Blue Jackets Fans: Media Freedom and Integrity
This is not going to be a normal Columbus Blue Jackets article. Two distinct events happened today that make me appreciate the great journalists that cover our team.
The first was the firing of Keith Olbermann at ESPN (granted it wasn’t a true firing as they decided to not renew his contract). For many fans the “Worldwide Leader in Sports” provides the vast majority of information and opinion about the sports world. ESPN has incredible television and radio presence and a really strong website. (Makes you happy for places like Fansided). Where as the official press releases by ESPN portray this as purely a business decision but (from Awful Announcing):
It was reported that ESPN’s lackluster upcoming slate of Monday Night games was believed to be retribution for Bill Simmons and Olbermann’s criticism of the league and Goodell. To that end, we’re hearing there are some ESPN folks who think the league denied a request for a Monday Night Football matchup featuring the Cowboys against a specific opponent due to Simmons and Olbermann’s vocal criticism this past year. ESPN does have one Cowboys game on this year’s schedule but comes late in the season and on the road versus a Redskins team that went 4-12 last season.
How can fans trust anything said by ESPN with the knowledge that their content partners maybe exercising control over what their reporters and commentators are allowed to say?
Later in the evening news broke about the condition of New York Giants defensive lineman Jason Pierre-Paul. For those who are not familiar with the information it was reported that he was injured in a fireworks accident over the Independence Day weekend. Today this dropped on Twitter:
This is a major news organization going public with the private medical files of a player. I know this is not illegal, but I consider it unethical.
These two events have made me reflect on how lucky we are here in Columbus with the Blue Jackets. I know at times there are issues with how much coverage is given to the Blue Jackets but when you look at the quality and the ethics of the organizations involved Blue Jackets fans are in a great situation. It is impossible to think of a situation where the editors at the Columbus Dispatch are called by Blue Jackets President John Davidson and he asks them to punish Aaron Portzline for something he has written or said. In the same fashion it is hard to fathom any part of the Blue Jackets normal media contingent having a huge story on one of the players and not offering the player a chance to comment before going public with it.
Just another reason it’s great to be part of the 5th Line.