Monday, May 25, 2009

Do I Really Have To Do This??

Rod Pedersen is taking some abuse today for the fact that he didn't break the Curtis Hunt story. Some wanting to know why he didn't have it first, and others wanting to know if he knew about it, why didn't he report it??

Rod and I are very good friends. I have known him since he first came to town. We have had many, many discussions about what was going on at his workplace and what was happening at my old place and what does and what doesn't get said. Not only are we good friends, but we also have a great amount of respect for each other and the jobs we do (or in my case did). In fact, he has been one of my "sources" in the past when it comes to stories surrounding the Pats and Riders. Have I followed up on everything he has told me. Of course not, but I have kept the information tucked away. If you look back a few days at this blog, I told you that Curtis was coming and that a presser might have been held Friday. I've known about him coming back since I was told last Wednesday by someone who is loosely connected to Curtis(not Rod by the way).

When you have a daily interaction with the teams that he has being the play-by-play man, you get inside that inner circle. You are privy to information that perhaps shouldn't get out there. If Rod went on and reported every little piece of information that he learns from the Rider office or the Pats office, he wouldn't be trusted by the organizations and the relationship would be significantly damaged. I have had stories that I have waited for someone else to break for the same reasons. I knew about the Danny Barrett to the University of Buffalo story five days before it was announced. Because I would not jeopardize the relationship of the person who gave me the story I sat on it until what I thought would be the day of the announcement. Someone at TSN beat me to it by putting it up the day before. Was I pissed off. Yes I was and those that were in the CJME newsroom that day can attest to that as one four letter word was yelled after another. However in the end, I was not going to release the story because I knew I might not get another one from the person in question. I've also been given false leads on stories. How idiotic would I or Rod or Lee Jones or Rob Vanstone look if we said something without doing our due diligence on it.

Do I agree with everything Rod does. No!! Does he know that? Yes!!! Have we sat down over a couple of cold ones and discussed things. HELL YEAH!!! In the end, he respects what I have to say and vice versa. I have said this before while working as a member of the opposition and I will say it again. There is no better place in Canada for sports media than this town. The L-P Sports Department is the best damn sports department in Canada as far as I'm concerned led by Vanstone. That alone should tell you how good Murray McCormick, Ian Hamilton, Greg Harder and Tim Switzer are. (Sorry RV--I had to take that shot!!). Don't forget Darrell Davis either who was by far and away the best football beat reporter out there. If they get a scoop or an exclusive, good for them. Its because they put the work into the story and sometimes they may put the story out there even though the rest of us know about it. The TV sports reporters in this town are all outstanding individuals. Lee Jones, Derek Meyers and Chris Hodges have TSN written all over them and hopefully one day they will move on to a bigger, more high profile job. Warren Woods is the old dog amongst the group but if the day ever comes that Vic Rauter gives up his curling gig, I would not hesitate to have Woodsy replace him.
Do I agree with everything they do...again NO and they would say the same thing about me, but there is a common respect out there because everyone knows they are working alongside a great group of people who all understand and help one another when need be. I would have no problem in sharing information or material with any of the above, because I know if I needed something from one of them I would get it.

I don't know sometimes what some people are expecting us to give them at times. I would always laugh when someone would phone me asking me why I didn't mention this or that. My response would be "I didn't know about it" and they would be flabbergasted thinking we should have our thumb on the pulse of every sporting event happening in Regina.

Hey, if some people aren't going to send out releases, how are we supposed to know about it. Was it last summer that the Canadian Little League championships were in Regina or the summer of 2007. I'm a big baseball fan as you know and I would have loved to give that event some publicity, but I didn't even know it was happening until I saw a story in the LP. No one bothered to send me any skeds, no way to get game scores, no nothing. The people that put it on obviously didn't feel CJME could help them so they sent no info. It happens in news as well. I can't tell you how many times we would find out about a news conference after it had taken place. No release means no chance to schedule someone to give the event the publicity you are looking for.

I've rambled on enough on this topic, but it does grind my gears when people start heaping abuse on someone without realizing the whole story. Sometimes I think there are many that need a course in Reporting 101.

If you are going to give Pedersen heat today and abuse him on something, give him heat on the fact that he openly admits to listening to Lady Gaga!!! Lady Gaga??? Did you not have the onions to say you are listening to Miley Cyrus too RP??? :)


Anonymous said...

Good post Mitch. I know you have sat on stories because you have told me what's going on and then I hear about it days later. I know the case is the same for Rod too. Everyone has an idea that you guys are just dirt-scrapers getting big $$$ and that is so false.

Regina is lucky to have guys like Vanstone and RP around and hopefully you will get back on the airwaves too.


Anonymous said...

If a team doesn't want anyone to know its dirty little secrets, then don't air them when a "media" guy is around. I think Rod is a top-notch play by play guy but if he is withholding a lot of information that is going to get out there anyhow, I ask "Why not take the glory yourself". I think that make you gain more respect amongst your peers. I have a hard time thinking other Regina media guys have a solid respect for someone who is hiding stories and then claiming I knew that once they come out.


Anonymous said...

Ask Steve Brown what happens when you take glory for yourself.....who's he you ask....he's the guy that called play by play in between Geoff Courier leaving and Rod Pedersen coming on board. He wouldn't shut his mouth or do things the way he was told. The team called the Radio rights holder and that was it. Ask a class act like Drew Haubrich what it's like when you speak the way he's not working there anymore either.

Caesar said...

Well Ted, it's just like patient conifdentiality, and better known as RESPECT.

I know lots of people that talk this and that, that know what's going on (with respect to these two organizations) I don't blab anything, it's not cool.

If I was a doctor and knew your wife had herpes, would I tell everyone that I know that!?? Nope (please hope that she doesn't! LOL)
Same thing here, these teams TRUST that one as a reporter that gets a hold of something (other than at a press conference) DOESN'T report it...or guess what, they don't get talked to, or invited to little conversations!

And in regards to your last sentence, I think the exact opposite, I think all the Regina and area guys have the UTMOST respect for people that act in trusting and professional fashion.

Do I know this cause I am a reporter? NOPE

This is just seems like common sense to me.


Anonymous said...

Mitch....didn't you tell me on several times that you talked to Tillman ad nauseum on several issues. I don't think those conversations ever translated into stories. Eric has enough trust in you that you aren't going to go off and start reporting what he says if the conversation is in confidence. That is why more conversations occur because it gets you into what the team is thinking. Some could say that is manipulating you. I guess it depends on what way you look at it. I'm guessing there are stories out there that we never get wind of because of the confidence issue and sports isn't the only area. Ask yourself what a Wayne Mantyka knows but doesn't report on.


Portuguese Sensation said...

There's a delicate balance when working your "sources". Obviously every reporter wants to "break the story" but there are times you HAVE to sit on it or else you'll risk losing the trust from that source which can make life difficult when trying to get information.