Saturday, July 22, 2006

Fairness and Objectivity...that's the journalism way, right?....Right?

I pose this question because of a recent newsmaking event going on within the Delaware State University athletics department. Junior shooting guard Tracey Worley is leaving the men's basketball team to transfer to the University of New Orleans where he feels he has a better shot at recognition. Considering his stunning performance as a freshman in DSU's first ever NCAA tournament game against Duke in 2005 (13 points on six-for-six from the field, and CBS co-player of the game honors), you figure that would be enough recognition for a kid, but I digress.

That's not the issue where I sit however. My boss, one of two co-editors that will be heading up the staff next year, e-mails me from her internship to ask me why I didn't tell her that one of her favorite players, and the one she "likes," is leaving the program. I responded to her that I found out the same way she did, which is true, because I'm only at DSU now for three hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and her return e-mail troubled me.

She believes that Worley is transferring because of one of Coach Greg Jackson's crown jewel recruits, former University of Cincinnati reserve Roy Bright, who's had one run-in with the law, and that resulted in his expulsion from Bearcat country.

First and foremost, for a school with some piss-poor graduation rates under former coach Bob Huggins, one wonders why he would choose a misdemeanor weapons possession charge to kick a kid to the curb, but again, digression is the road I am choosing. Secondly I must be fair in pointing out that my boss is *ahem* not exactly carrying melanin if you smell what I'm cooking.

So she responds "We should ask why one of the best players is being replaced by a convicted felon?" At which point I thought about correcting her that the charge was only a misdemeanor, but that's splitting hairs. I did go on to explain to her that throwing stones from a glass house isn't exactly a good way to make a name for yourself in this business. We are in no position to judge someone else based on the mistakes that they've made in their past.

I have yet to meet Roy Bright, don't know him from Adam, but what I've been told is he's contrite, he realizes he made a mistake, and he just wants a chance to hoop. Considering Coach Jackson is a man of tremendous and unshakable faith in God (his son is currently beating the hell out of sickle cell anemia, so there's your proof), I doubt he would take on Bright if the kid is that suspect.

That's lesson numero uno; we are not in this business to intentionally belittle, insult, or degrade anyone. Numero dos, Feelings are just that, nothing more than fee-hee-lings. Sorry for the Hammer Pepsi commercial interlude. You cannot allow yourself to develop feelings on a personal level for your subjects, regardless of what beat you cover. Clearly I'm not falling in love with any female athletes, but that's a stereotype, so let me hush that up.

My boss liked Tracey Worley in a crush kinda way. Too bad Tracey probably didn't know my boss existed, but at the same time the point I make is if you allow personal feelings to develop with your subjects and the beats you cover that go beyond being fair and objective, you're screwed like Superhead on video shoots.

And this is why I'm grateful for the experience I've gained doing what I do, so I can pass it on to those who have yet to learn this craft thoroughly. Otherwise fairness and objectivity will only be words you use when you're taking orders at McDonalds.

Posted by Chris at 4:09 PM | link

Read or Post a Comment

You made the ultimate point: we remain objective no matter what. Second: let her ass know it's a misdemeanor and not a felony. Third: The only time it's ok to snap on someone is if it's another journalist, not doing what the hell they should. Like most of them cracker ass broadcasters who wanna comment on what the black players NEED to be doing. We should round them up with the hoodrats and gas 'em!!!

Posted by Blogger Vdizzle @ 6:11 PM, July 22, 2006 #

The flip-side is that it's probably not a bad idea to figure out why he got kicked out of Cincy, what he learned from it and why the DSU coach is bringing him in.

Same thing with the Worley kid as well. Why is he going from one shitty conference to another? Especially since he's a Philly kid, something seems to be rotten in Denmark.

Posted by Anonymous chris @ 12:02 PM, July 26, 2006 #

Chris, when you bring solid analysis to your honesty and humor, you are damn good. Me, you and Marcus shall run this. No homo(sexual pun intended).

Posted by Blogger D. Sands @ 6:30 AM, July 28, 2006 #

Wait, wait, wait... run this?

But I concur with the first statement. The second one... not so much so.

Posted by Blogger Duck @ 10:47 AM, July 28, 2006 #

I second Duck.

Posted by Blogger T Dot @ 6:59 PM, July 28, 2006 #

*ahem* can we not have dissention in the ranks? LOL...We all contribute to the blog, so let's keep it a team effort. And let's comment about the topic in this entry, which I think is pretty darn interesting :)

Posted by Blogger Chris @ 1:43 PM, July 29, 2006 #
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