Monday, March 14, 2005

Tabloid Hockey Journalism

A few weeks ago, several "reputable" hockey media organizations reported that a CBA deal was going to be agreed upon on February 19th, 2005. The Hockey News even reported this on their website. When this did not happen they printed this retraction. This did not go over very well with many people. Tom Benjamin was one of the most vocally speaking out against this media blunder.

Did the media as a group learn anything from that? It doesn't appear that they did. They have made another blunder. Its a smaller blunder but nevertheless equally wrong. It was reported Peter Forsberg's career may be over due to concussions.

In fact this was reported: His father, Kent Forsberg, is MoDo's head coach and as far as he is concerned his son's pro hockey career is over. When asked whether Peter has played his last game, Kent replied: 'As it looks now, yes.'

A little later, the Globe and Mail is reporting that the concussion is minor and its effects were greatly exaggerated. The media ran on a story based mostly upon a quote from a worried father, instead of waiting to learn the truth.

It seems clear that in order to have a "scoop", even the reputable hockey news organizations are reporting things that are factually questionable. This is misleading all of the fans. The reader of hockey news should demand better. This is not good enough.

Like everyone else, I am somewhat dependant upon the "reputable" hockey media for my hockey news. If TSN or the Hockey News or ESPN reports something it should be true. I haven't yet fallen for either of these widely circulated false reports with posts on this blog, but it is only a matter of time before I do. I am trying my hardest to only report that which is true - and when I speculate to make sure it is clear that it is merely speculation.

We deserve better.

Edited to add: I just noticed that Jamie Fitzpatrick posted almost exactly the same story.

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