Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Just watched Costas Now

I just watched the entire program (Costas Now) on sports media. I was clearly most interested in this particular show because my job encompasses almost all of the subjects that they explored. Let me start by saying that I thought the program was really good.

A few thoughts...
I am continually baffled by the level of misunderstanding and/or ignorance that many older media members have concerning blogs. There is such an incredible amount of insecurity and fear regarding the changes in sports media from an older generation of media members. I wish that Buzz Bissinger (who I am a fan of by the way) was the exception, but I know better. Bissinger's vitriol for the changes in the way sports are being covered is unfortunately extremely common amongst his peers.

In the end, we are talking about covering sports. Sports. Many in the sports media would like to believe that they are more important than they really are. I enjoy reading "real journalists" and I also enjoy reading opinions from just the average guy. Blogs are great because they have given that average guy a voice and I can decide if I care about his opinion or not.

I do believe that insecurity is far worse amongst sports media members than it is with the average media member. You do get the feeling that the opinion of many older sports media members is that everyone should not have a voice. I understand that point to some degree. They went to school for it, or they have a editor that monitors what they do, or they are better at communicating, so why is some loser in a basement got more people paying attention to what they say rather than what they have to say?

In the end, if you are good at what you do people will listen to, or read, what you have to say, no matter the format (radio, tv, blog). This idea that everyone should have credentials to have a respected opinion seemed totally silly and insecure.

I thought the best part of the Costas Now program was the open discussion of the coverage of race issues in the sports media. I do wish they would have had a white media member on the panel, except for Costas (who played the role), so that they could discuss the fear of dealing with the race issue from the white journalists perspective. Costas did a good job presenting some of the challenges, but I think it is something to really be discussed in greater length. White media members are typically so terrified of being called a racist that they avoid the subject, and being that most media members are white it becomes extremely difficult to really tackle a tough subject like race in sports.

Anyway, the show was really good and thought provoking. If you did not see it, I would recommend trying to catch a repeat showing.