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Dave Kindred on Twitter

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Evil Bastard (aka Chris_L), Jan 28, 2011.

  1. Interesting take on the Twitter / Cutler issue:


    Not sure that anyone (other than Cutler himself) has ever compared Cutler to John Elway. Also - I view Twitter as a good thing. The fewer guardians of the gate sports has the better. I'd be curious if anyone in the pressbox at the Bears game was saying similar things to colleagues that the players were tweeting.
  2. jlee

    jlee Well-Known Member

    I think this pretty much nails my feelings on the use of the tweets:

    [quote author=Dave Kindred]Not one of the players quoted knew anything more than the guy scratching his crotch at the next bar stool. None had any connection to the Bears coaching staff or medical staff. There was no reason that any of them would have been searched out for a quote on Cutler.[/quote]

    I think it's OK to use as radio fodder because, hell, everything is already. Maybe even a midweek notes item, but the game column? Nope. That's giving your readers too little credit, methinks.

    YGBFKM Guest

    I think it's OK to use as radio fodder because, hell, everything is already. Maybe even a midweek notes item, but the game column? Nope. That's giving your readers too little credit, methinks.

    That quote is dead-on. It appears that the voices of reason, or at least persepctive, are starting to find their way to the surface. Too bad knee-jerk "journalism" defined the story for so long in the meantime.
  4. LWillhite

    LWillhite Member

    I'm someone who wrote a Cutler sidebar at that game and sampled some of the tweets.
    We can argue whether it was bad or knee-jerk or "journalism," but I believe it was a relevant angle at the time and remained one for some time.

    1. I believe it's the first time social media has been utilized in this fashion to such a degree, as my fellow Central Illinois boy Mr. Kindred noted.
    2. If it wasn't the first time social media has been utilized to that degree, then it said something about the way the league viewed Cutler for there to be such an outcry.
    3. The Tweeters' viewpoints matched those of many Bears fans, both in the stands and those who used their Facebook accounts to complain about Cutler's alleged wussiness.
    4. The sports-radio talkers here spent the first four days of the week dealing with calls from Joe Fans, many of whom admitted they were furious with Cutler before grudgingly accepting the team's diagnosis.
    5. Lastly, as many on this board can appreciate, when you have five guys in the press box...every angle was covered. It's not like something worthy was ignored in favor of this knee-jerk work. (That sounds like a good band name, BTW)

    Oh, as to Chris L's question in the opening post, I don't recall hearing anyone questioning's Cutler situation in the press box. I believe there might have been some questioning of Todd Collins' skill set, though. :)


    YGBFKM Guest

    Following the lead of NFL player's immediate responses on Twitter is, again, lazy journalism, and using the emotional rants of Joe Fan to help justify it is just sad.
  6. i respectfully disagree. There was tremendous news value in the way that story exploded Sunday. I wouldn't add a tweet from Mark Jones Drew ripping Cutler in a gamer, but a sidebar on the numerous tweets from NFL players on Cutler leaving the game - certainly unprecedented - is not only legit but I would say necessary if you're staffing from a Chicago paper.

    I believe LWillhite and his paper handled this the right way.
  7. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    How do we know it is unprecedented? Because it was reported. Why did we report it? Because it was unprecedented.

    It feels like we're justifying the story because the story was the story. Or something.
  8. Elliotte Friedman

    Elliotte Friedman Moderator Staff Member

    I find it incredible that anyone would feel reporting the twitter reactions of Deion Sanders, Maurice Jones-Drew, Darnell Dockett or anyone else was not newsworthy.

    Why? Because it was via social media and not a direct quote? Sorry. To have players directly and openly criticize their peers is news. The fact that they did so without complete knowledge of the situation makes it even more so, because there are many times they criticize us for our analysis, "because we don't have all the facts."
  9. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    I liked the part of the column extolling the lost art of the cover letter in reference to the editor who hired a guy he wanted to hire two years prior. Cover letters help!
  10. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I'm stupified that people don't think the players' Tweets were newsworthy. Absolutely dumbfounded. You have one star (Jones-Drew) calling out another (Cutler) publicly for essentially faking an injury. I'm not a huge fan of he-said/she-said conflict-driven journalism. I completely ignored the Jets-Patriots back-and-forth.

    But I understand that it has to be reported. I'll be my own gatekeeper on whether I ascribe any relevance to it, thank you very much.
  11. Dave Kindred

    Dave Kindred Member

    Report it with some context, as MacGregor did, as Bianchi does here...

  12. Agreed that it definitely has to be written with context. Thought Bianchi's column made some good points, though I hope his idea of protecting players from "offending quotes" went no further than cleaning up grammar and language as he mentioned.

    But I do think these quotes had to be reported as something someone's peers were saying about him. Agreed in some ways that they had much in common with a guy spouting off on a bar stool, but these still are prominent players or ex-players providing insight about the game's culture, if not Cutler. Dave, I'm sure you would not seek out quotes from prominent players asking if they thought Elway was a "choking dog." But I wonder if you would ignore phone calls from them saying as much. That's what this amounts to, to some degree.

    Granted, in a column, you could then rightly rip these guys for their knee-jerk reactions, noting just why their opinions were flawed. In a news story, you could make the points with less opinion, simply by lining facts up between the players' words -- as Bianchi did in his column by pointing out Jones-Drew wasn't accurate in his statements about playing out the season with an injury. Even if Jones-Drew had played out the season, it would still be easy to just write a couple of lines pointing out the obvious: The players had made their comments from their computers or cell phones and not the Bears' locker or training room, which was the only place the true extent of Cutler's injury could be revealed. This way you do your job by getting out the quotes everyone's talking about -- but do it better than your massive fellow tweeters by providing professional insight and context instead of adding a couple more exclamation points in the latest regurgitation of someone else's words.

    Of course, we should aim to go several steps further and do actual reporting. You could try tweeting your questions to the players involved if you have no other recourse, asking them what you would in person -- what makes you feel knowledgeable enough about this specific situation to comment on it? They might not respond at all, of course. But maybe one will say say something like, "Oh, I was just speculating." Suddenly, you have the context you needed.

    This lack of basic reporting, I think, is based on more than one factor.
    Sure, maybe journalists are just being lazy and irresponsible. But maybe they're also overburdened with work after another round of layoffs and cries for speed from their editors who have lost sight of the time needed to actually report. Also, more editors than before could be apt to crave the inflammatory stuff, because an even-keel, fair story is less likely to stand out and get a click and they're being pushed to get those at all costs.
    I'm sure, too, some of the folks out there on bigger beats don't have as much experience as some of their predecessors and so they learn on the fly. Or maybe, since they're growing up in the social media culture, some think to some degree it's fine reporting to just take strong quotes and throw them out there, because people can see them and go from there. They might not yet have (and maybe given the culture won't feel the need to find) the nuance that we are gatekeepers of context, if not content.

    The biggest problem? It's been said many times before, but it's the immediacy of the media climate we're currently in at this point. It often doesn't leave us time to do the basic thing required for any type of responsible journalism:

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