Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sports Deillustrated

Journalism is hard to classify into one person or group.

But in general, the vast culture of the media seems to have descended into the world of tabloids.   Instead of being about journalism, breaking stories because other people don't want you to hear them, it becomes about breaking puff pieces, uncritical.

So it's ironic to watch the high fiving these week by journalists over the SI piece on Lebron.

A piece devoid of any criticism of James or his actions.  It was basically written by James himself.  Is that worthy of praise by most "journalists?"

Enter Gene Weingarten.

In his piece, (,

He says,

"The story was broken by a writer named Lee Jenkins, in a 950-word "as told to" piece ostensibly by James himself, appearing on the Sports Illustrated website.  This was widely hailed as a huge "scoop."   Paul Farhi of the Wapo called it maybe the biggest scoop ever for Sports Illustrated.  In the sports media, there was general agreement on this point:  Great scoop.  Nice going, SI. Several media sites did elaborate tick-tocks on how SI achieved its great reporting feat.  One discussion string on Twitter was that this was proof that magazines still have relevance in the new world of journalism.   Kevin Van Valkenburg,  a senior writer for ESPN, tweeted this: A MAGAZINE WRITER BROKE THE LEBRON STORY!  IT'S OKAY TO GO TO JOURNALISM SCHOOL!

Sigh.  God help us all.  This was not a scoop.  It wasn't even good journalism.   It was a pure load of crap."

Amazing! And it worries me that so many in the sports media couldn't figure that out.

I also found it interesting that ESPN went to great lengths this past week to have Youtube pull the videos on Chris Berman.  Some of Berman's comments were pretty chauvinistic, to say the least.

Basically, ESPN wanted to censor the videos so their image isn't tainted.  Such irony!