On Fan-dom and Media

“C’mon, you can admit it,” said a friend of mine. “You’re a Jaguars fan.”

No, in fact I am not. At least, not the way he assumed. For some, it’s hard to imagine passionately covering or following a team without being a fan. But for me, there is a clear distinction. A fan has his emotions invested in the outcome of a game.  For me, the outcome of a Jaguars game doesn’t matter. It’s the story.

Okay, that’s the pure journalist side of the story. But I’ll be honest: sometimes the outcome of the game did matter. Or at least, I thought it did. I will tell you unabashedly, that I am a fan of the city of Jacksonville. Not a blind acolyte of whoever is currently in power, but I am an advocate for what Jacksonville is and what it can become. I’ve turned down jobs in other markets to stay here because I love what life can be like in Jacksonville.

When the Jaguars do well, its good for business. It’s good for the city. At least, it can be.

I don’t think we’ve done enough to really capitalize on the Jaguars, but that’s a topic for another time.

Back to the topic at hand. And really, it’s a question: as a fan, do you want another fan giving you analysis or do you want informed, opinionated analysis?  I suppose it’s the same question we should all be asking ourselves about political coverage.

For my part, I’ll continue to cover the Jaguars, not as a fan. In fact, because I no longer work for the organization, there may be more of an opportunity to serve as a watchdog. Afterall, the media’s most important roles are to disseminate truth and serve as a watchdog for government and business, and there is no more important business in Jacksonville than the Jaguars.

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