005 – Jon Arnold: Soccer Journalism from an American Perspective

Last episode I talked with Karl Matchett to get the British perspective on soccer journalism. We learned what it is like to cover soccer in a country where it’s the top-dog in sports. However, while soccer is on the upswing back here in The States, it’s still a completely different environment where MLS is not only not the top-dog, it’s not even in the top 4 dogs.

You can see this gap in demand play out just by watching the local news sports cast. Every weekend you’ll see clips of NFL or NBA players being interviewed in the locker room by throngs of reporters. Almost every media outlet in the major markets has a full-time beat reporter for those sports, but very few have full-time soccer reporters.

The relative lack of demand (and resulting lack of coverage) creates a different dynamic to the job than you’d get covering it in the UK. I wanted to deep-dive with a reporter who navigates this US soccer landscape every day in order to find out how this difference in dynamics shakes out in the way the sport is covered.

Luckily for me, I know a full-time journalist who not only covers soccer in the US, but also in Mexico and Central America as well. BONUS!

In this episode, I ventured out of the suburbs and into the heart of Dallas to the Deep Ellum Brewing Company to chat with Jon Arnold (@ArnoldCommaJon) of Goal.com and the BBC’s “World Football Phone In”. Jon and I talked about covering MLS and LigaMX, teams limiting access to the media, how he wound up on a radio show heard around the world, and much, much, more.