Tuesday, March 15, 2005

More Tabloid Hockey Journalism

Yesterday, I wrote a post complaining about the way the "credible" hockey media is irresponsibly reporting the news in a tabloid style. Today I stumbled across another post by Spector's Soapbox (this is the March 15th entry in the archives - there is no way to link to individual stories) that comes to the same point from a different point of view. He writes that words like "scab" and "hypocrite" are incorrectly used by the "credible" hockey media in order to portray the players in a negative light.

He writes:
The only reason certain reporters bang this story like a gong is because it sells, it plays upon the emotions of angry hockey fans. Welcome to tabloid journalism, stories without substance, provided only to whip readers into a frenzy whilst devoid of facts.

I think he is correct. Again the readers of the hockey media deserve better.

I think the problem is two-fold. Much of the media is owned by the same big business that owns the NHL teams. So there is a conscious decision to not make statements that will anger the bosses of writers (often the NHL owners).

Further, a member of the media who loses access to a team has little or no value. They cannot get any "inside scoops" (such as they are). Teams allow writers to get close to them in return for positive exposure in the media.

The idea that the hockey media is independent and reliable is a myth. We deserve better.

Comments:
What media is owned by the same big businesses that own hockey teams?
 
Here are some examples.

Comcast owns the Philadelphia Flyers. Cablevision owns the New York Rangers. Time Warner owns the Atlanta Thrashers. Ted Leonsis owns the Washington Captials and is a founder of America Online.
 
But those aren't examples of the media we're hearing from outside of possibly Stan Fischler, who works for MSG Networks/Cablevision and writes for Fox Sports. Fischler has been pro-owner this lockout, but was in the same position ten years ago and was pro-player.

The media we're hearing from: TSN, ESPN, and all the newspapers and websites are independent of NHL teams. They may or may not want piss off the NHL for any number of reasons, but it's not because someone there is their boss. Their reliability is another thing altogether.
 
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