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Nashville media: sickening

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Eric P., Oct 1, 2006.

  1. Eric P.

    Eric P. New Member

    Can somebody please tell me why anybody in the Nashville media who sat on the story all week that Vince Young would start Sunday is still on the Titans beat?

    This is a disgrace as far as beat reporting is concerned. Letting a coach stifle the distribution of the biggest sports story of the year in your area? You should all resign right now. Pathetic.

    This is buried at the bottom of the Tennessean story that ran ON SUNDAY!

    Fisher told them Tuesday or Wednesday that Young would start!

    On Monday, Titans Coach Jeff Fisher said Collins would start against Dallas (1-1), which is coming off a bye week.

    But it became clear during practices that the Titans planned to go with Young, who worked with the starters and handled the majority of the reps each day. Collins, meanwhile, worked primarily with the scout team.

    Practices are open to the media, but Fisher threatened to close them if any outlet reported the division of practice-field work between Young and Collins before Saturday.

    Media covering practice are generally prohibited by the team from reporting certain details that could impact competitive advantages.

    Less than a third of NFL teams have open practices.
  2. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    So Eric, you're saying that for a one-off beat, they should have violated their implied agreement with Fisher, and by doing so, gotten practices closed to them for the rest of the season?

    Sorry, can't tell if you're in the biz, but if those guys are in there with certain ground rules understood, you don't violate those ground rules for one story.

    EDIT: Unless that story is the biggest in the history of the franchise, and I'm trying to figure out what that would be.
  3. Eric P.

    Eric P. New Member

    There is no agreement with the coach of a team you report on...unless you work for that team. If you have one, you aren't giving your readers the truth. You've lied to your entire audience all week. Where's the credibility in that?

    And if you're worth anything as a reporter...you're getting this story from another source if you can't get the coach to say it on the record.

    And that's a chicken shit insertion in that story to attempt to let readers know why they didn't do their job...which is to tell them the true story.

    If he closes practices...so be it. But it will be the last straw for him in a real media market if he tried to control the media like that.
  4. Hank_Scorpio

    Hank_Scorpio Active Member

  5. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Couldn't agree less.

    Yeah, there are no other NFL coaches in other markets who control the media in this fashion, guys like Coughlin, Saban, et al.[/sarcasm]

    I'll guarantee you that there are beat guys in "major" markets who are allowed to watch practices with the stipulation that they're not going to report certain things.

    It's not even as simple as getting it from another source; how's the coach going to know you just didn't go ahead and write it?

    Sorry, you might not like it, but working relationships between coaches and reporters include some tradeoffs -- and not just in Nashville.
  6. espnguy

    espnguy Member

    Sorry, Eric, while I applaud your ethics, you also might be a little naive about that. Bill Parcells is legendary for that kind of stuff, and yet he's still around and prospering quite nicely. And guys who've tried to go up against him either aren't on the beat any more -- or they agreed to his conditions. It's called "going along to get along." I agree with the other poster: you don't want to blow your access or ability to do your job for the rest of the season over one incident. And, sorry, this is not a major, earth-shattering revelation that there's a change at QB. It happens all the time. I once covered a team that had four diff. QBs, and we never knew from one week to another who was going to start.
  7. Eric P.

    Eric P. New Member

    This guy locked the doors...told everybody to turn off the cameras and recorders and threatened the media.

    If I'm the SE, you are at best covering youth sports the next day...most likely you're working somewhere else.

    And if the SE knew about this and went along with it, he should be held accountable as well.

    You CANNOT let the people in the news control the news. Journalism 101.
  8. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    Then it's a good thing you're not the SE.
  9. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Eric, I'm going to modify my stance slightly by making it more of a question:

    Is access to practice worth the tradeoff of, as espnguy says, going along to get along?

    If you decide no, then you go ahead and tell Jeff Fisher: "Go ahead and close your practices, because I'm not going to be handcuffed as to what I can report."

    Or, you accept access along with the understanding of what you can and can't report from there.

    If you're the SE, you can make that call and then live with it one way or another.

    I haven't been on the NFL beat in a long time, and I guess it's up to the beat guys to tell us whether that access is important enough to come to an understanding like this.

    Where I'm not softening is the idea this should be some kind of indictment of the Nashville media. This happens all over the place.
  10. Eric P.

    Eric P. New Member

    From what I've been told by respected NFL beat writers, approximately two thirds of nfl teams close their practices. And frankly, I don't care if 100 percent of them are open.

    As a reporter I'm doing whatever I can to get that story in the paper.

    And I doubt anybody can tell me what a bigger story in Nashville this year would be then your No. 1 draft pick taking over as starting QB for the NFL franchise.

    This is the story of the year for them.

    And Nashville may not be the only place this is going on...but if it's going on anywhere...I'm appalled by it in any fashion.
  11. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    OK. But these reporters, in this situation, were pretty much stuck.

    Now, if they want to go to Fisher next week and say, "Close your practices, that access isn't worth what it costs," then fine.
  12. fever_dog

    fever_dog Active Member

    the only problem i have is the tennessean reporting their "agreement" with the titans. that makes no sense. it makes the paper and the titans look bad. the last thing you need to do is to flaunt to your readers that you are withholding info.

    just "break" the story saturday and everything is fine. this goes on with every major beat.
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