They are a stable for sports writers and the topic of a new debate among those on the inside of college football. Media guides can be one of the most useful tools for guys in my profession so their threatened existence would be an issue. (Click here for Alabama’s 2008 media guide for an example. The picture is the cover.)
It is important enough for the Football Writers Association to address in this online column.
Now in my time, I’ve seen good and bad in the world of media guides. As mentioned in the column, I’ve come across some that have almost no use to the media. They are simply brag books for recruits to devour. Recently, I found an Alabama football media guide from a few years ago that contained none of those important records or season-by-season results that are a must for a useful media guide.
That just stinks. And it should be changed.
With the kind of money these athletic departments are spending, it shouldn’t be too much of a bother to produce useful record books for the media to reference at a moment’s notice. A good beat writer will memorize the location of every key section and that shouldn’t have to be done on online while rushing to meet a deadline.
It sounds trivial and possible like a silly complaint/request. But, in the end, it is the product you pay for that suffers if statistical or historical perspective can’t be made in the stories we write.