Brains vs. brawn: Globe prefers brawn

Writing on the Herald site, Tai Irwin contrasts the Globe's coverage of the Massachusetts High School Drama Guild Finals - which it sponsored - with its Sunday coverage of high-school athletes. The final tally:

Atheletes: 16 pages of coverage.
Drama kids: Zero.

... The message is very clear: although Westford, Nauset, and Weston received awards, and many students were singled out for theatrical excellence, once again it's sports that matter most, even to the exclusion of intellectual and artistic activities. What a great thing to tell our kids, over and over again. Never mind the brain pursuits – the science fairs and business/educational coops, and never mind the arts, dance, music, drama. The thing that is going to solve all our problems and nurture all our values best is sports. ...



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    Where is this 'contrast' ?

    I don't see any mention of either drama clubs or athletes in that blog entry. Was it drastically edited since you made the link?

    Copy command and me

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    Are mortal enemies. How else to explain how often I paste the URL of the item I'd blogged before the one you really want to read?

    Link is fixed.

    I agree and all, but...

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    I never liked the notion of drama competitions. My high school never did that sort of thing and I'm glad for it. Why should we be turning artistic expression into a competitive tournament? I wish we would do more to encourage people to support high school drama in its original context: actual high school drama productions. Why can't drama festivals just be festivals? Why graft on a competition to it all?

    But yeah, if we're covering high school sports, we should be covering high school arts at least somewhat and the festival offered a good opportunity to do that. It amazes me that with all the money arts brings into the economy here that the institutions are still so sports-centric. I like sports. I don't mind it getting covered, but it does make it less defensible to ignore arts covered at all levels when its such an important part of our local community and economy, often much moreso than sports.

    I'd note, though, that the only mention of the Drama Festival I can find in the Herald is a blog entry complaining that the Globe didn't cover it.

    Do what I say, not what I do

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    It's a great little essay, saying some important things. But it is seriously marred by the fact it's coming from someone who didn't do any better.

    Dear Boston Globe owners – please sell the paper to a local entity, one that will take the responsibility to cover this amazing part of the world seriously.

    -Signed, mogul who owns the other newspaper which also prioritizes sports over intellectual pursuits.

    Talk is cheap. It's even cheaper on a blog than it is in print. That sort of forestalls any desire I might have to applaud these sentiments.

    Which students are the top SAT achievers? Don’t know. Which will be going to the most selective colleges on scholarship? Don’t know. But I sure do know who broke the school records for a variety of sports. Meanwhile, other countries are growing intellect and imagination, passing us in the left hand lane of the future doing 90 mph. We won’t be able to compete on the worldwide stage by holding up sports trophies.

    (Holding up drama trophies, now that's a different story!)

    Fair point, but....

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    Why didn't the Herald cover it? Other papers did (search Google News). Has Tai Irwin given up on the Herald, except for using it for blogging?

    The Globe prefers brawn. So do readers.

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    That's how you explain how much coverage local sports get compared to everything else. It sells newspapers. Little Bobby's performance in Hamlet might have been great, but people are not going to pay to read about it.

    Ever think about how much sports gets covered compared to everything else? If newspapers covered things in proportion to, say, their percentage of the economy, sports would get a half a page in the back and the war would dominate. What gets read more? The daily body count or the box scores? Thats why you don't read reviews of high school drama clubs.

    I agree

    It's a valid criticism that the Herald also didn't cover it, but it doesn't negate the point of the essay.

    The same problem occurs in the coverage of music... there is little or no recognition given to All-State music students. My union (Boston Musicians' Association) actually has an online petition asking the media to better represent these students.

    Story and petition here. If you agree please sign it!