't have the type of funding and revenue enjoyed by major conglomerates like Rodale or Conde Nast. We do the best that we can and I think the results are quite good.

              We certainly make mistakes, sometimes come up short, and are open to criticisms. We aren't looking for special treatment, for constant praise or solely positive feedback, but is it really too much to ask for you to treat us with the same level of respect that you want to be treated with? Isn't such respect what you are always demanding that USATF and others show the masters community?

              At the very least, I would think that a fellow journalist like you, could appreciate our commitment to upholding the highest level of journalistic integrity - even if it means that we can't cover every topic or publish major, Woodward-esque investigative reports in every issue. The commitments to journalistic integrity and reporting news in an accurate and responsible fashion addresses our true responsibilities as media outlets.

              T&FN does an outstanding job. I admire Gary, his team and their high-quality content. In an age when it has become harder and harder for start-ups and even long-standing print publications (especially smaller, niche ones) to compete and when some popular websites have embarrassed our industry by pretending that their low-quality content is actual "journalism", I would think that you could treat publications like T&FN with more respect than to act like this.

              If you really want to help our sport, provide beneficial suggestions to the running media and if you want to be taken seriously, then I suggest taking a more professional and gentleman-like approach. We are fair game for criticism, but I think you'll find that you'll have far more success and make a far greater impact, if you could just adopt that approach in the future.


              Thanks,
              Adam

              --
              Adam S. Jacobs
              Editor-in-Chief
              TheFinalSprint.com
              [email protected]
              --
              Adam Jacobs
              Editor, TheFinalSprint.com

              Comment


              • #22
                Adam:

                Humbled and flattered am I! Such a long, well-reasoned post on my account!

                Well, yeah. I overreached on the T&FN "conflict" regarding the Trials tours/seating. So what. Must I be held to a holier/higher standard than everyone else on this board? Guess so. Whatever.

                I don't need to defend my posts, blog or years of USATF volunteer work behind the scenes (including membership on three masters T&F committees). I don't need to cite my two unpaid stints blogging the Trials live. I don't need to point out that my 12-year-old Web site averages 32,000 unique users a month. That's just chaff.

                What I'd like to stress is that asking hard questions is a dying art, and so I'm THRILLED to learn that you're investigating issues within USATF! You and I have a lot more in common than you and gh. God bless you!

                I look forward to the results of your work.

                Go Jimmie and thefinalsprint.com!

                K E N
                K E N

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by TrackCEO
                  I don't need to point out that my 12-year-old Web site averages 32,000 unique users a month. That's just chaff.

                  32K unique? Now Ken...

                  http://www.quantcast.com/masterstrack.com/traffic
                  There are no strings on me

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by guru
                    32K unique? Now Ken...
                    My counter is public:
                    http://my7.statcounter.com/project/stan ... id=1675689

                    (Click on MONTHLY.)

                    K E N
                    K E N

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      As you know, your counter is based on cookies. The only way it would be even remotely accurate would be if none of your visitors ever cleared their cookies. Just one person clearing their cache every day, and also visiting your site daily, would count 30 times a month.
                      There are no strings on me

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Heck, my home page counter predates my blog and Forums.

                        Since the bulk of my traffic goes to my blog -- and lots of folks have bookmarked it -- my monthly count is probably much higher. I don't bother to check my logs. Too busy inciting riots on this board!

                        K E N
                        K E N

                        Comment

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