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  • Great article on the press and the way they cover sports.

    I was reading this on the way home from work today and it really made a lot of sence to me.

    http://www.thephoenix.com/article_ektid8312.aspx

    The way the press covers sports is different than almost any other subject in society (other than entertainment). How many of us have accused reporters of having a bias towards one player or team? I know Gammons almost universally takes heat as being a Red Sox fan. How can these guys balance digging up the stories that need to be told while keeping themselves from getting blacklisted by players in the lockeroom with whom their daily writting (quotes after games)depends on? Look at what happened to Bob Klapisch after he wrote the book "The Worst Team that Money Could Buy" about the Mets. He was almost assaulted by Bobby Bonilla in the lockeroom.

    And in Buster Olney's most recent article in the Times reports people "in the know" reguarding baseball had been aware of the Steroid problem for some time and either just let it pass or ignored it entirely.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/01/op...er&oref=slogin

    Does baseball and for that matter all sports need to be covered differently in the media? Should their be investigative reporters assigned to teams so the beat guys don't have to put their relationships with the players/team officials at risk?
    Last edited by ESPNFan; 04-07-2006, 11:08 PM.
    Get out the Vote!!!

  • #2
    There are generally two kinds of reporters. The beat reporters and columnists. The beat reporter basically follows the team and reports the basics, gets the quotes, and so on. Then there is the columnist, he generally writes a column with a view instead merely passing along information. The player is a choker, manager can't manage, this player is a god, so and so on. The columnists are the big name guys the one you see on ESPN and so forth, Bayless, Lincicome, Mariotti, Lupica, ROgers, and so on.

    As for the question about coverage and your view. I would say that sports is covered no differently then any other sector in america. Reporters are always playing a balancing game of reporting and schmoozing to get in close. There are "soft" reporters who merely act as a conduit for ones message and there are eveb reporters who are mouthpieces for groups views. So in that regard baseball is no different then say the DC beat or the Hoolywood beat. aS for the question do you really want you best journalists covering baseball? Does baseball really need hard-hitting journalism? Baseball at the end of the day is entertainment and the newspapers and media centers understand this. Its why they have little sayings and catchphrases and talk really loud and so forth while reporting it. Its entertainment and reporting about it is also entertainment.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Ubiquitous
      There are generally two kinds of reporters. The beat reporters and columnists. The beat reporter basically follows the team and reports the basics, gets the quotes, and so on. Then there is the columnist, he generally writes a column with a view instead merely passing along information. The player is a choker, manager can't manage, this player is a god, so and so on. The columnists are the big name guys the one you see on ESPN and so forth, Bayless, Lincicome, Mariotti, Lupica, ROgers, and so on.

      As for the question about coverage and your view. I would say that sports is covered no differently then any other sector in america. Reporters are always playing a balancing game of reporting and schmoozing to get in close. There are "soft" reporters who merely act as a conduit for ones message and there are eveb reporters who are mouthpieces for groups views. So in that regard baseball is no different then say the DC beat or the Hoolywood beat. aS for the question do you really want you best journalists covering baseball? Does baseball really need hard-hitting journalism? Baseball at the end of the day is entertainment and the newspapers and media centers understand this. Its why they have little sayings and catchphrases and talk really loud and so forth while reporting it. Its entertainment and reporting about it is also entertainment.
      Actually I'm talking about reporters like Mark Fainaru-Wada Lance Williams etc... guys who are trained to be investigative reporters not stricly sports reporters. Gammons and other get their "inside" info because people inbaseball give it to them willingly (for what ever reason) but could they dig up info that people didn't want anyone to know about?

      If you think about it the very first clue that was brought up by the press about baseballs problem happened by chance.
      If Steve Wilstein never glanced into McGwires locker who knows how long the steroid story would have taken for the story to gain steam and lead us to the ultimate truth that andro was just the tip of baseballs problem.
      I think that more investigative journalisum is required for baseball. When steroids were found in Manny Alexanders car in 2000 where was the investigation? Where did they come from?

      Its things like these that need to be looked into and I don't think that beat guys or columists want to do it.
      Get out the Vote!!!

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm glad a guy like Buster Olney is finally coming out and taking some of the blame for the steroid thing. That's a lot bigger action than all these hacks who looked the other way, wrote glowingly about all the home runs, and now are condeming guys or saying they won't vote for them for the hall of fame because they cheated. I guess for most of these guys, it's easier to be a a retrospective moralist than to actually take a stand and stop something bad in it's tracks.

        There's a lot of blame to go around on this steroids mess, but the media certainly deserves it's fair share.
        Visit my card site at Mike D's Baseball Card Page.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Mike D.
          There's a lot of blame to go around on this steroids mess, but the media certainly deserves it's fair share.
          I have no idea what is being reported in the media (speculation, truth or bias) about steroids in baseball, however in any sport, as in any walk of life, the media will always sniff out the crap, and if there is no crap they will make it up just to get a story.
          I have no doubt that a lot of the media reporting about steroids in baseball is based on speculation, innuendo and sensationalism, as long as there is a story to feed the gullible public.
          "A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz." ~Humphrey Bogart

          No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference. ~Tommy Lasorda

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          • #6
            Originally posted by DownUnderDodger
            I have no idea what is being reported in the media (speculation, truth or bias) about steroids in baseball, however in any sport, as in any walk of life, the media will always sniff out the crap, and if there is no crap they will make it up just to get a story.
            I have no doubt that a lot of the media reporting about steroids in baseball is based on speculation, innuendo and sensationalism, as long as there is a story to feed the gullible public.
            Actually, that's true in baseball NOW...for the last 20 years, though, the media was turning a blind eye to the steroid problem. That's what makes it so frustrating to me now that all these hacks are suddenly "morally outraged" at the "cheaters" in the game.
            Visit my card site at Mike D's Baseball Card Page.

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            • #7
              This is a huge issue and getting into how news in general is covered is not something that I should do here, I'll spare Mattingly...

              What I will say is that the sports media has gone from reporting the news to creating it. The T.O. debacle was a product of baiting by ESPN. Some people say that Owens brought it on himself, and to an extent that's true. But to an extent he was also the subject of entrapment.

              When you follow a guy to his home and stand in his driveway with microphones hoping he'll say something inflamatory, that is not reporting the news; that's creating it.

              All I will say is that it would serve people well, in general, to re-evaluate what we have been taught to believe underlying principles and purposes of journalism and news-reporting are. Actions speak louder than grade school textbooks...
              THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT COME WITH A SCORECARD

              In the avy: AZ - Doe or Die

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              • #8
                Great post, and something I have been thinking about a lot lately... not so much how the media covers events, or sometimes creates them, but rather the scope of the subject matter with which articles are written.

                For example, I would like to see more articles about how sports are related to culture, sociologically, what it says about our culture when stuff like _X_ happens. Sports Psychology is also very interesting to me. Does anyone know where I can find articles or a site that covers more wide-ranging topics like these? Does anyone write about topics like these outside of academia?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by wdw
                  Great post, and something I have been thinking about a lot lately... not so much how the media covers events, or sometimes creates them, but rather the scope of the subject matter with which articles are written.

                  For example, I would like to see more articles about how sports are related to culture, sociologically, what it says about our culture when stuff like _X_ happens. Sports Psychology is also very interesting to me. Does anyone know where I can find articles or a site that covers more wide-ranging topics like these? Does anyone write about topics like these outside of academia?
                  I couldn't agree more, this is my favorite area to study within sports. I could talk about this for days. The sports and specific elements thereof that we appreciate as a society are reflective of the overarching priniciples of the society in which they are played. Slam dunks, homeruns, and all events that represent the individual are glorified in a capitalist society. Team defense, unselfishness and prudent decision making are valued in a game like soccer (which doesn't have much scoring) and highly respected in more socialist countries.

                  The way in which we "mine" talent in South America mirrors the way we exploit so many other resources found there that are necessary for the continuance of our culture. There are so many moer examples, but I will temper myself. This is fascinating stuff and will probably be the topic of my PHD should I choose to pursue it; I'm having second thoughts....

                  Read some of my posts in the what if Barry Bonds was black thread. I think the whole episode is a fascinating example of how African Americans are unable to embrace the "anti-hero" or "bad-boy" role.
                  Last edited by digglahhh; 04-11-2006, 08:47 PM.
                  THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT COME WITH A SCORECARD

                  In the avy: AZ - Doe or Die

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    where is the journalism in sports journalism? where is the substantive reporting that actually sheds light?

                    uh, is solid, substantive reporting really what sports fans want? i do not think so. i do not think that joe sixpack is clamoring for solid reporting of anything that adds up to be more than a recap of the game, a soundbite, a glimpse of a homerun swing. the article (thanx alot for posting, espnfan) reads that espn claims 88 million people a month watch sportscenter. its signature news show. i would not doubt it.

                    we know that more votes were cast during the most recent american idol finale than during last year's presidential election.

                    jim bouton stated "it would be great if we had more investigative journalists in baseball. but not if we had to take them off another beat.... we have a basically uninformed public. people are ill informed by the media at all levels."

                    while i agree with bouton, i hafta add that it seems to me that even if the media were to offer more substantive sports reporting, the majority of the sports readers/viewers would not care and simply stick with the bit, not go for the bite.
                    "you don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. just get people to stop reading them." -ray bradbury

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      As an example of the sports media creating the news it wants to talk about:

                      In 2003 Gordon Edes, respected baseball columnist for the Boston Globe, kept insisting in his columns that Nomar was desperately unhappy in Boston and practically begging on bended knee to be traded. Nomar himself, in on-camera interviews (when reporters cornered him), insisted strongly that there was no truth to these statements, and that he had grown up as a player in Boston and wanted to stay there for the balance of his career.

                      I wrote in to Edes's weekly Q&A column and asked him, "where do you get these ideas that Nomar wants to be traded, when he says the opposite himself? And to settle all questions, why don't you sit him down, one on one, and ask him to his face, 'are you happy here? Why or why not? and do you want to be traded?'"

                      Edes answered my question by saying (and I am paraphrasing; this was 3 years ago, after all), "I get my information from what I hear around the clubhouse. And even if I did ask Nomar, he wouldn't tell me the truth."

                      Basically Edes was saying, "I won't go to the source because I don't believe him, and he isn't saying what I think he ought to say."

                      And to think the reporters were upset that Nomar (like Ted Williams before him) has a deep distrust of the media! Why, where would he come by such a distrust?

                      I grant that Edes is not a reporter, but a columnist, but it seems to me he crossed a line there, in refusing to seek the truth, and acknowledging that he wrote what he felt was the truth, not what he knew to be true. Since that time I now Edes to be little more than a gossip columnist, inflating rumor and heresay and innuendo, uncredited words muttered around the tiny clubhouse, drawing his own conslusions and putting it out there with sufficient gravitas so that readers take it as gospel.

                      The last time I heard Nomar speak about his time in Boston, he insisted once again that he had never wanted to leave.

                      In Faithful, Stephen King described the Boston sports media as "cannibals" who "chew up the local heroes in the morning papers and [spit] out the bones on cable TV at night." That about sums it up, in Boston and in every city with a sports franchise, and an interested fan base that laps up all the news they can get about thier teams.
                      --Annie
                      Be civil to all, sociable to many, familiar with few, friend to one, enemy to none. -Benjamin Franklin, statesman, author, and inventor (1706-1790)
                      Remember Yellowdog
                      ABNY

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                      • #12
                        Another thing I find interesting is that how certain actions and legal trouble are "swept under the rug" depending on the general public perception of the player.

                        For example, the same week the Bonds book came out, Kirby Puckett died. Bonds was predictably portrayed as a demon, cheater, ruiner of baseball, etc., while Puckett was a "great ballplayer and man." The numerous frightening incidents he had with women after his career ended was completely ignored. He was the hero, Bonds the anti-hero. What does this say about our society? I guess this relates to the media in general...they cover what they do because they think they are giving people what they want. Having "investigative" reporters is a nice idea. After recently watching Ken Burns' "Baseball" I thought the most interesting interviews were with "non-baseball" people like Stephen Jay Gould and various writers, poets, and historians, since they bring an entirely different perspective to coverage, and more importantly, without an agenda.

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                        • #13
                          [QUOTE=ESPNFan] I know Gammons almost universally takes heat as being a Red Sox fan. QUOTE]Really? Thats crazy. Next your gonna tell me Terry Bradshaw was rooting for the Steelers.
                          "I don't like to sound egotistical, but every time I stepped up to the plate with a bat in my hands, I couldn't help but feel sorry for the pitcher."
                          -Rogers Hornsby-

                          "People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring."
                          -Rogers Hornsby-

                          Just a note to all the active members of BBF, I consider all of you the smartest baseball people I have ever communicated with and love everyday I am on here. Thank you all!

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                          • #14
                            [QUOTE=Cubsfan97]
                            Originally posted by ESPNFan
                            I know Gammons almost universally takes heat as being a Red Sox fan. QUOTE]Really? Thats crazy. Next your gonna tell me Terry Bradshaw was rooting for the Steelers.
                            Bradshaw is not a print journalist like Gammons, nor has Gammons ever been employed by the Red Sox like Bradshaw, who actually played for the Steelers. Two entirely different situations.
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                            • #15
                              [QUOTE=Captain Cold Nose]
                              Originally posted by Cubsfan97
                              Bradshaw is not a print journalist like Gammons, nor has Gammons ever been employed by the Red Sox like Bradshaw, who actually played for the Steelers. Two entirely different situations.
                              As for Dookie V... thats a different story

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