One of the sports columnists from my hometown in Pittsburgh, PA recently caused a seismic shift in the sports reporting landscape by going indie. Dejan Kovecivic is an award-winning columnists and sports journalists who grew up in Pittsburgh and spent the last couple decades working for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and then, the last couple of years, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. I always enjoyed his writing, especially when he writes about baseball, so I was curious this past summer when he just seemed to disappear from the Trib. I hadn’t heard what was going on so I googled him and discovered that he left the Trib to go it alone. He was going independent, in essence, becoming an indie sports writer. (HIS SITE HERE)
Now at first you might not think this is a big deal, after all there are all kinds of sports blogs which are independent. So what’s difference about this?
The difference is that one day an established, respected, award-winning sports journalists quit the establishment which gave him his livelihood and simply (seemingly) overnight set-up a subscription website to continue to do what he was doing except this time, he was taking his content directly to the readers and cutting out the middle man (the established newspaper/media industry.)
And the question is, why not?
Why not make more money for the work that he puts into it? Sounds like an excellent plan to me. He spent years building up a loyal following of readers who are passionate about what he writes about. Now, will all the technological tools staring him in the face, it’s as easy as 1- set-up a website 2-manage subscriptions 3-keep writing great content 4 – enjoy the fruits of your labor.
This is exactly why I’m excited to be a writer in the 21st century. The sky is the limit.
However, success is never guaranteed, but it’s available for those who work hard and produce work that consumers want to read.
Dejan certainly has his niche down. He’s very good at what he does, and he’s even tempted me to subscribe. I might as soon as baseball season starts again.
But it makes me think if this is the future of media. Are more and more reporters, journalists, and writers going to strike out on their own? Will the ever evolving nature of newspapers and websites become more personality based?
People love to be independent. The music industry has expanded greatly into indie music. We authors know the revolution happening in the publishing industry due to Amazon and others who make it so easy for writers to go it alone. Now journalists are doing the same thing.
The bottom line for the consumer is simple: people want great content – whether in music, books, or sports journalism.
The bottom line for writers is also simple: more writers are seeking avenues which can maximize both potential, profit, and control over their own work.
The cool thing is that both of these can easily mesh together to provide a great experience for the consumer and a self-fulfilling experience for the writer.
Best of wishes to you, Dejan, in all of your endeavors.