Read­ers write, and we re­ply

Lo­cal cov­er­age is what we do, and that in­cludes cov­er­ing sports

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - PAUL BER­TON Paul Ber­ton is ed­i­tor-in-chief of The Hamil­ton Spec­ta­tor and thes­pec.com. You can reach him at 905-526-3482 or pber­ton@thes­pec.com

Here is some re­cent cor­re­spon­dence be­tween a Spec­ta­tor reader and our Sports ed­i­tor, Jeff Day. It was in­tended as a let­ter to the ed­i­tor, but it also il­lus­trates what I so of­ten see: read­ers are of­ten crit­i­cal of news­pa­pers with­out al­ways be­ing aware of just what we do: Dear Ed­i­tor: It is a shame and some­what em­bar­rass­ing that our lo­cal sports scene is quite im­pres­sive and so top notch but yet our home­town news­pa­per does not cover much, if at all, any of it.

Our city is home to a univer­sity that has sev­eral teams each sea­son ranked in the top 10, in fact, sev­eral of their cur­rent win­ter sports teams are ranked as some of the best teams in Canada, yet I never get to see any cov­er­age of these great Mac teams. Our sports writ­ers can fill col­umns and pages about am­a­teur hockey and the Bull­dogs or Ti­cats but our lo­cal sports teams are just as de­serv­ing.

As for our lo­cal high school sports, the city of Hamil­ton has some of the best teams and in­di­vid­ual ath­letes in the coun­try. Our own lo­cal pa­per should rec­og­nize this and want to write about our lo­cal ath­letes and their ac­com­plish­ments.

I would like to give high praise to Ce­cilia Carter-Smith. It is nice to read on the week­ends her cov­er­age of lo­cal ath­letes ex­celling in their in­di­vid­ual univer­sity sports. How­ever, that is the only consistent praise or ac­knowl­edge­ment we have for our lo­cal ath­letes. One day and one col­umn is not enough.

I can re­call my years i n high school in the 80s, we had a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the Spec­ta­tor at­tend and cover all the high school sports events and you could read about the re­sults the next day in the pa­per. It’s time we get back to prais­ing these lo­cal ath­letes, teams and our im­pres­sive lo­cal univer­sity ath­let­ics. And Jeff ’s re­sponse: Dear Reader: I was more than a lit­tle in­trigued not only with what you said, but when you de­cided to say it.

Last week, the Sports sec­tion of the news­pa­per fea­tured ev­ery­thing you were men­tion­ing, every day.

We had pic­tures of Girls Hockey Day in Hamil­ton and a col­umn about get­ting young chil­dren into hockey through the First Shift pro­gram on Mon­day, a lovely col­umn and pho­tos on the B’nai B’rith Sports Celebrity Din­ner that hon­ours lo­cal ath­letes on Tues­day, a col­umn about a McMaster Univer­sity wrestler on Wed­nes­day, a story on lo­cal soc­cer sup­port­ers and a pre­view of a lo­cal high school bas­ket­ball tour­na­ment on Thurs­day, a story and two pho­tos of that high school tour­na­ment and how a lo­cal hockey player raised $3,000 on Let’s Talk Day on Fri­day, and a story on the fi­nal­ists for the Golden Horse­shoe Ath­lete of the Year and an­other story and two pho­tos on the Sil­ver Fox bas­ket­ball story on Satur­day.

That doesn’t in­clude the daily cov­er­age we had on our two main lo­cal teams, the Tiger-Cats and the Bull­dogs. And we do that every week. Our re­porters and colum­nists only write about lo­cal teams and ath­letes and our man­date is to fea­ture it on the front page of the Sports sec­tion every day.

We agree Hamil­ton has an amaz­ing lo­cal sports scene. We love cov­er­ing it.

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