When does sports reporting become ‘sports talk’?

Posted by By at 23 August, at 13 : 50 PM Print

When does sports reporting become ‘sports talk’?

For many years, fans have come to view reading the sports page daily as natural as going to the bathroom to perform your necessities. Talented writers would paint a picture on your favorite teams that you, as a fan, couldn’t see from your television set. Unless you had season tickets to each franchises’ games, you couldn’t feel how the crowd reacted at a blown call or the atmosphere in a hostile arena. But in the ESPN-era, sports reporting has become more ‘sports talk’ than good reporting.

Whether it is an anchor, a columnist or an analyst, all of them now give their personal feelings rather than solid reporting on a sports story. Yes, whoever it may be, the “key” is for you as a person tuning in, is to “buy into” their persona with the story’s accuracy being left to chance. An analyst or magazine columnist can ‘angle’ for their own talk show on radio or TV as well as write a book that can sell for millions all without reporting the story well because the key is how much they can get the fan to listen or tune in to whatever they have to say, period. It doesn’t matter if it the story is accurate or a relevant news story, just as long as the viewer/listener is tuning in, then the story can be ‘cleaned up’ along the way. The anchor, analyst or columnist’s face becomes part of the story and sadly viewers’ identify with that more than the story itself.

And this is the thin line presented between ‘sports talk’ and sports reporting: Sports news outlets have themselves committed the cardinal sin in journalism that they have unduly influenced the reporting and eventual outcome of the story through their process of investigating, researching and questioning subjects. The internet and print media, to generate website hits and sell papers are businesses also and their business is to sell advertisements and the only way to do that is to get anyone’s attention.  At this point, news outlets who follow this path are no longer reporting the news but only giving their personal feelings on issues. The same as two people at a bar watching it on TV.

The Bowse's Word

Related Posts

Post Your Comment