Friday, November 26, 2010

Skate Journalists

Remember when skateboard magazines had writers? As in they actually staffed people with a specific journalistic skill set to write interesting, coherent articles that held their weight against the photos. They went on tours with teams and while sometimes their writings had nothing to do with skateboarding at all, it was usually at least entertaining. To me, Dave Carnie was the pinnacle of skateboard journalists. In his Big Brother days, many times his articles were better than the photos that accompanied that (not to discredit the photos). However, in the last 5-10 years, probably in an effort to cut costs at the sake of synergy, the skateboard journalist has become a dying breed. There are few left as magazines have been tasking photographers to write the articles in addition to taking the photos. If not the photographer, they will pawn it off on the team manager of whatever them the article is about or skateboarders themselves. While this may seem like a good idea from a cost perspective, it is a terrible idea when weighing the hit on quality the magazines have taken. But skateboarders don't read the articles anyway, right? Sigh. The thing about having photographers, TMs, & skaters write the articles is that most of them never even finished high school, much less went to college or know anything about writing. I know that doesn't mean they can't write a good articles...but have you read an articles in a skate mag lately?! While I used to look forward to the photos AND articles, now I, sadly, only look forward to the photos. There are some photographers that write good articles, like Kevin Barnett (Thrasher), but it is pretty rare. The same goes with TMs and skaters. There are a select few that I get stoked on, but if I read another article about not knowing what to write about, I am going to go crazy. The standard is something akin to:

So and so hit me up to write this article/intro about [insert subject matter]. I couldn't figure out what to write. Blah Blah Blah...

I may be a bit of a hypocrite, because I'm not the best writer, but I do love to write and try to put a real effort in. I have my first article published in the latest issue of Focus in regard to the Naysayer Tour. It isn't a master piece, but I tried to at least make it entertaining. You can read it here. And that is all I ask for in an article. We need more Dave Carnies, more Chris Nieratkos...and someone, please hire Kosta (from Quartersnacks) to write for a skate mag (Skateboarder?).

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