Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Boosterism

This headline made me think of how difficult it is to teach objective sports journalism. We've always had sports homers (and I'm not picking on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; plenty of other outlets get into the "we" and "us" mentality), but it seems to really have grown in recent years. Part of it is the growth in the number of sports media outlets. With so many channels and web sites available, there seems to be a niche for every opinion. Media outlets need audience, and playing it straight doesn't necessarily drive ratings (just ask radio sports-talk stations). I also think there are more students getting into sports journalism as fans instead of journalists. They want to ride on the bandwagon without doing all the hard, behind-the-scenes work.

I wonder if this is a bad thing. If you don't like the way the St. Louis media report on the World Series, it's certainly easy enough to access the Detroit Free Press or Detroit News. If we are witnessing the end of objective sports journalism, I wonder if hard news will be far behind ...

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