Courier-Journal covers UofL and UK equally in sports, but hard news is another story

A few random thoughts about the Courier-Journal’s coverage of University of Louisville issues …

In case you missed it, Joe Gerth has a new column in the Courier-Journal, switching from political to a generalist approach, taking on the hot topics in town. He’s working hard in his new role as the newspaper’s “resident expert” on everything Louisville.

Not surprising a few weeks ago he became the latest CJ scribe to pile on former University of Louisville President Jim Ramsey, stating  that Ramsey “enriched himself at the expense of the students at UofL and the state of Kentucky.” He also questions the motivations of Tom Jurich in the same piece.

Gerth grew up in Louisville and graduated from the University of Louisville, majoring in communications. For someone who has covered politics for almost three decades, it is somewhat surprising that he has failed to acknowledge issues stemming from gubernatorial political appointments to the UofL Board of Trustees.

Or maybe it’s just that he chooses to ignore them. That would be the easier path for a writer at a publication that fancies itself to be a statewide newspaper. The CJ’s News side provides tons of coverage on UofL problems but only a bare minimum, usually wire coverage, on University of Kentucky issues — totally opposite to Sports coverage where equal coverage seems the goal.

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Louisville in Kentucky, but Louisville not Kentucky

Mayor Greg Fischer has thus far avoided any temptation to declare Saturday a “Wear Blue Day” in Louisville Metro in honor of the University of Kentucky basketball team making it the NCAA Final Four.

That’s good. Let’s hope he doesn’t bow to political pressure to do otherwise.

Adam Himmelsbach, a Courier-Journal sportswriter from New York, has taken it on himself to publicize the efforts of Jim Denny, a Louisvillian and UK fan, who initiated a petition drive for a support UK day. “Now that the Cardinals are out, why not acknowledge the large swaths of blue that permeate our city?” he asked in a Friday column.

The best reason not to provide the recognition is that the vast majority of UK fans have never acknowledged the University of Louisville’s success. I can count on one hand the number of UK fans who have congratulated me for UofL’s national championship last year … and all but one of them had to be coaxed into it.  For the most part, they rarely support anything that benefits the local university.

The Mayor could possibly gain a few political points if he relented, but not many. In fact, it’s quite possible that he would lose much more than he gained, infuriating many UofL fans if he were to declare a UK day in Louisville Metro.

Not surprising that a Courier-Journal sportswriter would support an effort in support of UK.  For decades, the C-J, under former managing editor David Hawpe went way overboard in covering the Lexington school on its news, sports and editorial pages. Hawpe was recently appointed to the UK board of trustees and is a member of the UK Journalism Hall of Fame. Anyone surprised?

The Mayor should be congratulated, not goaded, for standing firm in his support of the University of Louisville.