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ESPN and the Sandusky sex case

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Versatile, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member


    Thought that was interesting. Every single other major website focuses on Sandusky's side. Here are the headlines:

    Yahoo! Sports: "Child sex case: Penn State authority figures must answer in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal."
    Sports Illustrated: "Ex-Penn State assistant charged in child sex case"
    CBS Sports: "Paterno to testify in Sandusky sexual abuse case"
    Fox Sports: "Ex-Penn State coach arrested, AD charged in sex abuse case"
    USA Today: "Ex-Penn State coach charged with abuse"
    The New York Times: "Former Coach at Penn State Is Charged With Abuse"
    The Washington Post: "Scandal could take Penn St. beyond redemption"
    Los Angeles Times: "Ex-Penn State assistant football coach accused of sexual abuse"
    SB Nation: "Jerry Sandusky Indicted On Sex Crime Charges, Penn State AD Charged With Perjury"

    The list could go on...

    Maybe I'm just cynical of the World Wide Leader, but that buried and vague headline is the only reference to the case on the ESPN.com homepage. Go to the college football page, and the only difference is that it's bumped up a few spots. Same headline.

    I'm surprised by the way most of these sites have played this. I get that LSU-Alabama is the big thing. I get that the other stories ESPN has above the Penn State story are all legitimate. But I thought Yahoo! Sports, USA Today and The Washington Post made the right decisions in playing it in very visible locations. To me, this was the big story of the weekend. This could bring down Paterno.

    So is this the Worldwide Leader burying negative coverage or just a case of a bad/tired night homepage editor?

    Also, how do you think this case should be covered moving forward?
  2. btm

    btm Member

  3. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Well, as an entree into the overall story, I'd say the fact that a BCS "big six" AD is facing perjury charges is a helluva angle. Since Sandusky is no longer a coach, it may be the most pressing issue in terms of sports, rather than the law & order story.
  4. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    There are no accidents at ESPN when it comes to negative stories involving the money trains. I'm sure this will be covered as extensively as the Roethlisrapist case.
  5. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    You can say that, though I and apparently many others disagree. But I would argue, then, that headline should be "Penn State AD charged with perjury in sex abuse case," or something to that effect. Surely you're not suggesting perjury charges in a ponzi scheme investigation are as big a deal as in a case involving the sexual abuse of a child.
  6. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    I'm with Versatile ... seen the WWL play up or down too many stories depending on its relationship with the network to think that it's an overworked webby on a busy college football Saturday.

    Is there anyway to see what's trending there, though?
  7. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    A Ctrl+F on the homepage produces no results for "Paterno," "Sandusky" or "sex" and only the one headline for "Curley" or "Penn State."

    The only difference on the college football front is a link to "Maisel: Inside Joe Paterno's 400."
  8. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    So that explains those hounds baying ...
  9. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    You might have a point, but in this case there at least was a perp walk. That means something more is happening than some questioning.
  10. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    so you want to drop one word -- Curley -- and add in "in sex abuse case?" Pretty sure THAT ain't fitting.

    A.) There are no "bad" night editors at ESPN.com. Don't be assholes.
    B.) The story came out early enough they weren't "tired" either.
    C.) I'd like to know when this image was grabbed. I'm assuming around the time the thread was started, meaning it had been on the site for countless hours. Because yes, at ESPN, they do rotate stories through, barring something like a major death. It's not going to stay as the main story when Alabama-LSU is going on.
    D.) The headline IS vague, but trust me when I tell you, those little links can be HARD to write when you're trying to strike the right tone. Especially with that damn video icon. That link has 41 characters. Go for it, and that's not taking into account the l that takes up no room.

    You have 41 characters. What headline do you write?
  11. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Hell, I thought the headline on our own SJ Sports & News thread played it down.

    I figured it was a recruiting scandal and nearly didn't click on the thread.

    Did all of this just come out, or had it already been reported that Sandusky was under investigation?
  12. 1HPGrad

    1HPGrad Member

    Used to think the E stood for Ego.
    Now, Excuses.
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