New face of journalism

Dateline: Thu 23 Jun 2011

Here's the word on what top-notch Star sports reporter Jeff Rabjohns will be doing, from the website of his new employer,

On a side note, the proliferation of sports blogs fascinates me; I watched my young friend Brad Wells, a huge Colts football fan, graduate from New York University Tisch Shchool of the Arts. He now helps run/write for Stampede Blue, a blog geared for those who have Colts' obsession issues; he writes under Big Blue Shoe. That's not all he does -- also works in the IT industry and acts -- but the blogging/web life has been good to him.

May Rabjohns have a soft landing in his new gig. Let a million blogs and gigs bloom. Some of us would even hire copy editors to stand watch, if we had any money.

Anyhow, back to Jeff's new gig:

"Award-winning sports writer Jeff Rabjohns is joining A member of the Indianapolis Star sports staff since 2000, Rabjohns has covered college basketball, recruiting, AAU, high school basketball and the NBA. He has covered Super Bowls, Final Fours, NBA All-Star games, Indianapolis 500s and other major events. His passion, however, is college sports.

Rabjohns will start July 1st

" 'I am thrilled to be joining (site owner) Mike Pegram, who has been an authority on Indiana University athletics for so many years now, and It's an honor to cover Indiana University, which is one of the marquee names in all of sports and has one of the most passionate fan bases in the country,' Rabjohns said.

"I think our site has long established itself with our basketball and football recruiting as well as the innovations we've made in multi-media coverage through the years, but there's a lot more to covering a big time program like Indiana," says Pegram. "I think Jeff is going to provide us the hustling "true journalist" that we've been missing. Then it's a great bonus that he's experienced with recruiting, prep and NBA and NFL coverage."

"Rabjohns joins Pegram and football expert Matt Weaver as the full-time members of the staff. Recent intern additions include Indiana journalism grad Daniel Allar for the summer and this fall the team will supported by veteran IDS reporter Nathan Hart and IU Student Television reporter Samantha Dewig."


hendy [Member] said:

The IDS media grows. Good for them.

2011-06-23 19:31:39

Robert Knilands [unverified] said:

User was banned for obnoxious trolling and the comment was removed. --Admin

2011-06-23 20:47:42

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Knilands, are you stoned? It's consistently been one of the best.

Who pissed in your cornflakes?

Exactly when do you allege is slipped into oblivion? It would be news to most folks.

Ruthie: I still miss Pat McKee. A solid high school sports reporter, whose Rolodex of former metro-area prepsters was updated regularly with college reports. He was fantastic. Any idea what happened to Pat?

2011-06-23 21:04:52

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

An unloaded question:

Besides those people write blogs for ESPN, etc., does anyone really make any significant money writing blogs or reporting for websites?

I personally don't know anyone who does. Oh, maybe enough to pay the electric bill each month, but that's about it.

Ruth's blog is one of the best there is, but I get the impression she's not paying any bills with it.

I'd like to hear what people who are better-informed than I am (about these kinds of things) have to say.

Quick change of subject: Glad the Pacers are getting Indy native and former IUPUI star George Hill. A solid NBA player who seems like a nice young man as well.

2011-06-23 22:47:06

ruthholl [Member] said:

Whitebeard: I am not paying any bills with it. Not making one thin dime. Labor of love.
So I appreciate your comments, all of you, 'cuz that is my payback.

2011-06-23 23:02:43

hendy [Member] said:

Ruth, if you wanted to, you could. Google Ads are one way, but there are others. My own blog at doesn't have ads, but I blog at ITWorld, NetworkWorld, and catch some work I do at HP and other places.

I have many colleagues that write on the web, and make reasonable $$ doing so.

WRT the IDS, it's a pretty fabulous paper. It definitely makes the Old Herald Telephone ( work harder-- a good test of competition.

2011-06-24 06:50:17

B2 [unverified] said:

PAt McKee moved to Florida for awhile, but has returned to the Hoosier state and now coaches the girls basketball team at Columbus North (or maybe it's East).
And the IDS is annually considered one of the top student newspapers in the country.

2011-06-24 07:20:08

John M [unverified] said:

Whitebeard: I am the IU blogger for SB Nation, the same network that hosts the (much more widely read) Stampede Blue blog that Ruth mentioned above. The answer is that very few make enough money to make a huge lifestyle difference, and even fewer make enough to turn it into a career. Without betraying company secrets, even though I'm far from the top of SB Nation's page view rankings, I make more than enough in a year to cover my Colts season ticket. It's not life-changing money, but it's not chump change, either.

Like Ruth, my blog is a labor of love. I was spending plenty of time following IU sports online and commenting on message boards and other blogs. I'm an attorney, not a journalist by training or experience (although I still cherish the Harvey Award I earned as a high school sports columnist), but I started the blog, after an e-mail exchange with the aforementioned Mr. Wells, to turn my time spent on the Hoosiers into something more productive. When I say productive. I never expected to get paid, so anything I get feels like found money. I'm sure that my time is compensated at sub-minimum wage levels, but it's a hobby, not work. That said, with money comes responsibility. During the two full school years I have been with SB Nation (I had a Blogspot blog for a couple of years before), IU's record in Big Ten games, in football and men's basketball combined, is 9-58. There have been times that it would have been nice to walk away from it, at least between games,but I am contractually required to preview and recap every game.

A very few have parlayed sports blogging into a career (Brian Cook of, a University of Michigan blog, and Spencer Hall of Every Day Should be Saturday are the most conspicuous collegiate examples) but they have ended up writing for multiple outlets, and I have no idea how well they do. Cook is an engineer by training. I doubt he makes as much as he would have in that field, but he seems to be having much more fun.

2011-06-24 10:18:54

ruthholl [Member] said:

John M, that is terrific information. How fascinating! More power to you.
When I retired from the Star, my son, now 37, who works in computers, said, "You have to get a blog." He built this one for me, and I've had more fun on any given day than all my years in newspapers. Like Kurt Vonnegut, I prefer to work for myself; that's the freedom we have, as you know. All writers relish freedom, probably more than money, for me, anyhow.
What name do you write under? Thank you very much for chiming in. This is great.

2011-06-24 11:05:39

John M [unverified] said:

I write under "John M" at (I tried to put the url above, but it doesn't seem to be cooperating. I have another contributor at the site as well, probably with more to come.

2011-06-24 11:37:08

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

Thanks to Hendy and John M for answering my question about making money on blogs and websites.

A couple of things:

1. Ruth, I know you must have a huge number of people reading this blog since there are so many different people posting responses. Plus, I have personally discovered that your blog is frequently discussed by many of the movers-and-shakers in Indianapolis.

You really deserve to be getting some income from your blog. Here's a thought: hook up to Paypal and start by asking for donations for your time and efforts to keep the blog going. Other people do this. All one has to do is click the Paypal link on the website and type in a Paypal identification and the amount of donation.

Also, wondering if you have a "counter" that tells you how many people visit here? I have a friend with a website/blog who can tell me exactly how many people read each one of his blog posts. He's retired and in a position where he doesn't have to worry about money, but he said he could use this information to attract potential paying advertisers. And he knows what he's talking about since he was a successful advertising businessman and a graduate of the IU business school.

Ruth, when you take your little breaks, your work is missed big-time. You fill a tremendous niche in intelligent dialogue taking place in Indianapolis and Indiana. You and I may not always agree (such as with the job performance of My Multi-Millionaire Mitch - smile), but I always find your insights interesting at least and very enlightening at best.

Ruth, you deserve to be compensated.

2. Hendy, could you elaborate a little on what you said about people you know who are able to make a living writing for websites? How do they manage this? Do they fill very specific niches or broader interests?

I have personal reasons for asking this. I'm a semi-invalid, 25-year daily newspaper man with a wall covered with journalistic awards. I have written two books for major international publishing companies.

I have a few semi-regular magazine gigs now (mostly book and movie reviewing), but not enough income to make a significant impact our deficient family finances.

I'm always looking for writing jobs that I can do as a physically disabled older guy with bad health. But most of them want my charity (writing for free) or to pay a pittance ($20 per article, etc.).

My experience in trying to make money writing on the internet is that I would make more money if I was able to travel the roads and highways collecting aluminum cans.

So, I'm always interested in knowing how some people are able to make money writing on the net.

2011-06-24 14:46:41

Robert Knilands [unverified] said:

User was banned for obnoxious trolling and the comment was removed. --Admin

2011-06-25 02:50:54

John M [unverified] said:

Robert, you said that at the time, the "IDS had to be the worst college newspaper in the nation by far." Now you say that you might make the same claim about your own school's newspaper. How can that be? There can only be one "worst college newspaper in the nation." The IDS is a student newspaper and therefore it is understandable and predictable that it sometimes will fall short of professional standards, but based on awards and the strong reputation of IU's J-school, it seems much more likely that the IDS is near the top of the heap.

2011-06-27 09:20:22

Robert Knilands [unverified] said:

User was banned for obnoxious trolling and the comment was removed. --Admin

2011-06-27 13:42:19

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