The Sad State of Sports Media

05 Jan

This would normally go under my sports page. However, I think this can go up on any site because it is the truth. I want to know when sports media became the laughing stock of all media. When did it go the way of TMZ and channels such as E! and other entertainment outlets?

While I was studying broadcast journalism in college, a professor asked me what I wanted to do in broadcasting. I said I wanted to be a sports journalist. This professor, who was also an Emmy award winning journalist, just laughed. She proceeded to tell me that it was not a real job. Sports media is a joke, is how she put it.

Why is it a joke? When did this happen?

Once upon a time, ESPN was a highly respected sports news outlet. Now so many of their viewers find them laughable. They have lost the respect of their audience and I wonder if they even realize it. If they did, you would think they would change things.

Yesterday a news story broke out about Jets football coach, Rex Ryan with a tattoo of his wife wearing his quarterback, Mark Sanchez, jersey. It was spotted on his arm as he and his wife are vacationing in the Bahamas. Vacationing in the Bahamas. Vacationing! The very word means they are not around for conversations with the media. Yet sports journalists find it necessary to become paparazzi and hound a football coach. They feel the need to invade his privacy.

Why should fans of the New York Jets care what tattoo he has on his arm? For that matter, why should they care about his foot fetish with his wife? The obsession with Tim Tebow when he came to town was ridiculous. From his faith to pictures of him running without his shirt on was enough to get the die hard fans shaking their heads.

These are not stories fans care about. They want answers as to why they Jets were so bad this season. They want to know why their coach still has a job. Will their QB come back next year? What will happen with Tim Tebow? Would the season have ended differently had Tebow been allowed to play more? This is what matters to Jets fans.

When Adam Rubin of ESPN New York tweets about the style of sweater New York Mets owner, Fred Wilpon, is wearing while entering an elevator from the baseball winter meetings, (as he did last year), I start to wonder if Joan Rivers will start a conversation with Rubin about the style. Mets fans want to know why he is still owner? What will it take for baseball Commissioner Bud Selig to seize the team from an owner who seems ill equipped to handle this team?

Fans do not care about what is going in the personal lives of their players unless it affects their performance and the status of their team. Maybe it is the fault of the fans constant demand of information on what is happening with their team, owners and league that has pressured the media to have a story everyday no matter what it is. Some would place the blame on the fans. Others blame social media networks like Twitter. Personally, if there is no story, then there is no story. You do not bring down the legitimacy of your outlet with stories that leave your audience, your readers shaking their head and wanting to forget all about you.

To all sports media outlets, you are paid to do a job. It is to report about sports. You are not to report about what is happening in their personal lives. You are not the paparazzi. You are not TMZ or E! or Style. Please refrain from reporting every little detail of what is happening. Do not make stories where there are none just for the sake of having a story. Oh and trying to spin the tattoo story so that it looks like a real story by talking about the tattoo having an impact on who Ryan put out on the field to play, does not work.

Then they wonder why the fans turn to bloggers for information regarding their teams.

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Posted by on January 5, 2013 in Media


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