The gulf between the work of Charles Goldbergâ€™s coverage of Auburn and Ian Rapoportâ€™s coverage of Alabama football is enormous. Rapoport does good work and Goldberg is closer to a Phillip Marshall than a journalist. (And as if it hasn’t been made it clear before, the old Pravda did more objective work than Phillip Marshall. The new Pravda isn’t so bad.)
Rapoport was recognized by the Birmingham News Sunday night with the Big N Award, according to al.com. Rapoport was praised for “compelling game coverage, compelling human interest stories and exclusive off-the-field news stories,â€ the website said.
But what Rapoport does that other reporters in this state do not or are simply incapable of doing is asking the difficult questions. Even when Nick Saban says he doesnâ€™t want to field a question, Rapoport presses for details. It isnâ€™t an easy task, but it is a refreshing task and a necessary one to hold powerful men to account.
While sports coverage doesnâ€™t provide the same benefit as investigative pieces into public corruption, sports coverage is important. It should be pursued with the same professional standards seen on the news or editorial pages. Rapoport provides good value for the Birmingham News. Unfortunately, the entire sports section doesnâ€™t deliver the same value.