Thursday, March 22, 2012

Proof the Media can't get their story straight

I really hope the folks at ESPN and the other "major" media outlets feel like smacked asses today.

From about 3pm Wednesday and for the following six hours, if you refreshed your sports news page of choice every few minutes, there'd be a new story on the Tim Tebow trade. (Tiresome, trite? Totally.)

In the afternoon, he was going to the Jets.
Early evening: hold up, we think the Jaguars are involved.
Dinner time: we KNOW the Jags are involved.
Dessert time: the Jets AND the Jags are involved, and it's Timmy's decision where to go.
Bedtime for the kids: it's settled, he's going to New York, who paid half of the roster bonus Denver gave Tebow before they realized they had a shot with a truly great QB.

The networks will tell you they're trying to keep "up to the minute" with "breaking news". I call it throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks, and while seeing if it does, getting the next ball of stuff ready to throw.

The Internet Age has replaced getting it RIGHT with getting it FIRST as its primary objective. Just because you have the ability to disseminate news stories very quickly, it doesn't mean you HAVE to use it, and by God if you aren't 100% sure what you're reporting is right, you SHOULDN'T use it. It used to be that the worst thing you could be in the news business is wrong, worse than being late. Now you just issue a "My bad" and move on. It's crap. At some point the world will learn that the worst thing you can be is wrong. I'd rather be injured or starving than wrong, at least when it concerns other people.

There are still great journalists who will stack up their facts and reports from sources, check them for accuracy (because they have the time) and bundle them up into a great story that runs in the morning newspaper that is focused and is worth reading. This morning you would have read every detail of the Tebow deal and how it happened without needing to be online. But those same writers have to balance (waste) their time and issue frequent Twitter updates by reader (and boss) decree. I really wish Twitter would go to hell.

The news business fought the good fight, and lost. It's been taken over by the digital monster. I saw it firsthand from the inside.

Other thoughts, brought to you more levelheaded ...
  • As for Tebow, the Jaguars need him for more reasons than I have time to type here. If it came down to the money, you take out a loan and give up the paper plant, the 17th at TPC Sawgrass and a couple St. John's River bridges to make the deal.
  • Say you're a Broncos fan, and you bought your kid a Tebow jersey last season. What do you tell them now? Do you have the "Hero today, gone tomorrow" conversation about the world often not being fair with them at an early age? Do you expect him to wear that jersey while you proudly sport your Peyton Manning one when the season starts? And what if that fused neck doesn't hold together? All I'm saying is ... I'm just sayin'.
  • You know who hates all the news about the Tebow trade, the Manning signing, the Saints' staff getting leveled for their role in Bountygate, etc ... the NCAA. Ahem, folks, we have the most wildly popular postseason tournament going on, can you just give us a little room here? After all, they have a Florida-Marquette game to televise tonight ... at 10:17 p.m. tipoff time ... on a school night. It should end around Easter.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely right on regarding the media. I can't tell you how happy I am to not be a part of it anymore. It's deteriorated on all levels. News "stories" have been replaced with "hey y'all, check this s#!t out!"
    I covered the last two Presidential elections and I can't tell you how many meaningless sound-bytes, coincidental occurrences, and unimportant crap that was considered "crucial" on the road to the White House. Made me sick.


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