Sports reporters weigh in on my post: How do we fix sports journalism?


  1. Two nights ago, I had a conversation with journalism friends about the Manti Te'o hoax story and we wondered what could keep this sort of thing from happening agin in sports media. That conversation inspired and informed this post on my blog. It was menat to be a short reference to the conversation, but it sort of became a long to-do. 

    In posting this to social media, it sparked a conversation with my friends who are sports journalists who felt they were treated unfairly. I wanted to include their comments here to show their side of this conversation. 

    And If I implied anywhere along the way that lack of fact-checking and verification is exclusive to sports, I apologize, as that was not my intention. I think the same accountabilityverification and fact-checking should happen in all facets of journalism. I wanted to get conversation started about sports in particular due to this story. This story, much like Sandy Hook, Gabrielle Giffords and other news flubs cited below, should be an occasion where we examine our own houses and see what we can do better next time.  
  2. This is the story we're talking about, where Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel recounts his interview with Te'o.
  3. In light of the Te'o hoax and other head-shaking news from the world of sports media, it's high time for sports reporting to (re-)embrace the fundamentals of plain old non-sports journalism. Rule #1: Always check your facts, even if the story is sure to be a hit.
    (h/t to Facebook friends who contributed quotes)
  4. yeah, because it's only the sports people...
  5. all those cops reporters did such a bang-up job on sandy hook
  6. How many inaccuracies happened in the reporting of Sandy Hook, yet I didn't see any great crusades or posts about fixing reporting on deadline. How many outlets reported that Gabrielle Giffords died two years ago, yet I didn't see any eloquent posts ab...See More
  7. Sandy Hook was also an opportunity to fix this problem. I saw far less tongue-clucking there.
  8. Hey Trent Rosecrans, nobody insisted sports was alone in this problem. This is just an opportunity to find a way to fix the problem in this arena.
  9. Trent Rosecrans - hey buddy, as a former sportswriter myself this stings me too. And given your track record (especially the great deconstruction of Aroldis Chapman with Jim McNair in CityBeat, you've got nothing to be ashamed of. But you've gotta admit, there is a complicity in sports reporting that is more glaring as in other places.
  10. James, totally disagree. i think this is an overall journalism problem. i believe it's from the top as we have fewer people with actual journalism experience running things and worried about things other than the actual work. it's our entire product an...See More
  11. Here's my two cents and I'll stop - why was it that I needed THREE confirmed unnamed sources and the top editor/publisher approval to get something run about a business deal or breaking story, and a sports beat reporter could go with a single unnamed a...See More
  12. hey, i can't speak for your joint. i know that when i've had 'unnamed sources' on a story at the newspapers i've worked with, i've had to go to bat to the higher ups and have multiple sources and back them up. you know the difference -- and i'm not bei...See More
  13. I agree to a point. but when you've got the same organization such as ESPN calling themselves journalists also shelling out BILLIONS to get first right of interviews and to show the games, then there is a definite conflict of interest. And that trickles down throughout the system methinks. Sorry, but that's just they way I feel.
  14. no, i think you're 100 percent correct. but i don't think it stops at sports
  15. It can't be fixed. And it will start seeping into non-sports journalism soon enough. The world of information moves so fast now that if you wait to "fact check" your story, you run the risk of being scooped. It's the literary equivalent of a pharmaceutical company - if you can say your story works 50% as well as it's supposed to, hurry up and put it out there for everyone because what you're missing by NOT releasing it far outweighs what you'd miss by waiting to hone it to perfection. In a few months, this will all be forgotten. We'll forget all the news outlets that ran with this story without checking it. And it won't hurt them a bit, but they'll still have all those page views they earned as a result.
  16. Of course we are -- which I think is what gets us sports types a little hot. There's a bit of an insinuation that this is only a "toy department" problem, when I think the mantra of, "Do more, do it faster and do what gets the most traffic" creates a c...See More
  17. There is a laziness problem in journalism today - at all levels and for many various reasons. Good, solid work takes time and thought and scrutiny. Period. Get over the beat or the niche debate. The takeaway: question everything, trust no one. If your mother says she loves you: Check it out. That simple and that difficult.
  18. Then how come the headline is "How can we fix Sports Journalism" and not one comment from a sports journalist is in the post?
  19. I was writing this post in response to a particular conversation we'd had on Facebook the night before, so I was recounting that. I'd be happy to include this one in a followup.