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Posts Tagged ‘David Nathanson’

NASCAR On TNT Off To A Strong Start After Three Races

Through TNT’s first three weeks of race coverage, the NASCAR 2011 Sprint Cup Series are averaging 5,097,000 viewers and a 3.1 U.S. HH rating. Those numbers are up 7 percent and 3 percent respectively compared to 2010.

TNT’s coverage of the Toyota/SaveMart 350 Sunday earned a 3.2 U.S. HH rating (+ 17 percent), 5,188,000 total viewers (+16 percent), and 3,743,000 households (+21 percent).

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Video: Media Widely Suggest LeBron Visit Psychologist

When Alex Rodriguez was the focus of the sport world’s disdain, it was widely suggested that the Yankees’ third baseman visit a sports psychologist to deal with his perceived inability to handle postseason pressure. Rodriguez, you’ll recall, came to New York under controversial circumstances, after a trade with the Yankees’ biggest rival, the Red Sox, fell through and the Yankees swooped in and completed a deal, followed by A-Rod saying he preferred the Yankees over the Red Sox all along. Thanks to a monster 2009 postseason that carried New York to its 27th title, no one talks anymore about A-Rod’s postseason failings or his need to visit a sports psychologist. No, that conversation has now shifted to LeBron James, who came to Miami under controversial circumstances and then said he never considered himself a Cleveland resident anyway.

As soon as LeBron wins, people will start suggesting that Carmelo Anthony or Alexander Ovechkin or Kevin Durant need to visit a sports psychologist. The sports world demands to have its physically superior mental midget. It somehow makes us feel collectively better about ourselves: “I may not be able to dribble without looking at the ball, but I would definitely demand the rock in crunch time!”

(H/T to Sportsgrid for video)

Columnist: ‘Told me’ an easily abused reporting device

Mac Engel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram takes aim at a widely abused trope that has emerged in sports reporting in recent years, the tendency of sideline reporters and print writers to report a story and pass it off like exclusive information, typically by saying a coach or player “told me.” How easily can this be abused? Well, just consider this sentence: “President Obama told me Osama Bin Laden is dead.”

That’s me, sitting on my couch, reporting to you information I heard from the lips of the President of the United States. Is it factually incorrect to say he “told me” this? No. Does it convey the impression that I alone was bequeathed this information? Yes.

In his column, Engel provided a recent example:

“(A)bout 10 days ago Mavs coach Rick Carlisle was surrounded by about 20 sports hacks, including a TNT sideline reporter, and answered a question with a rather benign response. A few days later during a Mavs’ playoff game against Portland, this TNT sideline reporter recounted the group interview with a “Rick Carlisle told me …”

Technically, this TNT reporter isn’t lying. Carlisle did tell him that. And me. And about 18 others, too.”

Does the reader/listener/viewer really care? Probably not.

This is an ESPN initiative that has morphed its way into nearly every piece of reporting on that network, and nearly every other station and sports news outlet in the nation. The design was to create the illusion that you can’t get this news anywhere else, which is often true. If the reporter is talking one-on-one with a player/coach/owner/GM “Told Me” is significant. Or can be. If a reporter has a great relationship with a source, “Told Me” can be a very big deal.

But all too often “Told Me” is a question and answer exchange in front of other reporters.

Even though journalism is allegedly about the news and not the reporter, “Told Me” also serves as evidence to an editor or someone high in the food chain that the interviewer actually went out to collect their own information rather than just sit on their computer and steal someone else’s work.

The overall effect of “Told Me” dilutes the genuine, original exclusive reporting. There is so much “Told Me” now that it’s become nearly impossible to distinguish the exclusive material from the information that was gathered in large groups.

Keep that in mind the next time you hear a reporter say “told me.”

The SportsNewser Interview: James Brown

You would be hard pressed to find a classier guy in the business than CBS Sports announcer James Brown.

The Inside the NFL and The NFL Today host spoke to 25 high school students from the Newark Collegiate Academy in Newark, N.J. on Friday. The students had the opportunity to speak to Brown on his broadcast career and will have an opportunity to tour the CBS Sports studios.

Following the event, Brown spoke to SportsNewser about the maturity of Michael Vick and his emotional moment during the Chris Henry segment on Thanksgiving.

SportsNewser: You spoke at Newark Collegiate Academy this morning in Newark. As a former athlete turned broadcaster, how important is education in the journalism world?

James Brown: Oh my goodness gracious. Critically. One of the points I hopefully drove home successfully to the young people there is that is [education] the foundation. I spent a lot of time talking about the foundation. Having a rock solid foundation and that education is the key. I was borrowing if you will from the language of architecture in building, telling them the many skyscrapers that they see in New York, while they stand so tall and sturdy and withstand the storms and wind beating against it, that which enables the building to do that is not seen. And that’s the foundation. Read more