Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Clarion-Ledger Gets New Sports Editor

The Clarion-Ledger announced on August 31 that it hired a new Sports Editor: 

Josh Capers, a longtime journalist in the USA Today Network, is the new sports editor of the Clarion Ledger and Hattiesburg American.

Capers has been with Gannett since 2007. He started at The Citzen-Times in Asheville, North Carolina. In Asheville, he was a copy editor, writer and designer, . 
Um, why is there a comma before the period?  Should there be a "-" between "Clarion" and "Ledger"?  Inquiring minds want to know. 

In 2011, he started working for the Louisville Design Studio out of The Courier Journal in Louisville, Kentucky.
"I'm thrilled to be named the new sports editor of the Clarion Ledger," Capers said. "It's a great opportunity and a great place for sports. A lot of people share a passion for sports like I do. It'll be great to lead a team to share stories in a community that cares so much about sports."
Congratulations.  Seriously.   

Two things that attracted Capers to Mississippi were that it sits in SEC country and the Egg Bowl rivalry. As far as SEC experience goes, Capers worked with scout.com on South Carolina and recruiting coverage from 2009-12, as well. As a North Carolina native, he also has an understanding of the magnitude of college-sports rivalries in the south.

"We are excited to add Josh to our team," said Dave Ammenheuser, who oversees sports coverage Gannett's sports coverage in the South. "He's a veteran journalist who will bring fresh ideas to complement the special sports traditions that help make Mississippi such a special place."

Should the "s" in "scout.com" be capitalized? What about "south"?  Ok, wait a second.  Some serious mangling took place in that last paragraph. Mr. Ammenheuser states Mr. Capers is a "veteran journalist."  Oh goodie, a veteran journalist is coming to Mississippi.  Can someone show me some stories he has published because well, I can't seem to find any actual by-lines.   What exactly does "worked with" mean?  

 The USA Today Network recently made a public pledge to do a better job diversifying its newsrooms. 

"I know being an African-American in this industry, I'm a minority, for sure," Capers said. "I'm a minority in the country, but I'm a minority in this position. I hope to bring to the community a familiar face of being a Black face. Someone that represents the community that looks like a lot of people in the community."
Um, I hate to break this to you, Mr. Capers, but being a black editor at the Clarion-Ledger is nothing new or special.  You are following a long line of black editors and publishers such as Ronnie Agnew, Bennie Ivory, Grace Fisher, Eric Stringfellow, and the current editor, Mary Irby-Jones.  Gannett has promoted diversity initiatives more than once over the years. 
 
Capers is a graduate of North Carolina A&T in Greensboro, North Carolina. His major was journalism and mass communications with a concentration in print media.

"I'm a product of an HBCU, so I have a fond appreciation for HBCUs and what they stand for," he said.

For the past year, Capers' role with the design studio has become remote, so he moved closer to his mother in North Carolina. Capers does, however, plan to move to Jackson in October.

 Does this guy have any actual bylines?  The few that have appeared in the Clarion-Ledger are mere compilations of high school football scores.  

Wait a second, he plans to move to Jackson next month? So let's get this straight.  The new "Sports Editor" does not live in Jackson but he might, come October?  Welcome to internet "journalism." 

Compare the announcement to the one for the hiring of Ron Higgins a few years ago:

There’s never a good ending to any sentence starting with the phrase “Due to corporate restructuring...,” especially when it’s being said to you.

Which is how I ended up here as the new sports editor and columnist for the Clarion Ledger and Hattiesburg American.

Fortunately, executive editor Sam Hall looked at the waiver wire. We sort of found each other. It’s one of those things in which one door closes and another opens.

A higher power got me here. No, I don’t mean Nick Saban when he’s not yelling at a media member after winning a season-opener by 37 points.

Some of you may recognize my name, having worked almost 30 of my 40 years as a sports writer at the Commercial Appeal in Memphis with a stop at the Mobile Press-Register.

Until that corporate restructuring thing came along, I was a columnist and senior writer at NOLA.com/Times-Picayune for the last five years. Just when I finally could translate what current LSU and former Ole Miss football coach Ed Orgeron was actually saying, I was ordered to take a permanent lunch break.

I don’t do idle well.

That’s why I’m extremely fortunate to become sports editor here, a place that has such a storied tradition of talented editors and writers.

Even better, I’m in a state that has produced some of the best athletes and coaches in history, names like Walter Payton, Brett Favre, Archie and Eli Manning, Dak Prescott, “Chunkin’” Charlie Conerly, Charlie Flowers, D.D. Lewis, Ray Guy, Steve McNair, Jerry Rice, Willie Totten, Archie “Gunslinger” Cooley, Bailey Howell, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Johnny Vaught, Van Chancellor, Jennifer and Peggy Gillom, Margaret Wade, Babe McCarthy, the always-dapper Davey “The Wiz” Whitney, W.C. Gorden, Ron Polk, Jake Gibbs, Sue Gunter, Jeff Bower, Dizzy Dean, Boo Ferris, Will Clark, Rafael Palmeiro, Ralph Boston ... the list goes on and on.

This is a state with great high school athletics and the best community college football in the nation.

Finallly, having covered Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Southern Miss for parts of four decades, I’m familiar with the challenges, financially and otherwise, those athletic programs and others in the state have had to overcome to slug it out with schools with massively larger budgets.


They continue to fight the good fight.

I’m also maybe one of the few writers ever to have amicable lifelong relationships simultaneously with former football coaches the late Billy Brewer of Ole Miss and Jackie Sherrill of Mississippi State.

That alone should qualify me to mediate peace talks anywhere in the world.

I’m taking over a staff of young writers. Our goal is to make you want to read us all day every day. We don’t expect that. We must earn it....

There is no ax to grind against Mr. Capers.  Gannett promoted him to this position and JJ wishes him well.  The purpose of this post is to show what Gannett is doing to local papers.  Editors who have nary a by-line now live in other cities.  Quality journalism becomes a relic of the past. The section of the newspaper that draws the most eyeballs gets the least respect from Gannett.  Welcome to the new media. 


30 comments:

Anonymous said...

KF I love your site but I am pretty sure you’re the only person who cares what’s going on at that crappy newspaper

Anonymous said...

A politically correct selection-
Are Caucasians eliminated from hiring considerations by Gannett?

Anonymous said...

Amazing how so many produce so little product. Sames goes for MT.

Anonymous said...

KF, did you expect anything less from the CL? I know, we shouldn't be so hard on the folks writing stories and press releases. They think we are all too ignorant to know poor writing skills when we TRY to read their stories.

Anonymous said...

"longtime journalist in the USA Today network"....can you say oxymoron?

Anonymous said...

If you read this guy's twitter feed @TheCapersEffect, you really have to wonder how he was hired to edit anything. Geez.

Anonymous said...

Sorta like getting the best seat on the deck of the Titantic.

Anonymous said...

Sports editor of the Clarion Ledger of Jackson Mississippi. In the world of media (print journalism is dead) what does that represent? Really. The challenge is finding a way to parlay that dead end into a job with a REAL future. Hopefully a press pass to SEC sports events will result in contacts with opportunities for advancement. It's a start, certainly not a destination.

He'll rent an apartment with a six month lease.

Anonymous said...

It has been years, but I recall when a rep. from the CL called and offered me 6 weeks free home delivery. I declined. He had a conniption fit. I enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...

To all of you haters with never anything nice to say about Jackson or the establishments that call the city home. What exactly do you do? Are you a chicken farmer? Maybe you work at a company that dumps toxic waste on the sewers? Maybe at a tractor and farm supply store? Who knows. But whatever you do, it must not be too important. Because you all have so much free time to spreadamd hate and discontent all damn day and night.

Anonymous said...

When it comes to sports, there's really not much to report, except for local high school and college stuff, and even with that, there's not much substance.
The NFL and NBA are in the crapper, and MLB ain't too far behind. As long as I can get scores for any number of online sources, isn't that all that really matters anyway??

Anonymous said...

Nobody looks to the Clarion-Ledger for sports news anyway

Anonymous said...

“To all of you haters with never anything nice to say about Jackson or the establishments that call the city home. What exactly do you do? Are you a chicken farmer?”
September 15, 2020 at 11:05 AM
——————————

You are really going to bat over a newspaper not printed in Jackson and a new sports editor that might or might not rent an apartment in the Jackson area.

Anonymous said...

Sports editor at CL huh?.....must couldn’t have got that job driving a cab.

Former sportswriter said...

As a former sportswriter (who was smart enough to get out of it at a young age) I am not surprised about this. Really talented writers have left the business and taken work for other companies which promise less tampering with their work. A sportswriter has to write not only for the readership but also for their bosses and the (few remaining) advertisers -- and I am sure that in these "woke" ages there is another aspect of political correctness added. For instance Monday night between MNF games ESPN ran a story about the political actions taken at those games. If only we could go back to the days when players were talented, action was valued most, and skin color did not matter.

Anonymous said...

You're correct, Kingfish, that "south" should be initional caps (South) because it is a distincyive region of the country - according to the Associated Press Stylebook. I notice the announcement incorporated the latest AP Stylebook guideline about capitalizing "Black." Omitting similar guidelines for an entire region of the country goes beyond incompetence to being an insult.

My inner grammar Nazi won't let me ignore a quote from the new sports editor who states that he is "Someone that represents the community that looks like a lot of people in the community." It should staye "Someone WHO represents ..." because he is a person && requires a personal pronoun instead of "that," which can refer to a can of cat food or any other inanimate object.

With such a thin resume - there's no mention of him successfully managing a group of people or any kind of major project ever - and lack of basic grammar, it's obvious why he got the job. And it's not because of skills or relevant experience.

Anonymous said...

Serious question: Who would take a job with the Clarion Ledger at this point?

It's like the last guy hired at the buggy whip factory.

I understand sportswriters have increasingly limited options, but at some point doesn't a sane person just give up and enroll in AC repair or IT-related classes at the local community college?

Anonymous said...

This part of the C-L's announcement caught my eye especially: "He also has an understanding of the magnitude of college-sports rivalries in the south." Heck, at 69 years old, I have an extensive understanding of bowel movements, but that doesn't make me a doctor.

Anonymous said...

I drink out of a water hose, come at me bro!

Anonymous said...

It's also a little curious that the announcement about a new sports has appeared online only & not in the print edition. After all, everything Ms. Irby-Jones thinks or farts is front page news. Could it be because the new sports editor has never set foot in Mississippi?

Anonymous said...

Here's yer Josh Capers byline:
https://flipboard.com/@USAToday/brett-favre-says-deion-sanders-should-be-next-football-coach-for-southern-miss-g/a-Du7-GkF2Tr6Q12mskdVgtQ%3Aa%3A3199709-fca63f2c87%2Fusatoday.com

Anonymous said...

" Heck, at 69 years old, I have an extensive understanding of bowel movements, but that doesn't make me a doctor. "

1:06 for the win !!!!!

Anonymous said...

11:05 AM
I work for one of the three banks that occupy downtown. I haven't had to go downtown for the past 6 months and i love it.

Anonymous said...

What happened to Rashad Milligan who was named editor earlier this year?

Shaking My Head said...

Imagine this on a tombstone:

"I once lived in Asheville, North Carolina and later wound up in Jackson, Mississippi"

If you've ever lived in or even visited Asheville, you'll understand.

Anonymous said...

I think Rashad is working at Zaxby's. People who leave the CL move on up.

Anonymous said...

@11:55

To all of you Jackson Apologists with never anything negative allowed about Jackson or the government/Mayor. What exactly do you do? Are you a city bus driver? Maybe you work at the public works department that can’t figure out how water meters work? Maybe you are unemployed or self employees? Must be a lawyer or banker? Cause there are fewer and fewer businesses left in Jackson. Who knows. But whatever you do, it must not be too important. Because you all have so much free time to spread apologetics for Jackson and show hate to anyone who can see the truth and the writing on the wall... that have been victims of crimes in Jackson, can see the tax base shrinking, and no hope for turning it around with current leadership and lack of real solutions....

Anonymous said...

Or maybe you are a 'content creator' living solely off Antard's teat?

Anonymous said...

Say what you will about the C-L, but they have a talented young sportswriter named Tyler Horka who is doing some of the best journalism in the state. Tyler's interesting sports features and MSU reporting are almost alone enough to keep me subscribed to the C-L. I wish they would try to follow his lead with the rest of the paper. And I hope he stays in Mississippi for a good long time, though I am sure he will have many opportunities elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Tyler @ 9:41.

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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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