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View Full Version : Do You Consider Matthew Cronin A Credible Tennis Journalist?


Mother_Marjorie
Dec 10th, 2006, 11:09 PM
Does he best represent what journalistic tennis should be?

goldenlox
Dec 10th, 2006, 11:19 PM
What I like about Cronin is that he interviewed Linetskaya and her dad.
I want him to get in touch with Linetskaya again.
I really don't care how he views the top 5. They will all sort themselves out on the court.

vogus
Dec 10th, 2006, 11:20 PM
a good question.

Beggars can't be choosers. Tennis has a severe shortage of journalists who are willing to cover controversial issues in a serious, professional way, because the market for such coverage is simply too small.

Cronin is a guy who obviously has an affinity for trash and sleaze (witness his "Jennifer Capriati is dating a porn star" coverage among others). He doesn't strike me as very ethical or professional. But he does actually research and dig into controversial issues in a semi-serious way, which imo puts him a step up above mere grand-standers like Carillo, Collins, and Wertheim.

morningglory
Dec 10th, 2006, 11:37 PM
He's still loads better than Peter Bodo... He's OK... I agree with vogus; beggars can't be choosers... :o

saki
Dec 10th, 2006, 11:38 PM
Compared to other tennis journalists, I'd put him at about average. He's certainly better than Carillo/Wertheim, he's one of the few people posting articles on the WTA roadmap, for example. But there are times when he sucumbs to the desire for scandal over serious journalism - the Capriati/porn star thing - and when he lets his dislike for certain players become obvious.

Mother_Marjorie
Dec 10th, 2006, 11:46 PM
re: Beggars can't be choosers.

I used to read Bodo, Wertheim and Cronin as late as this summer. However, I stopped because it became painfully obvious that their agenda to attract readers to their gossip columns and to create fictitious and outrageous comments to stir reader animosity.

The sexist and personal comments about players in the WTA and their families crossed a line of fairness and decency. None of it is journalistic in style, but rather tabloid at its roots.

I don't think the sport of tennis is any better as a result of Matthew Cronin, Bodo or Wertheim. In fact, I think they bastardize the sport of women's tennis in order to keep their cushy jobs.

PLP
Dec 10th, 2006, 11:50 PM
Yes he is. I quite of often disagree with him (most of the time actually!) but I like his candor and usually enjoy reading his stuff.

goldenlox
Dec 11th, 2006, 12:01 AM
He is the ONLY journalist I can think of who covers women's tennis.
Who else writes about Larry Scott's Roadmap?
Who else has a sit down interview with players like Petrova, Linetskaya, Chakvetadze?

Give me one name besides Cronin.

auntie janie
Dec 11th, 2006, 02:12 AM
He is the ONLY journalist I can think of who covers women's tennis.
Who else writes about Larry Scott's Roadmap?
Who else has a sit down interview with players like Petrova, Linetskaya, Chakvetadze?

Give me one name besides Cronin.

Richard Pagliaro and a few other writers at Tennis Week.
Various writers for "Tennis" magazine.
Jon Wertheim & S.L. Price for SI.
Tennis writers for the LA Times, the NY Times & a couple others in the US.
A few in the UK.

goldenlox
Dec 11th, 2006, 02:15 AM
Who is writing about the roadmap?
I know Dillman of the LA Times sometimes writes a tennis article, but she isn't interviewing Chakvetadze.
Who at Tennis magazine is interviewing non top 20 women tennis players?
Nobody at SI covers women's tennis. Wertheim was in NY during the AO.
Nobody at the NYTimes covers tennis.

Mother_Marjorie
Dec 11th, 2006, 02:28 AM
Who is writing about the roadmap?
I know Dillman of the LA Times sometimes writes a tennis article, but she isn't interviewing Chakvetadze.
Who at Tennis magazine is interviewing non top 20 women tennis players?
Nobody at SI covers women's tennis. Wertheim was in NY during the AO.
Nobody at the NYTimes covers tennis.

I don't understand what the huge importance of writing about the WTA Roadmap (its on the sonyericsson website), when he's been busy undermining the professional women of the WTA.

Did Matt just get some hair up his ass and decide to actually do something journalistic by covering the WTA vs USTA instead of character assassinating the players in the WTA?

Sorry, but Matt isn't all that special. Even souless Bopo won't touch it until the USTA makes an official statement....not just some rumor mongering that Matt decides to do when the WTA is on off-season.

Mother_Marjorie
Dec 11th, 2006, 02:31 AM
Nobody at SI covers women's tennis. Wertheim was in NY during the AO.

Dunno if you know this, but for decades mainstream journalists avoided the AO like the plague until after they built their new complex in the mid to late '80's. The press box/offices were of very low standards and its one reason why the AO was treated like a bastard step-child for so many years...and not just by real journalists, but by the players as well.

goldenlox
Dec 11th, 2006, 02:34 AM
You're missing the most important point. Nobody else covers tennis.
If you go to the LA Times, Dillman is covering other sports. Wertheim is an NBA writer most of the time.
There is no one else who covers women's tennis.

When you started this thread, I started to think - where do I go for WTA info?
The answer is nowhere! If Cronin isn't writing, there's nothing besides AP and Reuters(very bland press releases) , except at the majors.

I rely on pierce0333221 to post something he found on a Chinese site.

Greenout
Dec 11th, 2006, 02:43 AM
There's alot of good tennis writers covering tournaments. They do it when it's in that time frame of event. These writes aren't "scoop" or "rumour" types, they present in depth pieces of players. I've read very interesting articles on Hingis, Daniela, Alicia Molik, Amelie, Justine, Patty, Hewitt, Andy Murray, Davis Cup, Fed Cup etc..

But this is real reading not "hot of the week" type articles or writers.


There's Eleanor Preston, and she's on REUTERS.
Joel Drucker on CBS Sportsline and various publications.
Matt Brown

Stuart Bathgath covers WIMBLEDON every year from Scotland, and UK tennis.

Jerry Magree who's been around a long time and covers the Calfornia hardcourt seasons. Before the 1980's! He's based in San Diego.

James Beck is another good tennis writer that's covered the Family Circle Cup in Charleston from the early days and seen all the big and new players of the WTA of the different professional era generations. He's based in Charleston.

Mother_Marjorie
Dec 11th, 2006, 02:44 AM
If Cronin isn't writing, there's nothing besides AP and Reuters(very bland press releases) , except at the majors.

AP and Reuters have real journalists that report the facts. Cronin reports gossip and innuendo about the WTA. That's the difference.

goldenlox
Dec 11th, 2006, 02:45 AM
Joel Drucker stinks. I've read him. There's no way he would interview Chakvetadze. Magee writes about 10 tennis columns a year.
None of those people cover tennis. Cronin writes for Reuters.

goldenlox
Dec 11th, 2006, 02:48 AM
Tennis-X: What is the history behind ********************, what is the who/what/when/why and philosophy behind it?

Matt Cronin: ******************** was founded by myself, web designer Ron Cioffi and reporter Sandy Harwitt in 2002, prior to Roland Garros. I still stand by our original mission, which is to provide insightful commentary, opinions, scoops, news and features from the pro tours that are not generally found elsewhere. In our opinion, at the time, tennis had few to almost no beat reporters and the general coverage of the sport was sporadic at best. Plus, I wanted to write whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted without an editor telling me that there was no interest in the story.

Sandy and I were on the beat quite frequently and despite the large amount of clients we had, we were still sitting on a large amount of news that was unable to find a home. The same can said for some of our other contributors like Eleanor Preston (the Guardian) and Doug Robson (USA Today). We believed that fans and members of the tennis industry would flock to a site that discussed the ins and outs of the tour, the good and the bad. I'm am happy to say that three and half years later, we were largely proved correct. Our traffic isn't quite where we want it to be, but we have a fair amount of subscribers, many of them other journalists, officials, coaches, agents, players and fans. We also have corporate clients that regularly buy our content, like Fox.

I can confidently say that since our founding we have broken at least 200 stories: some of them minor and some of them major. Many of those stories are picked up by other outlets and become an integral part of the reporting on the sport. That makes me very happy because it shows that there is a place for honest, hard-hitting tennis coverage. We have partly filled a huge gap and as we continue to grow, there will be fewer important stories that we'll be behind the curve on.

What also pleases me is that unlike some of my other friends and colleagues (Jon Wertheim, Peter Bodo, Alix Ramsey of Tennis Life), and like Tennis-X, we financed this site ourselves without a major corporate backer doing the heavy lifting for us. It's our baby -- ugly or not.

X: What do you make of the evolution of tennis on the web over the last few years, with full-time tennis writers now blogging raw content they wouldn't normally post in their work-a-day submissions for newspapers, magazines, etc., in addition to other news/opinion tennis sites?

Cronin: I'm of two minds about it: one, I'm thrilled about the increase in quality coverage; two, I'm unhappy with the amount of trashy coverage that I read. There aren't many quality tennis sites out there that employ full-time tennis writers who actually give up a care about the quality of their work. I'm appalled by the amount of reproduction that I see on the web of badly reported stories. Just because a story has been published doesn't mean that it's true. There isn't enough fact-checking or even serious thought given to who the author or publication is. I've read way too many reproductions of tabloid stories that have turned out to be false. I'm all about credibility, and although ******************** has made more than its fair share of grammatical and typographical errors, I can't think of any time when we were flat out wrong on a story. I'm proud of that.

As to blogging: We don't do much of that and may do more in the future, but we're way to busy reporting and doing analysis to spend time doing on-line diaries. Tennis-X does that well, as does Bodo and to a degree, Wertheim on SI.com. I consider blogging to be a luxury that I don't have. Moreover, I don't see many other full-time tennis writers blogging. Most of the stuff on newspaper web sites is also published in the newspaper. There's almost nothing extra. But I'd love to see more.

X: Where do you personally draw the line in regards to taking players, news organizations or tennis' governing bodies to task in your blogging/writing, or does anything go? Can you give examples of where you would go (or where you've gone) regarding your harshest critical commentary?

Cronin: Very good question. I try never to pull punches, but in a full disclosure mode, I'm less apt to take roundhouse punches at my major employers (Inside Tennis Magazine, Reuters, ESPN, Fox, the USTA and the FFT) than I am at those who don't employ me. That's a fact of my financial life and not one I'm particularly proud of, but fortunately, I don't write a media column so I'm not forced to examine their coverage frequently. As to the USTA and FFT, I'm not overly aggressive, but if there is an issue I feel like I need to weigh in on, I do.

Other than that, I just try to be responsible and not to take cheap shots. I have a pretty good history of taking officials and players to task when I feel it's necessary. I've written very critical pieces of players who I feel I have a good working relationships with: Roddick, Agassi, the Williamses, Capriati, Davenport, etc. I am also critical of them in person if I feel they have under-performed. But most players who have dealt with me over the years know that I respect their tennis and them as a person. They know I take their sport seriously and will praise them when they do well. For the most part, I still feel like I can approach anyone of consequence even after I have ripped him or her and have a professional conversation.

I've also broken some very sensitive stories over the years, including four over the past nine months that have caused me minor personal troubles with players and coaches who I've had good relationships with: Daniela Hantuchova's admission that her weight loss was caused by her parent's split; Brad Gilbert's trouble with Andy Roddick's father and what role that played in their split; the reason behind Kim Clijsters' break-up with Lleyton Hewitt; and the reason behind Anastasia Myskina's poor play -- her mother's cancer.

I'm happy to say that I'm now in good standing with everyone except for Myskina, whom I'm not sure where I stand with right now. But the other relationships were touch and go for a while. But you know that going in and have to be willing to take a risk, otherwise the stories will never get done. And if they don't, there will be less interesting copy out there, which is terrible for the sport. There's always a place for good, reality-based stories. Unfortunately, the players' handlers sometimes don't see it that way. That's a fight we are always fighting.

On another front, there is one player who I once had a great relationship with who is still furious with me -- Jennifer Capriati. That's because TR.net wrote a story earlier this year that she didn't want to see the light of day and she blames me for not calling her and fact-checking it. My bad for not making the call, but I was on vacation at the time and I trusted our reporter's sources and still do. I regret that Jennifer sees me as the world's biggest a-hole, but she hasn't picked up the phone either and heard my side, either. Hopefully, when I see her later this summer, we'll make good, because I still respect her immensely.

X: Do full-time tennis writers who do blog-type opinion run the risk of alienating their audience by showing their personal biases against players, organizations, etc.?

I don't think that writers should have personal biases against any player and need to be very careful about being overly subjective. We all know who the jerks are, but that doesn't mean that the jerks can't play well. Their on-court performances need to be front and center, not how they dissed a writer at a press conference.

However, I do believe that rude and unprofessional behavior off-court should be noted and criticized. For example, as much as I like Serena Williams at times, her consistent tardiness in showing up for press and conference calls (like Thursday (before Wimbledon)), when she was a half-hour late) is appalling. I don't like David Nalbandian's smart-ass answers, either. But that doesn't mean I'm going to write them off as big-time players.

Again, I strongly believe that writers need to be as objective as possible and when they are writing op-ed pieces, need to make sure that they are not ripping a player or official because he/she didn't smile at them when they passed each other on the stairwell. The opposite is also true: just because a player goes out of his or her way to say "Hi" doesn't mean he/she is destined to win the Grand Slam.

X: How do you see the evolution of tennis blogging and commentary on the web -- how will it effect tennis' popularity and can it change the game at some level, influence decision makers?

That's more of a generic internet question. Yes, increased tennis commentary on the web from professional sites will help increase the popularity of the sport. But you can say that about every product and/or sport. The internet will shortly become the dominant form of communication, if it hasn't already.

I don't agree with (Jon) Wertheim that it's the job of a tennis site to covert NFL fans to tennis. That's the job of general-interest sports sites, many of whom I work for. In those instances, I'll try to pull general fans into a column about Serena and Venus, but on ********************, I'm writing for the millions of hard-core fans out there who know who Mariano Puerta is.

Do I believe that ******************** and other legitimate tennis sites influence decision-makers? To some degree, yes. As long as the decision-makers believe that other people of influence are reading the site AND are influenced by the site, then they are forced to at least take note of the opinions expressed there. I know we have some influence just by the amount of officials who will come up to me and argue a story we have written, let alone call me at 7 a.m. when I am trying to get my kids ready for school. But I would certainly like to have more positive influence and will keep pressing on until our voice is larger.

goldenlox
Dec 11th, 2006, 02:53 AM
Cronin has a new artcle at Foxsports.com -

PLAYER OF THE YEAR (WOMEN): Amelie Mauresmo. Sorry top-ranked Justine Henin-Hardenne, but the Frenchwoman won her first two Grand Slams titles and the hearts and minds of fans the world over. Mauresmo finished ranked No. 3, but those Australian Open and Wimbledon trophies still shine the brightest.

MATCH OF THE YEAR (WOMEN): Amelie Mauresmo defeated Justine Henin-Hardenne 2-6, 6-3 6-4 in a gripping, versatile Wimbledon final and erased all doubts about whether she deserved the Australian Open title (Henin retired there with a stomach ailment).

Dan23
Dec 11th, 2006, 02:55 AM
Im almost in agreeance with GL on something :eek:
Though not everyones perfect we get some useful stuff out of Cronin.

Vlover
Dec 11th, 2006, 03:22 AM
a good question.

... which imo puts him a step up above mere grand-standers like Carillo, Collins, and Wertheim.

I consider Collins to be the only true journalist listed. I consider the rest pundits and cheer leaders for their favorites and trash everyone else. It's just common knowledge now that bashing is to be expected from certain writers and commentators about certain players.:tape: I don't think this is beneficial to the sport as for the most part I think they turn people off with their constant negativity.

vogus
Dec 11th, 2006, 05:40 AM
AP and Reuters have real journalists that report the facts.




there's the biggest bullshit call of the week.

With very few exceptions, the AP and Reuters people who cover tennis are atrocious, and they put out some of the most useless and generic garbage that you'll ever see. The ignorance and and disinterest of AP/Reuters towards tennis is a disgrace.

morningglory
Dec 11th, 2006, 07:35 AM
AP and Reuters have real journalists that report the facts. Cronin reports gossip and innuendo about the WTA. That's the difference.

:lol: that, is called bland, my friend... facts alone, you know what I mean, just a flat 3-line article which shows nothing whatsoever you get on the AP or Reuters :lol:
People like gossip, they're juicy, tender, and sweet :lol: (Nasty I know, but people are usualy nasty by nature :o ) Heck I've never even heard of guys outside Cronin, Bodo Dodo and Wertheim who do the majority of the articles.

If u wanna generate interest in tennis, u gotta have stories to write about

Reuchlin
Dec 11th, 2006, 08:00 AM
oh please people...stop acting like you don't like scandal. lol

goldenlox
Dec 11th, 2006, 02:11 PM
I want to give Dillman of the LATimes some credit. During the USO, she started an article by writing that Davydenko had called Sharapova an American.
There was so much going on then, I would probably not have read Kolya's interview, until I read Dillman.
That's the kind of gossip, or player news, that should be reported, and Dillman did a good job on that.

rottweily
Dec 11th, 2006, 02:16 PM
You're missing the most important point. Nobody else covers tennis.
If you go to the LA Times, Dillman is covering other sports. Wertheim is an NBA writer most of the time.
There is no one else who covers women's tennis.

When you started this thread, I started to think - where do I go for WTA info?
The answer is nowhere! If Cronin isn't writing, there's nothing besides AP and Reuters(very bland press releases) , except at the majors.

I rely on pierce0333221 to post something he found on a Chinese site.

Well that make it even worse when they spread lies.

rottweily
Dec 11th, 2006, 02:21 PM
MATCH OF THE YEAR (WOMEN): Amelie Mauresmo defeated Justine Henin-Hardenne 2-6, 6-3 6-4 in a gripping, versatile Wimbledon final and erased all doubts about whether she deserved the Australian Open title (Henin retired there with a stomach ailment).

He starts to improve, finally no backhanded stabbing adverbs.

RJWCapriati
Dec 11th, 2006, 02:23 PM
No

JonBcn
Dec 11th, 2006, 02:32 PM
AP and Reuters have real journalists that report the facts.



AP and Reuters are wire agencies that supply news to other organisations and thus cannot speculate or narrate with the writer's personal opinion.

Journalists investigate stories, speculate and (sometimes selectively) edit. It's not about writing a list of facts. And different writers focus on different things according their what their audiences want and (more importantly) the people who hire them.

Like him or not, Cronin is excellent (probably the best) at what he does, which is to maintain close relationships with players and tennis politicians and to look for stories that sell his site and his work.

TheBoiledEgg
Dec 11th, 2006, 03:46 PM
AP and Reuters have real journalists that report the facts. Cronin reports gossip and innuendo about the WTA. That's the difference.

:lol: :rolls: :tape:

Cronin is a good journo, he's a member of the ITWA and there arent that many of them.

http://www.itwa.org/