Pardon us for going off topic for a post, but because we have a lot of friends in the print media, a jab at the Associated Press Sports Editors' annual winter meeting is in order. We've always been amused by these gatherings, or should we call them boondoggles. Now people will disagree with us. In fact, there is a lively discussion going on at Sports Journalists about APSE. But we're really not sure what purpose APSE serves besides giving the boss and possibly some of his/her lieutenants an excuse to go off to some warm locale for a week of merriment. When is the last time they held this February gathering in say, Buffalo?
This week, editors have gathered at the Coast Hotel in Long Beach, and as you can see from the above photo, the working conditions for judges on the various contests border on unbearable. It's doubly difficult with a hangover. ...
Now to justify this big smoozefest, APSE will announce later this week the top-10 daily and Sunday sports sections in four circulation categories. Here is where reality sinks in: Expect these circulation categories to be adjusted downward soon because circulation is falling at newspapers like rain falls in Seattle. In fact, the competition is already stacked against papers under 100,000 circulation because most of the newspapers already fall in those two judging categories.
But never fear, plans are already being made for the next APSE boondoggle, June 20-23 in St. Louis, with a poker night, awards banquet (pat each other on the back) and game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies (they serve beer at Busch Stadium!). Yes, with newspapers facing the loss of readers, cutbacks and layoffs commonplace throughout the industry and salaries generally hovering around the poverty level, you have to ask one question: Why?