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Ombud: Conflicts of interest at ESPN unavoidable

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Idaho, May 15, 2007.

  1. statrat

    statrat Member

    I didn't mind the longer column at all. It was leaps and bounds better than anything Solomon put out there and actually went into depth on the issues. Well done.
  2. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Somehow I doubt Schreiber would assess it that way. She was among the first women sports editors and knows what it's like to set precedents. Those who followed her learned from her successes and failures. Just like she benefits from those of ESPN's first ombud.
  3. henryhenry

    henryhenry Member

    give her credit for researching the piece.

    but she soft-pedaled her findings.

    at the top she writes:

    "So how is it being managed?

    The answer depends on whom you listen to."

    that's wimpy compared with her conclusion:

    "If you chip five minutes off "SportsCenter" here and there for a sponsored segment, another five minutes here and there for recycled portions of shoulder programming and more minutes for teasers leading up to those segments, there often seems to be nothing left for news of sports other than those for which ESPN holds rights. Nobody needs marching orders. The formula itself is skewed toward the sports that pay their way."

    you might say she buried the lead.
  4. Boobie Miles

    Boobie Miles Active Member

    I agree. I think this column is a few days old and when I read it I thought a thread would pop up about it and I already had thought of a joke about her having the same editor as Simmons. As much as people knock Simmons for the length of his columns, at least his style is a bit more entertaining than this. It was pretty good stuff, but needed to be much shorter.
  5. Oz

    Oz Well-Known Member

    I didn't mind the length, I found it interesting to read just the same.
  6. friend of the friendless

    friend of the friendless Active Member

    Sirs, Madames,

    I think there are hard conflicts and squishy ones. The hard ones are in plain sight, obvious to everybody--licensed broadcaster, say ESPN with various leagues or CBS with NFL and NCAA ball, trying to do sports journalism (to whatever extent and with whatever enthusiasm) on vehicles like Outside the Lines or 60 Minutes ... and of course promoting programming. You hope that good people will try to do the right thing and be professional.

    My antennae twitch with smaller, more insidious conflicts, creeping conflicts. e.g.: Those on the company payroll of Rogers (in Toronto, owners of sports-talk radio station and the Blue Jays among many other interests) know that they might be seen as shillin' for dinner. But what about those print types who cash side-cheques from the same company? Are they slightly softer in their criticisms of the franchise when they write their newspapers? Not so obvious.

    I'm just sayin' ... or askin' ...

    YHS, etc
  7. goalmouth

    goalmouth Well-Known Member

    So we agree her work is better than Solomon's. But as an ombud, her net effect will be...probably the same.
  8. zagoshe

    zagoshe Well-Known Member

    The ESPN showed its true colors -- and its total lack of integrity -- years ago when it allowed the NFL to bully it into cancelling that goofy weekly drama about the pro football team (the name escapes me)......

    If the NFL can dictate programming, what else is it dictating to the network in terms of coverage and issues.
  9. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    She's terrific.

    And because she's terrific, there's no way she makes it through her projected term.

    Too bad.
  10. crusoes

    crusoes Active Member

    This ain't Russia. Don't like SportsCenter? Don't watch it. What is this obsession with ESPN's perceived journalism lapses? They don't do journalism there. They are there to entertain people. And one reason why hockey isn't on anymore is because nearly everything they ran during the lockout got better ratings than the NHL. It's TV. There's a million channels and Websites. Diversify.
  11. WazzuGrad00

    WazzuGrad00 Guest

    The problem with that is, besides the NHL, there isn't a major pro league or college sport to which ESPN doesn't hold the rights. So, besides the NHL, no one's getting screwed (and it's arguable whether even they are).
  12. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    It's decent and soft, too. You can tell Schreiber's a vet of Times - it's more eloquent and gentle than potent. One particular part both pleased me, then disappointed me:


    "Nobody ever talks to us at all about content," says Erik Rydholm, executive producer for "Around the Horn" and "Pardon the Interruption." "I continue to be amazed by how much everyone leaves us alone."

    I asked Rydholm about a question posed April 17 on PTI about whether Major League Soccer might become popular in the United States.

    "Yes, I remember that," he said. "I came up with that question myself after reading a piece that morning in [SportsBusiness] Daily about the L.A. Galaxy team luring Zinedine Zidane out of retirement to join Beckham."

    Had he read the piece published two weeks earlier in Sports Business Journal about ESPN launching its marketing campaign for Major League Soccer on April 7? The piece said the network also planned to promote the league by "having shows such as PTI debate whether MLS will be popular."

    "No," Rydholm said. "I didn't see that." Even if he had, Rydholm added, he would not have interpreted it "as pressure or encroachment," because "nobody asks us to be good company soldiers."


    Uh-huh. Sure.

    But Schreiber's addendum - a classic Times or New Yorker move - is really unnecessary and lets him off the hook:

    "Anyone who had been in on that phone conversation would be as sure as I am that Rydholm was telling the truth."

    Really? Good Lord...what'd he do, swear on the discovery of Mars or something?
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