Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Rollergirls: Media darlings (by day *and* by night!)

Via Roller Derby Diva:
Almost every day, I get word of a newspaper article or TV news spot about some roller derby league somewhere in the world. On Saturday, the New York Times ran an article (with a front-page photo) on the Gotham Girls Roller Derby's intra-league championship. The Times has written about Gotham Girls and other leagues before, but I believe this is the first time they've done video too. Derby News Network managing editor Justice Feelgood Marshall is on a crusade to get journalists to avoid the "(insert occupation here) by day, rollergirl by night" cliche in their coverage, but sadly, it has yet to be realized, even by the Times. Oh well. In defense of my profession, I think most reporters (and most people) are still struck by this dichotomy upon first learning about modern-day roller derby. I'm not defending the use of cliches, which any Journalism 101 professor will instruct you to avoid; I'm just pointing out that the average writer might not realize that this particular description of a rollergirl has become cliched (that said, all writers should always read other articles about a subject before tackling it themselves and avoid describing things the same way others have). Anyway, assuming derby continues to grow, I would hope that you'd see less of these kinds of descriptions, just as you don't really read articles anymore that say things like, "She's a woman -- and she's a C.E.O.!" We shall see...

(Thanks to RollerBuzz for the page scan)

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