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A new approach to sports

The News-Times revamps its sports coverage with breaking news going straight to the Web

It is no secret that I have a short attention span. So it should not come as a surprise that I've decided to shake things up in the sports department.

Starting this week, we're going to revamp and, hopefully, improve the way we cover sports here at the News-Times. Gone will be the week-and-a-half-old wrestling recaps and tedious play-by-play accounts of basketball games that happened a month ago. The way in which people get their information is changing, and newspapers - especially weekly newspapers - are slowly coming to the realization that we are no longer the best source for breaking news. Perhaps we never were.

Instead of fighting change, we want to embrace it. So cue our new approach to sports reporting.

We understand that by the time you get your newspaper, Friday's basketball game is almost a week old. And last Tuesday's game is ancient history. In today's era of computers and high-speed Internet connections, people want their news five minutes ago. So we're going to do our best to give it to you.

From here on out, all our breaking sports news will go directly to the Web, updated immediately to our site at www.fgnewstimes.com. You will be able to get full game recaps, photos and commentary from the players and coaches shortly after the game is over. And we'll even let you know ahead of time what games we'll be covering each week.

As far as the newspaper goes, well, we're going to start looking ahead instead of behind. We'll still include some traditional game coverage for those who don't have the time, means or inclination to surf our Web site, but the majority of the content in the paper will be forward-leaning, with an emphasis on game previews, feature stories and more insightful analysis of the week that has already passed.

We want to give you the best possible coverage of your favorite teams, and the best way to do that is to utilize all the tools at our disposal. The Internet affords us immediacy, while the paper allows us to be more comprehensive. As a reader, you can go to the Web site for breaking news and the paper for insight you might not get in a game recap filed 10 minutes after the final buzzer.

A lot of this is possible because of the addition of a new sports reporter - Forest Grove High and Oregon State grad L'Erin Waterstreet, who will be bolstering our coverage both on the Web and in the paper. Her presence gives us more flexibility, not to mention the ability to track down stories we may have missed in the past.

And, of course, we still have the services of one of the best sports photographers in the state, Tommy Whitcomb, whose photos will be available online after each event he attends. Combined with the efforts of staff photographer Chase Allgood, our photo coverage of local sporting events should be better than any other paper our size in Oregon.

Here at the News-Times we recognize that change can be both good and bad, but no one benefits - especially not the readers - if we stick with the same style week after week, year after year.

So enjoy this week's paper and the many that will come after it this winter, but be sure to check out the Web site, too. Hopefully you agree that the new approach to sports coverage is better for everyone involved.

Zack Palmer is the News-Times' sports editor. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..