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We're grownups, ESPN. Just tell us the words.

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by inthesuburbs, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. inthesuburbs

    inthesuburbs Member

    Sorry, Imjustagirl, but you stated flat out that very few of our news organizations would do something. I pointed out that our most prestigious news organization does that very thing, about once every couple of weeks.

    Your view that we can't say something in news reporting that we would say if we were discussing the issue in the seats at a ballgame is indeed an excellent example of being quaint. Quaint = "having an old-fashioned attractiveness or charm; oddly picturesque."

    And you're offended. Go ahead, call the other person an asshole. It's easier than coming up with an argument. Perhaps what you meant to say was, holy s--t, I was in error.
  2. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    So, me saying "very few" and you providing one example (hint, one is fewer than "very few") somehow makes ME in error?

    I think the NYT is different than most employers, yes. There's nothing in your post that is different than what I wrote. So if you want to think I'm in error, that's fine. But I feel comfortable saying the vast majority of employers in this country would go with "racial slur" over use of the actual word in copy.
  3. Writer33

    Writer33 Member

    Not sure what the big deal is. Just don't use the word fuck in a headline, for fuck's sake.
  4. inthesuburbs

    inthesuburbs Member

    I agree with the math in your statement. Perhaps you could have made the argument without the namecalling.

    Most of our 1,300+ daily newspapers certainly would avoid using certain words, even if the story were about the words. But that's not much of an argument in favor of it being good journalism, is it? Most of those newspapers don't do much investigative reporting, don't use photos well, etc. My point is that The Times has been famously squeamish about what it will say -- "all the news that's fit to print" was a way to distinguish itself from competitors -- but even that newspaper has realized that you have to say a word to talk about use of the word.

    Being afraid of using bad words when they're germane -- and talking about controversial topics -- is not the worst thing newspapers have done to make their future less secure, but it's one of them.

    Thanks for the chat.

    To writer33, the big deal is not the headline on this forum, for f--k's sake. The big deal is, if you're writing a story about someone getting fired for calling someone names, say the word. Tell the news.
  5. mrbigles01

    mrbigles01 Member

    If the prick measuring about who uses which words is over can we get to an actual interesting part of the discussion?

    Cherry picking which words you will and won't use strikes me as a slippery slope. The man was fired in part for using specific words. It strikes me as some combination of prudishness and naivete to not use the words.

    To me the more interesting question is not which "paragon" of journalism does what, but what we SHOULD be doing, irrespective of tradition.
  6. Small Town Guy

    Small Town Guy Well-Known Member

    You're blaming newspapers for this and saying it's one of the things that's made them falter in a thread about the most powerful sports entity in the history of media that gets more and more dominant by the month doing the exact same thing. In 10 years when Fox Sports has overtaken ESPN, I guess we'll know it's because ESPN went with f----ts instead of the full word.
  7. Chef2

    Chef2 Well-Known Member

    Listen to Bilas talk about Coach K's practices.
  8. inthesuburbs

    inthesuburbs Member

    Small Town Guy, no one was blaming newspapers. A) I said ESPN erred. B) The point was made that most of us, meaning newspapers, wouldn't have done it. C) I said that wasn't much of an argument for the practice of avoiding talking about the news.

    Mrbigles is right.
  9. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    I went out of my way to say "employers" because your earlier point about many people no longer working at newspapers stands. I don't think ESPN, or Yahoo, or FoxSports, or anyone else at that level would use the word "faggot" instead of "homophobic slur" or something of that ilk.

    I haven't had time to read the story anywhere else, so I could be "in error." But I was not talking about newspapers.
  10. Azrael

    Azrael Well-Known Member

    We're not all grownups.
  11. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    This is kind of a long-winded way of saying "What Moddy Said," but, does using the actual words advance the story? Or are you looking more for the shock value? And, yes, small, impressionable people do read the newspapers ... children, too.
  12. And if they can read a story about the words, they can read the words. Everyone has heard the same or worse by age 8 or 9.

    But it's not like ESPN invented this form of editing. They are following along with long-standing practices from the days of "family newspapers." Not using the real words is childish and illustrates how out-of-touch the entire journalism world is. But at this point the established brands are more likely to err on the side of caution than towards respecting and communicating the truth.
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