Journalists are Not Silly: You Want the Truth in Sports and So Do
I’ve realized after being involved with the New University for over three years that there are people who just don’t understand this profession.
A week or so ago, a friend was trying to tell me how to write a story about someone who passed away.
I know quite well how to go about this topic and those who have never written for a newspaper before must stand back and let those who know how to approach such a subject do so.
I’ve grown just a tad irked about how the public thinks they should censor what journalists write because it might offend this person or that person’s family.
And when we write something that may go against someone’s conservative stance, people go antijournalist on us.
When ‘Charlie Hustle,’ a.k.a. the Cinninatti Reds’ one and only Pete Rose, admitted to betting on professional baseball games that involved even his own team, sports writers had to write about it.
Coach Larry Cochell from the University of Oklahoma decides to use the N-word when discussing one of his good African-American player’s off camera? It gets written about.
Shaq wants to make a few unflattering comments about Jerry Buss? It goes in tomorrow’s paper.
If we take a national look at real, professional journalists, and in this case sports journalists, we should take a look at the never-ending steroid topic.
There are national papers that have beat writers who repeatedly cover home games, away games and feature stories on the same group of professional players.
When Barry Bonds is repeatedly questioned about his steroid use, it is the reporters, not the public, who have to approach the bulging man himself and ask the hard questions.
The public should admit it: They want to know the truth just as badly as the journalists do, but we have the stamina and confidence to actually get the job done.
A journalist who gets to know, lets say, every player in the Dodger bullpen really well walks a fine line because not only has a friendship been built upon this constant reporter-and-interviewee relationship, but also, at the end of the day, that journalist better place a firm step in the direction of his job.
Friendships come and go, but a worthwhile job can last for decades.
For some reason, I’ve noticed the public takes an antijournalist stance for the wrong reasons.
They think we thrive on bad news and making everyone’s life hell. But that is not the case.
Real journalists are not out to get you. We are not even out to run biased stories. Why write a biased story toward one argument and not the other?
It’s not our job to promote our beliefs through what we write.
The last time I checked, I didn’t write for Us Weekly magazine.
I have a class this quarter, where my professor consistently calls newspaper journalists, ‘biased reporters.’
Journalists are one-sided, in their viewpoint and they provide us with an overwhelming amount of examples to prove their points.
I think this is unfair.
To not understand what a journalist does and then to scoff the pieces they work hard to produce on a weekly, semiweekly and daily basis is uncalled for.
A couple of weeks ago, I grew so peeved at this professor’s comments about journalists being biased that I raised my hand and blatantly said, ‘So do you think journalists are lazy and that’s why they don’t get both sides of the story?’
Because, really, like any other debacle in life, we need to take a look at the blueprint of how a story is created.
Why did one story have more quotes regarding one specific argument and a lack of quotes from the opposing side?
Well, as readers and journalists, we should realize that perhaps the journalist tried to contact all the parties involved but some failed to comment, and that was as far as the journalist was going to get for a deadline story.
Before someone disregards this profession, take time to understand it.
I think the biggest problem and the saddest one for a reader is to not trust the written word.
To second-guess the accuracy of a front-page story only weakens the millions of pieces written in this profession for the better good.
I am a sports journalist and I thrive on producing accurate feature and sports stories for not only UCI athletics but for all students, professors and staff who love sports.
I enjoy working with the people I have gotten to know in athletics but I think it is still a shame when people shut their doors when the slightest event that does not curve to one’s appeal arises.
In order for change to occur in a specific organization, industry or program, journalists need to seek out the truth, which means exposing actual facts and events.
I know one of our greatest setbacks is the ability to not trust someone.
All I ask is for a little trust.
It goes a long way.