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BBaum21
10-29-2004, 10:01 AM
For those interested, I've already talked with Brooks and Ron Rapoport from the Sun-Times about the coverage and play the Sox and Cubs get in the media.

Brooks confirmed that he believes there's a bias. He also indicated that the Sox try to "market the best way they can" given the club's stature in the city.

I had a very candid conversation with Ron Rapoport. He said that winning had a lot to do with coverage. Attendance also plays a big role in the coverage: "newspapers are reflective of what people are interested in."

I'm hoping to talk with Phil Rogers to get a Tribune perspective. I'll keep you guys posted.




Take care,

Blake

Flight #24
10-29-2004, 10:03 AM
Brooks confirmed that he believes there's a bias. He also indicated that the Sox try to "market the best way they can" given the club's stature in the city.



Did Brooks indicate anything regarding their plans to either call attention to or eliminate the bias?

BBaum21
10-29-2004, 10:08 AM
He said that the organization is going to leave it up to the fans to question the various media outlets in the city about the coverage the team gets.

CubKilla
10-29-2004, 10:20 AM
He said that the organization is going to leave it up to the fans to question the various media outlets in the city about the coverage the team gets.

:reinsy

"That's right Sox fans. Call the media out for me with every bit of outrage you can muster and save me money in the long run from having to make new hires. Sox fans..... Who loves ya?"

Lip Man 1
10-29-2004, 10:24 AM
BBaum:

I've been involved in the media since 1979 at various levels and all I can say is that anyone who thinks that because of morals or ethics, the media should be completely unbiased is living in a fantasy land.

The media, especially in the major cities are a business. They are in business to make money. They will do whatever they need to do as a business to insure the biggest profits possible. That means they will follow the team(s) that draw the highest media ratings, get the largest attendence and offer the most excitement. They do this so that the can sell more advertising and charge higher rates. That translates directly into more money.

Oddly enough winning sometimes isn't enough to garner coverage.

Is that fair? Is it ethically right? No... but that's the reality of the situation today. In most companies (see Enron, Haliburton etc...) morals and ethics went out the door years ago.

The media is a far different enviroment then when even I started in Lexington, Kentucky right after college.

I'd also suggest reading the WSI Interviews that were done with members of the Chicago media, especially the ones with the folks who work for the Tribune Company. I made it a point to ask about the 'bias,' and the fact that the Tribune Company also owns the Cubs. You can find interviews with Rapoport, Paul Sullivan, Les Grobstein, Dave Willis, Bob Vanderberg and Phil Rogers. Also with noted Sox author/historian Rich Lindberg.

I don't know if I can be of service to your school assignment but if I can help feel free to contact me.

Lip
mliptak1@ida.net

Flight #24
10-29-2004, 10:27 AM
BBaum:

I've been involved in the media since 1979 at verious levels and all I can say is that anyone who thinks that because of morals or ethics, the media should be completely unbiased is living in a fantasy land.

The media, especially in the major cities are a business. They are in business to make money. They will do whatever they need to do as a business to insure the biggest profits possible. That means they will follow the team(s) that draw the highest media ratings, get the largest attendence and offer the most excitement. They do this so that the can sell more advertising and charge higher rates. That translates directly into more money.


I can only speak for myself, but what bothers me is the fact that it appears that the Trib is promoting their "baseball product" using their media outlet. That is a good business decision, but against journalistic ethics as I understand them, which are to report relevant news in an unbiased format and not to treat news differently because of the impact that it might have on other properties owned by your parent company.

Lip Man 1
10-29-2004, 10:36 AM
Flight:

You are absolutely correct and it's not just in Chicago. Time Warner / AOL for example owns the Atlanta Braves as well as various media outlets in Georgia and elsewhere.

As I stated it's not right but that's the way it is today with so many tangled conflict of interest situations caused by giant media conglomerates.

What bothers me about the whole situation is that the White Sox are apparently rolling over and doing nothing to attack it head on based on Boyer's comments. That seems to be emblematic of the whole organization at all levels and goes a long way towards explaining why they are losing market share every year in their own city.

As I've said in the past...the Sox are reactive, not proactive and that has cost them dearly on and off the field.

Lip

Flight #24
10-29-2004, 10:40 AM
What bothers me about the whole situation is that the White Sox are apparently rolling over and doing nothing to attack it head on based on Boyer's comments. That seems to be emblematic of the whole organization at all levels and goes a long way towards explaining why they are losing market share every year in their own city.

As I've said in the past...the Sox are reactive, not proactive and that has cost them dearly on and off the field.

Lip
While I agree with you that as an outraged fan, I'd like to see more aggressive responses, I'm not sure that given that the "enemy" in this case controls the content that goes to the readers, any such attack would immediately be marginalized, satirized, and spun out as "whiny Sox" to the public, ending up in the opposite of the intended effect. Much like the "Us v.. Them" ads were when they came out. To much of Chicago (i.e. most who aren't diehard Sox fans), it seems like those came across as "whiny Sox, who care more about the Cubs than they do about their own team".

Ol' No. 2
10-29-2004, 01:09 PM
Flight:

You are absolutely correct and it's not just in Chicago. Time Warner / AOL for example owns the Atlanta Braves as well as various media outlets in Georgia and elsewhere.

As I stated it's not right but that's the way it is today with so many tangled conflict of interest situations caused by giant media conglomerates.

What bothers me about the whole situation is that the White Sox are apparently rolling over and doing nothing to attack it head on based on Boyer's comments. That seems to be emblematic of the whole organization at all levels and goes a long way towards explaining why they are losing market share every year in their own city.

As I've said in the past...the Sox are reactive, not proactive and that has cost them dearly on and off the field.

LipWhat makes you think anything the Sox can do would make any difference? As you pointed out, the bias is driven by the media's perception of fan interest. In fact, it's not driven so much by the number of fans, but by the perceived type of fan. The major media believes that Cubs fans have more disposable income. This implies that they will be a more appealing demographic for their advertisers, and so they slant their coverage to attract those readers/viewers. Note that reality is utterly irrelevant. As long as the media and advertisers think that Cubs fans are more desirable targets, the bias will continue. And the only thing the Sox can do about it is to try to attract more fans of the type the media and advertisers like.

In fact, they've gone in this direction for several years. They've consciously made the park and game experience more family-friendly. The security at Comiskey is much better than at Wrigley. But perceptions die hard, especially when there is a vested interest in maintaining that perception.

soxfan26
10-29-2004, 03:06 PM
Is that fair? Is it ethically right? No... but that's the reality of the situation today. In most companies (see Enron, Haliburton etc...) morals and ethics went out the door years ago.
I don't understand the comparison here. I agree with you that the media is a business. However in this case it's hard to say that the "misinformation" or bias that they distribute is really hurting anyone with the exception of Hangar18.

When publicly traded companies mislead shareholders about revenue and profitability the problems are very different. There are laws and large building staffed with government accountants to ensure we receive accurate information about American companies. We have an expectation of accurate information.

We can argue about the media's social responsibility, but as an industry their individual biases have been transparent for many generations. I don't imagine anyone really expects a journalist to be fair and equitable.

jackbrohamer
10-29-2004, 06:52 PM
While I agree with you that as an outraged fan, I'd like to see more aggressive responses, I'm not sure that given that the "enemy" in this case controls the content that goes to the readers, any such attack would immediately be marginalized, satirized, and spun out as "whiny Sox" to the public, ending up in the opposite of the intended effect. Much like the "Us v.. Them" ads were when they came out. To much of Chicago (i.e. most who aren't diehard Sox fans), it seems like those came across as "whiny Sox, who care more about the Cubs than they do about their own team".

Standing up for the Sox in the face of biased media coverage is not "whiny," and screw anybody who thinks it is. And if jokers like Moronotti and North realize that they will pay a price if they marginalize the Sox (through lower readership or ratings) they will think twice before doing it.

If Sox fans are too frightened to complain about the bias,then they deserve every bit of it.

Lip Man 1
10-29-2004, 07:12 PM
Soxfan:

I don't like the lack of ethics in the business but I understand it, I understand it's a reality now.

My point in very general terms is that the media is wrong for violating that ethical trust just as much as Enron, Haliburton and other companies were as ethically wrong for doing what they did.

The people involved KNEW what they were doing was wrong...but they did it anyway. That's where I think the two industries and examples are connected.

Lip

Flight #24
10-29-2004, 09:11 PM
Standing up for the Sox in the face of biased media coverage is not "whiny," and screw anybody who thinks it is. And if jokers like Moronotti and North realize that they will pay a price if they marginalize the Sox (through lower readership or ratings) they will think twice before doing it.

If Sox fans are too frightened to complain about the bias,then they deserve every bit of it.
I don't disagree, I'm just saying that if the organization starts complaining, it will immediately be spun as whiny and have the opposite effect among non-core fans. That's likely why Brooks isn't actively fighting this, but rather leaving it to the likes of us.