January 27, 2012

Poynter Reveals It’s Bias

Filed under: Media,Mouse Monopoly — Chas @ 1:43 pm

I have a ton of other things that I should be writing. Yet I have to get this out of my system.

I last wrote about the role of the Poynter Institute in acting as the ESPN ombudsman, back in September. Specifically, about how badly they were doing in that role. I have tried to stop worrying about them, because it is a fruitless thing to let annoy me.

That Poynter wants to take it’s elitist, high-minded, ethical standards and toss them away for ESPN is their business.

Then I saw Awful Announcing’s great takedown on Poynter’s latest defense of ESPN — regarding Tebowmania.


That led me back to the piece written defending ESPN’s coverage as just dandy.

Specifically the closing paragraph.

When a story gets bigger than the sport itself, and ESPN leans into that narrative rather than turning away, some fans throw up their hands and cry, “excess.” But an all-sports network is the very definition of excess. We’re not inclined to fault folks for doing the very thing that’s made them successful.

So much revealed in just a few words. And that reveal is about Ms. McBride and Poynter Institute.

“But an all-sports network is the very definition of excess.”

In the Poynter world, it seems ESPN cannot be excessive in its coverage of something because ESPN’s very existence is excessive.

Does she share that view towards, The Sporting News, Sports Illustrated and the Sports Business Journal — to name a couple print examples? Considering that there are channels devoted to a single sport — NHL, NBA, MLB and NFL. To say nothing of golf, soccer and tennis channels, it might be time to revise that viewpoint.

That is a big reveal of a bias. That Poynter views ESPN as some giant obsessive fanboy. That the subject to which they are devoted — sports — is not really a big deal. In the big picture, that may be true. But they were hired to be ombudsman for this organization. They can’t cop-out by saying the subject matter is not weighty enough, and because it is only devoted to one subject it is excessive by its existence.

The second part, “We’re not inclined to fault folks for doing the very thing that’s made them successful.” The caveat I imagine be as it applies to what they consider a business decision. I doubt they had the same perspective towards News of the World’s decisions on how to cover a kidnapped child by tapping cell phones.

Remember the topic of this piece was the over-the-top coverage/hyping of all things Tebow. Not the editorial process or reporting. This has been the pattern with Poynter in their ombudsman role. They will defer on “business decisions” by ESPN. Going with a, “they know their business, and the ratings back them up” approach.

They didn’t touch the Craig James aspect of the Bruce Feldman story because it didn’t have anything to do with ethics involving journalism and reporting.┬áThat seems to be the only area they feel comfortable critiquing.

That James was a color analyst employed by ESPN who hired a PR firm along with his own position at ESPN to help get a college coach fired. Bad stuff, and lots of messy issues, but nothing to do with journalism. So they had nothing to say since it was a business decision by ESPN to keep him employed.

I don’t know if they don’t feel comfortable judging decisions made by the business side, or they don’t want to sully their hands with that side of the media. It really doesn’t matter. It means that they can’t even do the job they agreed to with ESPN if they are limiting their views to only journalism and reporting at an all-sports network.


FWIW, I still would prefer “IH8ST8”

Comment by wbb 01.28.12 @ 3:38 pm

pk pitt has a new vist this week end but it
is behind a pay wall .
would you see if dockish knows who it is

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.28.12 @ 4:55 pm

TX panther we i have ask that 4 times in last 2 weeks i dont know had we done it sooner with engram we may have picked up some nice WR.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.28.12 @ 5:00 pm

scoop from Zeise who among other injuries had a cobcussion and had to stay away from computer screens;

Holcomb apparently not the DL coach .. instead from the blog ..

There is also a report here that Chryst has finalized his staff by hiring UCLA defensive line coach Inoke Breckterfield to coach the Panthers defensive line but nobody has confirmed that for me yet. If true, however, it means the staff is done and with signing day coming up Wednesday, it won’t be long til we start talking about football again.

Comment by wbb 01.28.12 @ 6:34 pm

Note that this is unconfirmed and Holcomb still may be the one.

Comment by wbb 01.28.12 @ 6:35 pm

Well if i am wrong i am wrong but if it is the ucla coach why the wait he was not in playoff
may be Holcomb changed his mind
hell the coach from ucla could have been here weeks ago helping with recruting.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.28.12 @ 7:06 pm

Wbb you are right just checked 2 sites it is
ucla coach Breckterfield i was wrong.
and Bruce Arians is now the OC of the colts.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.28.12 @ 7:18 pm

Breckterfield was a all american DE at
oregon state played in candaian football
was the ucla DL coach last year.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.28.12 @ 7:27 pm

sorry frank i just got home fromn the pitt game. what a win! i just posted the question to dokish so ill let you know what he says. am i wrong or did you call this dl hire weeks ago?

Comment by pk 01.28.12 @ 7:45 pm

frank, dokish didnt give me a name but there was a 6’7″ 260 ot from new hampshire there. ill try to find his name.

Comment by pk 01.28.12 @ 8:06 pm

pk, and frank-Dokish says its John Guy- rivals has him as a two star OL from New Hampshire. Pitt looks like his only offer.

Comment by NYPanther 01.28.12 @ 8:29 pm

pk thank you very mutch no i was wrong on the DL C
but if this was the chose he could have had this man weeks ago i wonder if the outher changed his mind but who knows i was wrong.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.28.12 @ 8:31 pm

Sure frank. And hes 290 not 260

Comment by Pk 01.28.12 @ 8:33 pm

NY PANTHER thank you for the info at this point i
would take any big OT we can get.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.28.12 @ 8:35 pm

pk sign him up 6 FOOT 7 290 POUNDS we will coach him up have him first string in 3 years.
that was a great win pk glad you could go.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.28.12 @ 8:50 pm

Agreed frank thanks. If pitt is his only offer then thatd really be a steal. I know hes in NH, but how does a 6’7″ 290 OT go unnoticed?

Comment by Pk 01.28.12 @ 9:01 pm

Espn has him listed as a DT. I highly doubt that how many 6’7″ dts are there?

Comment by Pk 01.28.12 @ 9:09 pm

pk not unnoticed he is a 2 star but he has size we can coach him up.
we have to start some were and i guess jj denman has told us to get lost.
so we take what we can get at least he is a big one if they offer he will take it.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.28.12 @ 9:10 pm

pk on outher site he is listed as OT he like
outhers plays both remmber hester plays OG and
DT this kid is most likley the same.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.28.12 @ 9:15 pm

FootballScoop reports:

Pitt: Multiple sources telling us that former UCLA defensive line coach Inoke Breckterfield will be named to the same role at Pitt. Update> Sources close to the situation say Paul Chryst just offered the job to Inoke and he has accepted.

Comment by mtoolmn 01.28.12 @ 10:28 pm

Pantherlair (Rivals) no longer lists Geter the Tweeter as a commit but Panthedigest (Scout) does .. maybe they foresee what a PIA this kid will become

Comment by wbb 01.29.12 @ 7:41 am

Geter is gone! (Dokish)

The last thing we need is an academic disaster with a bad attitude.

Comment by isnore 01.29.12 @ 8:08 am

Good article in the Trib on Rippy and Geter:

link to

Good for Paul Chryst pulling the ship from Geter. I think this sends a message early on that he’s not going to put up with any B.S., especially from a recruit.

Comment by Pitt Is It 01.29.12 @ 1:25 pm

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