Virginia Tech's location isn't the best in college football. Blacksburg's pretty close to the middle of nowhere, which is great if you're like me and want to be in the middle of nowhere away from traffic and people. Not so much if you prefer a cosmopolitan lifestyle.
Where Tech's location becomes a positive is that being in the middle of nowhere means there's not one news outlet that becomes the only source of coverage. Miami, Georgia Tech and Boston College have, what, two maybe three papers that cover them on a regular basis? Meanwhile, the Hokies have a pretty long list of places that have devoted a writer to the Tech football beat.
After the jump you'll get a big chart of how to follow all of these writers on the Series of Tubes and a breakdown of all of them. I even throw in a pretty long rant about the general state of the news media. Fun times!
Virginia Tech Media Coverage
|L'burg News-Advance||N. Warters||nwartersLNA||None||None||Link||Feed||Link||Feed|
|N. News Daily Press||Norm Wood||normwood||David Teel||DavidTeelatDP||Link||Feed||Link||Feed|
|Norfolk Virginian-Pilot||Andy Bitter||AndyBitterVT||Tom Robinson||RobinsonVP||Link||Feed||Link||Feed|
|Richmond Times-Dispatch||Mike Barber||RTD_MikeBarber||Paul Woody||World_of_Woody||Link||Feed||Link||Feed|
|Roanoke Times||Andy Bitter||AndyBitterVT||Aaron McFarling||aaronmcfarling||Link||Feed||Link||Feed|
|Washington Post||Mark Giannotto||HokiesJournal||Dan Steinberg||dcsportsbog||Link||Feed||Link||Feed|
|CBS Sports||Sean Bielawski||seanbielawski||None||None||Link||Feed||None||None|
(Table Updated Feb.. 12, 2012)
Lynchburg News-Advance and Richmond Times-Dispatch
- In an interesting move the LNA and RTD have combined their Hokies coverage over at VTEffect.com. There you can read stories and blog posts from Darryl Slater and Nathan "Tommie Frazier" Warters.
- Slater lives in Blacksburg and behind Kyle Tucker probably did the best job of covering the team. He blogs a lot and does the kind of analytical posts we expected from the Godfather of Virginia Tech mainstream media blogging. Those posts remain, but have a new home.
- The move is good news on one front. Before, having Slater's blog in your RSS reader meant having to sift through blog posts from other writers covering U of Richmond, fishing and a bevy of other things I couldn't care less about. Now the blog is all VT all the time so you don't have to worry about it. Plus, two beat writers on one RSS feed means less clutter.
- Warters is an excellent reporter who unfortunately is spread very thin by having to cover a little bit of everything at the LNA. He's got to cover high schools and everything else under the sun. When he does get the chance to cover the Hokies, it's always good.
- Warters' coverage also appears on the Danville Register-Bee's website and my hope is the fact the Hokies' starting quarterback is from Lynchburg and their star tailback is from Danville means we'll get to see more Virginia Tech coverage out of Tommie Frazier this year. That would be a good thing for Tech fans.
Newport News Daily Press
- Wood's a solid reporter, but like Warters is spread thin because he also has to cover the Hoos.
- The Daily Press doesn't have a dedicated RSS feed for Virginia Tech news. If you want its coverage in your reader, you're going to have to deal with UVa, high schools, UFL, golf, etc., also coming through.
- It's similar with Wood's ACC All-Access blog. Wood has to cover both Hokies and Hoos, so the blog has news from both sides on there. While I don't have the straight news feed in my reader, I do read the blog and just ignore the UVa stuff.
- Teel's a guy you need to at least follow on The Twitter. If you're interested in what he has to say about non-Hokie subjects, throw his blog into your RSS feed, which can be found here.
- I feel bad for the guy who comes in to cover the Hokies for the V-P. Kyle Tucker left some big shoes to follow. In addition to the solid blogs and stories we got out of Tucker, he also was in constant communication with Virginia Tech fans through various forms of media. It takes a special person to deal with the likes of us and I hope the guy who takes this job knows what he's in for.
- At the very least, judging by the job description the V-P posted it looks like they're taking the hunt for KT's replacement very seriously.
- Don't bother with the beat writers...
- ...but pay attention to McFarling. The guy's writing has grown on me the last couple of seasons. Fortunately for us, he's probably at his best when he's writing about Virginia Tech football, whether you agree with his opinion or not. He and Teel are the best columnists in the state that I've read regularly.
- The Post tends to run through Hokie beat writers quicker than the Virginia-based papers, so we'll see how long Giannotto says on the beat. If anything, he and Mark Viera before him were at least prolific.
- The Hokies Insider blog serves as the hub for all Tech coverage, so under blog I've included the DC Sports Bog and its author, Dan Steinberg, under columnist. Steinberg will at least occasionally pretend college football exists, making him better than the actual columnists at the Post. It's a pro sports town, so what do you expect?
- As a former scribe at a campus rag, I have to include the CT. Stories in college newspapers are always hit and miss, but the writers for the CT have churned out solid coverage the last few years. Rarely will it produce something unreadable.
- One thing I'd like to see out of the writers at the CT is game coverage that goes beyond play-by-play. That's why we have the AP (and Hank Kurz, who you can follow on The Twitter). Give your stories an angle. There's always a turning point, star of the game or continuation of a storyline that can be focused on. It makes for more interesting reading
- The CT also has an ace up its sleeve this year. Long snapper Collin Carroll wants to be a journalist and has a column in the paper. He also is taking to The Twitter after each practice to give interesting tidbits that fans are starting to catch onto and are eating up.
- Carroll's insider knowledge of the program is something the other beat writers aren't going to get. I'd love to know what Frank Beamer and the VT SIDs think of Carroll's stories and tweets since the program is notorious for its lockdown on access. Don't expect anything controversial out of Carroll, but he's definitely worth reading for the great information he's sharing.
- An interesting concept as CBS Sports has started "Rapid Reports" for most of the big Division 1 teams. The Hokies' representative is Sean Bielawski, who despite being a dirty Wahoo is working hard at his new role.
- You might now Bielawski from his show on ESPN Blacksburg, which when he had Kyle Tucker and Darryl Slater on was a must-listen.
- The Rapid Reports are quick-hitting notes that usually revolve around one quote from a player or coach. It's good if you're looking for straight-forward news. What it usually lacks is the context or opinion that longer-form reporting brings. Also, if you do throw the feed into your RSS reader, get ready to be bombarded because Bielawski posts often.
- Whether or not you check the reports frequently, at least follow Bielawski on The Twitter.