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Are television sports journalists lazy?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by chazp, May 21, 2007.

  1. chazp

    chazp Active Member

    This past weekend, I covered the prep high school softball championships, a 3-day event for the paper I work for. During the first two days, I was constantly asked for help by a television sports reporter from the No. 3 TV market in our state. She had told me she had been in TV for 4 years, 7 months and had been covering sports the whole time. After shooting one game and returning to the pressbox, she asked for my help reading a scorebook sheet provided by the state athletic association. She asked questions that anyone who had every keep a score sheet in baseball/softball would know. She pointed to one inning and asked, "Did any runs score that inning?" About two minutes later she asked, "Did those two runs in the fourth inning score on a sacrifice fly?" A double was clearly marked on the page. This continued for two days, I kept having to explain what happened on the score sheets of all the games she shot. She would add voice overs on her tape of the info I had given her. Does TV also turn out such smart sports journalists? She wasn't the only television reporter I had dealing with over the weekend. While covering a particular game, I was shooting photos in a designated area for photographers. Also in the area was a TV cameraman from a station in our state's largest TV market. After a ground rule double bounced over the fence in one inning, he asked me. "Why did the girl stop at second? That was a home run, I was the ball bounce over the fence." I had to explain to him what a GRD was. I couldn't help but feel embarrassed for the guy. Doesn't TV hire people who have at least a working knowledge of sports to shoot sports? Or do you think this is just an example of laziness on the part of TV employees who have never taken the time to learn about the sports they cover?
  2. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    In small markets, they work their asses off as much or more than anyone else in TV. For pay lower than what most writers get I'm sure.

    Some people just don't know how to read a scorecard. They didn't grow up learning how to keep score.

    Some photogs shoot everything from murder scenes to smalltown beauty contests to sports, and some may really not know as much about sport as they do about filming. In smaller markets that sort of random assigning of things can happen.

    But I guess we can never have enough threads bashing broadcasters here, huh?
  3. pressmurphy

    pressmurphy Member

    I won't lay it all on TV and theother assorted dishheads. I've worked with print reporters who pinned into the red on the ditz-o-meter.

    (Like that way I worked some old-time radio lingo into my comment? Just goes to show the versatility and depth of knowledge of print guys).
  4. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Tell her you'll explain it over breakfast.
  5. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    I was pretty shocked to find out the TV guys in my market make less money than me. That said, it gets pretty annoying when all three stations call three times a night looking for scores.
  6. Cansportschick

    Cansportschick Active Member

    You should get Elliotte's opinion on this one. He will probably give you good insight since he is in the business.
  7. RedCanuck

    RedCanuck Active Member

    I think it doesn't matter where you're working and in what medium, there are people who get by knowing incredibly little about what they cover. That girl covering sports for four years who can't read a scoresheet would be an issue to me (but so would someone in print with the same tendencies, and I've certainly worked with them). By chance, was she incredbily attractive?

    The cameraman who didn't know about a ground-rule double? That's bad, but I know a lot of times, the cameramen do multitask and shoot a lot in a day, so you likely don't have someone who is a sports expert, so much as someone good with a camera and the technology. It's less likely you're going to have a sports specialization all the time.
  8. Yea, theTV/Radio questions in the MLB clubhouse are pretty solid, too.
  9. SCEditor

    SCEditor Active Member

    I've dealt with some pretty knowledgeable and professional TV sports journalists. I've also dealt with some buffoons. There doesn't seem to be much middle ground. They're either very knowledgeable about sports and can cover it well, or they're talking hairpieces and have no clue what they're doing.
  10. Meat Loaf

    Meat Loaf Guest

    I try not to make a deal about it. As someone who never cared for basketball, I'm still learning the finer details and asking questions during the winter.
  11. bigugly

    bigugly Member

    I work in TV (sports director) and sadly many of them are. Many show up late to get the "sound bite" or the post, but aren't into it. Even worse, some of those that are successful many stay away from games and have very little interest in anything other then themselves.

    I am proud to be in TV and have met some really hard working people. That said I think I am the exception and not the rule. In generalities, I would say that print people work harder. Not harder then me but as a profession I think print people are far superior in work ethic.
  12. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    As easy as it would be to bash TV types, imagine waiting outside a stadium or arena hours after a game for the 11 p.m. "live shot" or being told you were being let go because "the research (audience) doesn't like you."
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