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Professor
04-06-2006, 09:11 AM
Scott Miller, of CBS Sportsline, has become one of my favorite baseball writers, though he can at times be a bit hokey. At any rate, he really rips into ESPN for airing Bonds' self-made video diary. Link (http://cbs.sportsline.com/columns/weblogs/entry/bull_pennings). Here's a blurb:


The show stains everybody who works at the network, which is a shame because several baseball people at both the network and the website are good friends, and they're too good at what they do to be slimed by their network climbing into bed with the game's biggest ongoing story.

If you're a real journalist, or attempt to be or purport to be, you're both horrified and outraged by this show.

Hangar18
04-06-2006, 09:24 AM
ahahahah, he thinks thats bad, he should come here and see what Mike Kiley, Mike Murphy, Paul Sullivan, Rick Morrissey, Fred Mitchell have been up to all these years. Throw the pandering of cub nincompoop Ron Santo
and the over-the-top and gratuitious "fan" references by his sidekick Pat,
and youve got the equivalent of high-school paper/radio in this town.

1951Campbell
04-06-2006, 09:41 AM
I agree that ESPN has really sullied themselves with this Bonds show.

However, the bigger philosophical question remains: is it appropriate to hold sports journalists to the same standards as their brethren in non-sports and non-entertainment positions? It is, after all, only a game. It's not like ESPN is soft-pedaling the Pentagon Papers to make a buck here, you know?

I'm willing to be persuaded either way, but I admit that I lean toward the position that sports is simply not as important as other issues. In sports journalism, certain things are wrong just as in "real" journalism--it would always be wrong to purposely misquote someone, or make up a quote that wasn't said. On the other hand, is objectivity necessary to engage in sports journalism? I think not. Just like "real" journalism, as long as the biases are transparent in sports journalism, I don't see what the big problem is.

All right, enough media criticism for now.

SOecks
04-06-2006, 09:46 AM
I agree that ESPN has really sullied themselves with this Bonds show.

However, the bigger philosophical question remains: is it appropriate to hold sports journalists to the same standards as their brethren in non-sports and non-entertainment positions? It is, after all, only a game. It's not like ESPN is soft-pedaling the Pentagon Papers to make a buck here, you know?

I'm willing to be persuaded either way, but I admit that I lean toward the position that sports is simply not as important as other issues. In sports journalism, certain things are wrong just as in "real" journalism--it would always be wrong to purposely misquote someone, or make up a quote that wasn't said. On the other hand, is objectivity necessary to engage in sports journalism? I think not. Just like "real" journalism, as long as the biases are transparent in sports journalism, I don't see what the big problem is.

All right, enough media criticism for now.

The line gets crossed with ESPN doing their investigative reports and talking about the steroids scandal though. They reported on the hearings and legal issues which in my book holds them to the same standard as journalists. If they were just reporting on sports, maybe it would be different and the Bonds fluff piece would be okay. They can't have it both ways though.

1951Campbell
04-06-2006, 09:58 AM
The line gets crossed with ESPN doing their investigative reports and talking about the steroids scandal though. They reported on the hearings and legal issues which in my book holds them to the same standard as journalists. If they were just reporting on sports, maybe it would be different and the Bonds fluff piece would be okay. They can't have it both ways though.

I agree with the ESPN points.

Where I'm unsure is with people like Morrisey. It appears he has no plausible factual basis for picking the Cubs to win the division. He's got a feeling. That's dumb, that's not grounded in fact, but does it make him a "bad journalist" or simply a columnist with an opinion?

miker
04-06-2006, 11:41 AM
In 2006 "Journalistic Integrity" is a much of an oxymoron as "Honest Politician."

voodoochile
04-06-2006, 11:48 AM
I agree with the ESPN points.

Where I'm unsure is with people like Morrisey. It appears he has no plausible factual basis for picking the Cubs to win the division. He's got a feeling. That's dumb, that's not grounded in fact, but does it make him a "bad journalist" or simply a columnist with an opinion?

I agree that that type of "journalism" isn't as important. Hangar may disagree because of the perceived effect it has on attendance and building the flubbies into a nationally known brandname, but from a pure journalism perspective, it's just not that big of a deal.

As was noted, the steroid issue is bigger and needs to be addressed objectively if you are going to cover it at all. My guess is ESPN figures they cannot lose. By following Barry around, they might get a huge break if he screws up at the wrong time. Barry has editorial control for the show, but those tapes are ESPN property. If not, they get to put Barry's face on TV for several months which should draw ratings. It's definitely a fine line they are walking at the moment...

Lip Man 1
04-06-2006, 01:09 PM
The line between journalism and entertainment ended for ESPN when ABC / Cap Cities bought the company (and later Disney).

It is exactly the same issue now facing the news organizations. A demand by the parent company to turn a profit at the expense of 'journalism.'

Which translated means, dumb down your programming in order to 'broaden' your viewer base in order to get better ratings so that higher ad rates may be charged. That's why you have idiotic things like the Barry Bonds show, 'playmakers,' 'the ultimate highlight' and other non journalistic / sports-news items.

Some at ESPN including Dan Patrick have loudly attacked ESPN's 'entertainment' policy specifically regarding the Barry Bonds Show.

If Patrick isn't careful he'll find himself out on the street much as Keith Olbermann although I laude him for having the guts to take a stand.

Of course if Don Wycliff was here he'd say 'let the buyer beware!' LOL

Lip

McCuddy
04-06-2006, 02:19 PM
but does it make him a "bad journalist" or simply a columnist with an opinion?

I think that's an important distinction. Columnists <> journalists. I expect opinion from a columnist, as long as they don't expect me to take it as gospel.

(And - look at some of the people who get columns in this town! I mean, "Planet Paige" ??)

TommyJohn
04-06-2006, 03:10 PM
Of course if Don Wycliff was here he'd say 'let the buyer beware!' LOL

Lip

Actually, he'd probably say "Foul scum! Filth! Peasants! Be glad that we
have decided to come from heaven to impart the news to thee, who are
unworthy to receive it!" Or something like that.

Dadawg_77
04-06-2006, 04:20 PM
I agree that ESPN has really sullied themselves with this Bonds show.

However, the bigger philosophical question remains: is it appropriate to hold sports journalists to the same standards as their brethren in non-sports and non-entertainment positions? It is, after all, only a game. It's not like ESPN is soft-pedaling the Pentagon Papers to make a buck here, you know?

I'm willing to be persuaded either way, but I admit that I lean toward the position that sports is simply not as important as other issues. In sports journalism, certain things are wrong just as in "real" journalism--it would always be wrong to purposely misquote someone, or make up a quote that wasn't said. On the other hand, is objectivity necessary to engage in sports journalism? I think not. Just like "real" journalism, as long as the biases are transparent in sports journalism, I don't see what the big problem is.

All right, enough media criticism for now.

You could draw comparisons between entertainment reporters and sports reporters. Can the entertainment reporter cover a show or actor who works for the same network?

You could draw comparisons between entertainment reporters and sports reporters. Can the entertainment reporter cover a show or actor who works for the same network?

Can ESPN put up a "Chinese" Wall between Sports Center and Barry's show? I know they have said people who report on sports are not allowed to see the show until it airs. The main question is whether ESPN allows Barry Bonds to influence reporting on him since he has his show on ESPN. All media organizations struggle with external influences because of wall needed between Sales and News divisions. The fact remains as media companies consolidate, your entertainment and news will come from the same parent corporation. The question you, the viewer, has to asked is there enough internal controls to make the news not biased based on advertising dollars or other activities of the parent company. In that, Don is right, buyer beware.

Oh, I don't think a column is an objective report but an opinion piece written regularly by someone who maybe be a journalist.

Ol' No. 2
04-06-2006, 05:23 PM
My problem with sports journalism is rampant unprofessionalism. I don't care what profession you're in, at least have the pride to do it well. If a guy has an informed opinion that I disagree with, that's fine. Mostly, though, it's a pretty uninformed opinion. Sports journalists are famous for writing columns based on inaccuracies that would take them 5 minutes to look up. There's also a herd mentality, such that when one says something, everyone else just repeats it as if it were a fact. It's not as if they have day jobs to take up all their time. It's just laziness.