Anyone who reads this blog, knows that for the most part I view the media, sports media in particular, as a valuable partner who always takes the path of least resistance when it comes to doing their jobs.
Watching all the coverage of the Piston – Pacer aftermath the media critic in me had two very specific observations:
1. There is no shortage of opinions. Everyone in the media has one.
2. There is a complete shortage of factual information to backup any of the opinion.
Once the media got the transcripts of the suspensions by the league, the transcript of the Detroit authorities and the notice to appeal by the players union reported, has there been a single additional fact uncovered?
In particular the media has speculated about the impact of what happenedto the NBA, our fans, sports in general. No one in the media seems to want to do any investigative reporting to determine if there are any facts that just might prove or disprove the speculation, or maybe even lead to new questions that should be asked.
Instead I get suggestive questions based on connecting dots that are so disparate that its laughable. I have had multiple reporters ask questions starting with…
…… Sprewell’s complaints about feeding his family on the T-Wolves offer to this brawl, I just wanted to ask you how do you believe that teams and the league should move forward? Is there patching up that needs to be done between players and fans? And do you feel that there is a
disconnect between the athletes and the fans?
Spree’s trying to lobby for a raise and Artest going into the stands. Those are related?
Since when are reporters supposed to start with conclusions posed as questions, rather than uncover facts and report on them? Are reporters the “new columnists”?
Or another favorite is, “Since the fans are so close to the action in the NBA, will there be any changes in policy”? Say what ?
Yeah, fans who can afford court side seats have been uniquely identified as a demographic predisposed to violence. There are at least 20 research reports on the subject.
Aren’t reporters supposed to uncover facts and report on them rather than start with a conclusion and find quotes to build a story around it?
It’s valid to question whether there are issues that need to be addressed. It’s valid to ask what has been learned from the events that took place. It isalso valid for the recipients of the questions to expect that the media has done some homework before asking questions.
The questions I mention above came to me TODAY. At this point there are plenty of facts that could have been uncovered by reporters.
There are attendance records, there are drop counts, for all the games played by all 30 teams.
There are local and national tv ratings for all 30 teams.
There are statistically valid surveys that can be done.
It’s possible to go back through the tape of the game and look for incidents or situations that might have occored, on the court and in the stands.
One of the refs during the game was miked by ESPN. Did anyone listen to this tape to see if any new info was picked up by that mike?
How tough would have it been for a single reporter to gather any or all of this and report on it?
I asked all of the above questions, and other than access to the tape,I have gotten answers or taken action on all the above so that I could make informed decisions.
There were other questions I asked and got answered that I can’t list here. I’m sure there were some I missed.
It’s my job to make decisions based on information. I wish it was the job of reporters to report based on more than just the easy and obvious available to them. Then again, I would probaly faint the first time a reporter actually uncovered unique information and asked a question about it.