Originally Posted by IslandRed
As much as we'd like to think that there are only two options -- serious, unbiased journalism, and mere fans/bloggers -- there's a middle ground and it's existed for a very long time. Nearly every professional or big-time college team has publications or web sites whose sole reason for being is to cover that team. Some of them, if trusted, get media access to that team. Teams have radio and television partners whose business models depend on attracting fans of that team. They get credentials too. In all those cases, it's understood where the bread is buttered and that embarrassing the team is a good way to lose your access. So yes, they function somewhere in between the daily newspaper and the sports-information office, and everyone understands the arrangement. Or is supposed to.
But within that context, they're still covering news
. The news they cover are concentrated within a single program, university or franchise, but nonetheless they're still reporting news. They're no different in their goal, just specific types of news. There's no middle ground... whether you report national, local or team news, you're still reporting. Focusing on a particular subject is not a middle ground of what you are as a news organization, it just means you're only covering a specific topic. Rules and ethics aren't thrown out the window because you focus on a specific topic.
As far as WLW: their tagline is meant that they are the local AM affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. It's not meant as 'hey, we're Reds' homers.' It just means that 'come here, and we have the games and will provide you with Reds' news.'