More Messages: Melo-ing Out

Those readers who are offended each time a sports story dominates page one of a Denver daily were undoubtedly frosted by the sight of the July 13

Denver Post

. The day's main

piece

, by reporter Marc Spears, involved the signing of Denver Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony to a long-term contract.

Was this a sin against journalism? Not in and of itself. Like it or not, sports is important to a great many readers in this area, and putting reports about it front and center accurately reflects their ardor. Moreover, the Post's sports section is first-rate, and deserves the attention. In this case, however, the decision was dubious. It's been known for well over a week that Melo and the Nuggets had reached an agreement, but had to wait until July 12 to formalize it due to arcane NBA rules. As a result, the announcement felt like yesterday's headline. On top of that, the Post underplayed the one new development that arose on the 12th -- Anthony's first public comments about the July 9 arrest of a pal for marijuana possession and three other traffic offenses while driving one of the basketballer's cars. The Rocky Mountain News led its July 12 sports section with a recap of his remarks, and the Post should have at least cobbled together a sidebar. Instead, mention of this matter was tacked onto the end of Spears' account, and cited deep into a second Melo article -- a full-on Lewinsky about his basketball camp that ran in sports.

The juxtaposition of this coverage makes the Post look worse than it should. There's nothing wrong with putting a sports item in the spotlight, as long as it's justifiable from a news-value standpoint. In this case, though, the actual news was drowned out by all the rah-rah-rah. -- Michael Roberts

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