Tuesday, February 24, 2015
By Lyndsay Borko
Super Bowl XLIX. The New England Patriots versus the Seattle Seahawks. It was bound to be a thriller: Not only was it a game between the east coast and the west coast, but the Seahawks had won the Superbowl in 2014, 43-8 against the Denver Broncos. Everyone who had even the slightest interest in football sat themselves in front of their TVs on the night of February 1, 2015, anxious to see if the Seahawks would pull out another victory. However, Seahawks fans would be disappointed. The Patriots took the lead in the last quarter and won the game 28-24.
The media covered this annual event of festivities and beer drinking in a variety of ways. The first way in which the Super Bowl was covered was the one most closely related to the sport itself: The Seahawk's massive fumble that cost them the game. According to New Public Radio, the final play by the Seahawks is being called “The worst call in Super Bowl history.” Sports Illustrated stated, "That was simply the most astounding play call in NFL history."
I will not pretend to understand football. But to sum it up, the Seahawks chose to pass the ball instead of handing it to their top running back, Marshawn Lynch, at the 1 yard line. This cost them the entire game. Despite such a close win by the Patriots, almost no one—except reporters in New England, who are celebrating—is talking about them. Everyone is too busy re-watching that one mistake by the Seahawks and trying to figure out why it all went wrong.
Another big angle the media chose to pursue surrounding the events of the Super Bowl was Katy Perry's astounding halftime show. For those who saw it, it was truly a sight to behold. She entered on a giant metallic robotic lion, had a gaggle of dancers and singing sharks, and flew through the sky like a real firework. Her performance also included surprise guests like Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliot.
Despite some insane things that went on during her performance--countless costume changes, pyrotechnics, flying machines, possible shade-throwing at Taylor Swift--the only thing reporters seemed to focus on were the dancing sharks. Viewers seemed to be dazzled by the sharks and nothing else. Specific praise has been given to “Left Shark,” who forgot his choreography and just rolled with it on national TV.
According to Perry's choreographer, RJ Durell, the sharks actually stuck to the choreography 100%. They were told to keep it fun, and bring these characters to life in a cartoon like way. This was achieved by the juxtaposition of right shark and left shark. The former, who performed perfectly choreographed moves, and the latter, who just improvised The population's obsession with the sharks sparked a quest to uncover the identity of the sharks, specifically left shark. The two underwater performers enjoyed a few days of mystery before identifying themselves. Both left shark and right shark, who are identified as Bryan Gaw and Scott Myrick, respectively, became overnight sensations in the United States.
Another way in which the media covered the great event that is the Super Bowl is by focusing on the advertisements that played during the commercial breaks. A 30-second time slot reportedly cost about $4 million in 2014, according to the research firm Comunicas, so having an advertisement air during the Super Bowl is a huge deal.
Some advertisements were praised, such as the “Like a Girl” campaign started by Always, while others fell short. One advertisement that is getting a lot of negative coverage is Nationwide Insurance's commercial. The commercial has been criticized by USA Today and NBC, among others. In it, a little boy lists things he can not do, like learn to ride a bike, get cooties from a girl on the bus, or get married... because he died in a car crash. People are outraged that the company is using the death of a child, albeit metaphorically, to sell insurance. The uproar became so strong that Nationwide had to issue a statement standing by their campaign, insisting that it was not meant to sell insurance, but to start a national conversation about safety.
Other ads included McDonald's rewarding customers' acts of kindness with Big Macs, Coca-Cola frying the Internet and ending cyber-bullying, and Kim Kardashian starring in a not-so-heartwarming public service announcement about preserving your data with T-Mobile, which was hard to even realize was a commercial for T-Mobile.
The Super Bowl is one of the most widely covered events in the United States. However, it seems that not much of the media coverage rooted in the Super Bowl actually has much to do with the game. People aren't necessarily drawn to the game itself, but all the events that come along with it, and it seems that those events tend to make headlines more than the game does.
My mom could not even tell you who played in the Super Bowl this year, but she sure can give you a detailed description of the halftime show.
By Erin McCarthy
The Super Bowl this year had over 5,500 media members credentialed to cover the game and any related events. Much of what was covered was through television for viewers unable to attend the game to see it. Numerous sound systems and screens inside the stadium also play a huge role in the media view of the Super Bowl. As for a person who was unable to be at the game and or not have a television, they were able to listen to the game over the radio, another aspect of the media's role in the production of the Super Bowl.
Many different cameras are used to produce the viewing of the game through the TV. Having multiple cameras is a way to create different angles and shots of certain plays during the game. For example, when one camera has a shot of the player punting the ball another camera has an angle of the player receiving the ball, in order to smoothly switch from the punter to the receiver without technical issues.
Everything during the Super Bowl is live, except the commercials. These pre-recorded commercials also have a lot to do with the media side of the Super Bowl. Alongside the TV broadcast and commercial breaks, there is constantly someone speaking as the game is going on in order to better explain or clear up anything unseen or missed by the viewer.
The process of having the game be aired live is tremendous itself, but when all the other smaller roles come into effect it makes everything that much more complicated. The media has one of the largest roles in the production of the Super Bowl. Without the media nobody outside of the stadium would be able to watch or listen to the game. Media gives practically everyone an opportunity to see the Super Bowl each year.
By Michael Ryder
Lillian Ross, a journalist who worked for The New Yorker for decades, has developed her own set of guidelines for writing after being in the industry for many years. She has strong opinions regarding some of the tactics that other journalists use and continues to follow her own set of rules or “principles.”
One of Ross’ guidelines that I disagree with is never writing about something that doesn’t appeal to you. It is the responsibility of the journalist to report on a story so that the public can be aware. There may be an issue that the public should know about and the journalist is in charge of delivering that information. Even if the story is not appealing to the writer, they should give it their all to give the public an interesting, informative piece. I also disagree with Ross when she says she would never write about anyone she doesn’t like. There is no place for bias in journalism and personal opinions on someone shouldn’t interfere with one’s writing.
Ross, however, had many guidelines I did agree with. In journalism, I agree that there shouldn’t be any ambiguity and the story you are writing should be to the point and straightforward. Ross also stated that she wouldn’t take on an assignment just for pay. I think this is an interesting guideline, as it shows that Ross truly cares about her work and her writing and thinks of the money second. Nowadays, it seems many people simply do things just for the compensation.
I also agree with Lillian Ross when she talks about taking notes in small notebooks for her writings. I find taking notes to be extremely helpful in remembering the little details about things, as we have so much going on all the time that it’s easy to forget some things.
Lillian Ross’ long career is proof that her guidelines to writing are effective and really make a difference. Although some of her guidelines are debatable, she has stuck to what works for her and it has proven to be successful.
Monday, February 23, 2015
By Alex Henning
The Super Bowl has ended and the New England Patriots won thanks to an interception by their team at the end. Many parts of this event have now been covered by social media sources, such as The Halftime event with Katy Perry, commercials during the game, and the small scuffle between the two teams at the end of the game.
In covering the commercials, such as the Jurassic World trailer spot, one commercial spot got more media attention than others. The insurance company Nationwide produced a commercial entitled "Make Safe Happen". In this commercial, a young boy is seen doing various things, commenting that he won’t ever get to do them. The commercial then pans on a close up of the kid’s face, and he ends the commercial by saying he won’t be able to do the things he mentioned because in reality, he is dead due to an accident. The commercial ends as a Nationwide person says to get insurance to protect people you love and to protect your children from accidents.
One media outlet that covered this commercial and its controversy was New Jersey’s The Record newspaper. Staff writer Bill Ervolino wrote an article under the title “ Shocking Super Bowl ad starts a nationwide conversation” where he takes a more in-depth look at reactions to the commercial. He quotes several statements from people who saw the commercial spot, ranging from horrified reactions, to low scores by people, to people saying it was bad taste to have done the commercial when and how they did. In particular, many thought the idea of Nationwide using a child's death to get people talking was wrong, and that since many people watch the Super Bowl with their families, they became horrified that their children saw the commercial.
Along with many other websites on the Internet, NBC News’ website rated this commercial to be the worst Super Bowl commercial ever. NBC does, however go a bit lighter than others by posting Nationwide’s response to all the backlash. Nationwide said that they had never meant to sell insurance through their spot, but to spark a conversation, which as newspapers and news sites alike will attest, they succeeded in.
Nationwide wanted to alert people to the issue and help people get more educated so they could protect those closest to them--with many people having visited their site MakeSafeHappen.com already. Whether it was ethical to air the ad the way they did, they got people talking about it, which seems to be exactly what Nationwide wanted.
Sunday, February 22, 2015
By Michael Ryder
Brian Williams is a journalist and news anchor who has worked at the NBC Nightly News for the past ten years. He’s won twelve awards for his work on the NBC Nightly News and his broadcasts have helped NBC’s news program beat out their top two competitors in terms of ratings for almost six years. According to the LA Times, Business Insider and other sources, Williams is making $10 million per year. Despite his good reputation, Williams landed himself in the middle of a controversy in early 2015.
Williams has claimed that while he was covering the war in Iraq in 2003, he was riding in a military helicopter that was hit with a grenade and forced to the ground. Since then, Williams has appeared on a number of programs retelling the story of his experience, however, using slightly different wording. The actual story was that, according to a CNN article, a helicopter was forced down but Williams was not on board and instead arrived an hour later via another helicopter that “took no fire and landed beside the damaged helicopter.”
Williams confirmed, in 2015, that he was not in the helicopter that was hit and that he “made a mistake” in his retellings. He has also blamed having a foggy memory. He issued a public apology and was subsequently suspended from his position.
Brian Williams is sure to lose a lot of credibility, as well as respect, in the aftermath of this event. As Americans, how can we put back our trust in someone who is supposed to be reporting the truth to the masses after they confirmed lying to us? I don’t really buy the whole “foggy memory” excuse that he is using. If you were riding in a helicopter that was hit with a grenade and forced to the ground, I think you would remember that pretty vividly. Although I do believe in second chances, I don’t think there is an excuse for a reporter lying about something of that magnitude. And for a successful news anchor, I don’t see why he would feel the need to do that – he is well-established, trusted and definitely doesn’t need the publicity.
After his suspension is up and he’s back on air, is anyone really going to believe what he says or go to him to get their news anymore? If NBC Nightly News wants to reestablish their credibility and bring back their viewers, I think they should make Williams’ suspension a permanent one.
By Michael Ryder
The Super Bowl is, without a doubt, one of the most talked about and covered events in the sports and entertainment world. This year, we watched the Seattle Seahawks take on the New England Patriots in the 49th Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is a highly publicized event and some even consider that Sunday to be a holiday. Because of its popularity, the Super Bowl gains a lot of media attention.
Usually, the actual game begins at 6 pm, but television channels such as ESPN, FOX and the NFL Network begin airing pre-coverage of the game as early as 9 am. Sports broadcasters and journalists, and sometimes retired players or coaches, appear on these Super Bowl pregame shows. The teams, players, statistics, and location are all discussed by the panel of football experts, as well as their opinions on which team they think will be victorious. Games from the past season are also discussed by the NFL aficionados and their analysis is what fans tune in for.
As it gets closer to game time, cameras follow the athletes as they get off their bus and make their way into the stadium, while reporters flock to the sidelines to cover what’s happening on the field. The journalists conduct interviews with the players and coaches to get insight on what they’re feeling and how they think the game is going to go.
While the game is being played, two to three announcers are in the studio giving a play-by-play and commentary of the game the entire time – this is who the sideline correspondents are reporting back to. The halftime show, which lately features a popular music act performed in the center of the stadium on live television, has become a pop culture fixture. This year’s Katy Perry and 2013’s Beyoncé performances have been hailed as two of the best halftime shows of all time.
After the game, players from the winning team are interviewed in the midst of their excitement and celebration to share how they feel about their victory. A press conference is held after the game in which the coach of the winning team is interviewed. Pre- and post-game shows are shown usually on multiple channels; however, the game itself is shown on only one major station.
The Super Bowl has gone from being just the championship football game to a popular culture phenomenon. From pre- and post-game shows, interviews, and press conferences, the media covers every aspect of the big game. And because of all the media attention the Super Bowl garners, spectators can get a front row seat to the game without leaving their couch.
By Lyndsay Borko
Brian Williams was a news anchor for NBC's Nightly News. Operative word being “was.” Just recently, he was suspended for six months without pay for telling a lie that spanned over a decade. For twelve years, he exaggerated his role in an episode involving a helicopter in Iraq. Based on accounts of others who were actually fired at that day in 2003, he was absolutely nowhere near the incident that took place.
Hyperbole of that kind from someone who the public looks to as a trustworthy figure for news is unacceptable to NBC, which is why they suspended him. In my opinion, his credibility has been permanently diminished. If he is allowed to return to work after his suspension, viewers may no longer be able to take him seriously or trust him as a reporter. I think NBC's decision to suspend him is wise. It shows other reporters at NBC, and even other news stations, that behavior like this will not be tolerated. It was beyond inappropriate for him to exaggerate something like what he experienced while reporting in Iraq.
Many men and women are wounded or killed while they're doing their jobs and trying to report for the public safe at home. The most recent example is James Foley, a freelance journalist from Illinois who was beheaded by the infamous terrorist group ISIS. It is unfair to tarnish the memory of journalists who gave up their lives for their craft with rubbish like Williams' misstatements.
Not only is his credibility lost, but in part, so is NBC's. Therefore, I think their decision to suspend him is commendable. Too many people get away with things that are inappropriate just because they have prestige or fame. I believe this was the right choice for NBC and I applaud them for it.
By Jenna Hutchins
Everyone lies for entertainment. Less than 25% of statements made on Fox News are true or mostly true and only about 60% of what is reported on CNN is accurate, according to Politifact.com, a website ran by the Tampa Bay Times. That’s why, in some ways, it’s surprising that Brian Williams is being torn apart in the media over his rampant puffery.
Williams is being investigated by NBC for his tales about his experiences in the Iraq War. He claimed that while covering the war in Iraq in 2003, his helicopter was struck by an enemy grenade. This was complete fabrication. Williams’ helicopter was nowhere near the helicopter actually hit--he was about an hour behind it--and several witnesses on board denied Williams’ claims. Over the years, his story evolved from witnessing the helicopter in front of his being almost taken out by “seemingly happy” civilians to his helicopter being struck itself. Several members of the NBC crew on board advised Williams against embellishment, and later became sources against him when the news of his dishonesty broke.
Williams’ coverage of the devastation in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina has also been called into question. The news anchor reported that he witnessed a dead body floating by from his hotel window. Williams was staying in the French Quarter, where local New Orleans stations reported hardly any water from the storm in that area. This seriously called into question whether or not his claim was true. Another potential falsehood stems from Williams claiming he contracted dysentery. Local stations were again quick to counter that there were no confirmed reports of dysentery following the storm.
NBC has been quick to take action, suspending Williams for six months without pay. The network is still conducting an investigation, and he will most likely be removed from his position as a board member for the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. It’s safe to assume that NBC will no longer be calling Brian Williams “one of the most trusted journalists of our time.”
By Alexandra Kezek
In Lillian Ross’s list of guidelines for writing that she learned at The New Yorker, she states key ways on how to be a reporter. What I learned from her article and from personal experience is that it is not simple to be a writer, and there should be set principles that one should recognize before starting and finishing a news piece.
Since September, I have interned at the Rockland County Times. My tasks were to proof read other writers’ articles and to write my own. Since then, I have had about 10 articles published in the paper. It was difficult for me to learn on my own how to write an article, but as I practiced and wrote more notes for references, it started to become more clear. I had so many scribbled notes that helped me write an article easier, it helped me create an article from the beginning, middle, and end.
Ross states that “when I write stories, it feels a bit like creating a short story, but it’s more difficult, because I’m working with facts.” I completely agree and can relate to that. When I write an article, I want to create a series of scenes in the reader’s mind. I feel like it enhances the article and will keep intriguing the reader to continue reading. But it has to be taken into consideration depending on what or who the article is about, which is what I learned from Ross’s letter. A person being interviewed is giving information and trust to the reporter; it is important to use caution with what a writer prints about that person because it can destroy a potential friendship. Writers need to use common sense when interviewing.
Lastly, the most important principle that Ross states, in my opinion, is to always listen, because it will ultimately help the writer create a great piece.
By Alexandra Kezek
Brian Williams has recently created a crisis of trust for the viewers of NBC television. He has been part of NBC for about a decade and became the face of nightly/evening news, talking about politics, war, economics, immigration, and various other topics. He recollected on two particular stories, like his Iraq "war story" and his time visiting New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.
In 2003, Willaims went to Iraq in a helicopter and told an initial story of how the helicopter in front of his was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. Recently, he has said a different story. In a 2013 interview, Williams recollected the story but then stated that it was his helicopter that was struck by an RPG. Lance Reynolds, a flight engineer, has criticized Williams for the false story. Reynolds was in the plane struck by the RPG and Williams' helicopter arrived on the scene about 45 minutes later. Williams also states that he saw an RPG target them but hit the chopper in front of them. This statement does not go along with the other crews' statements and the helicopter in front of Williams' was a half hour ahead of them, which would make it impossible to see the RPG.
In 2006, Williams also recounted his time staying in New Orleans during Katrina. He has claimed to see horrific incidents of dead bodies, illegal gang activity in his hotel, and that he suffered from ingesting the flood water. All of which seems to have been false. Groups of gangs did try to invade the Ritz, where Williams was staying but they were all repelled by police. There was also not a big amount of flooding in the area he was in, so claiming to see "dead bodies afloat" is invalid, as well as saying he became ill from ingestion of water because the CDC found that no cases of dysentery were present from the water.
Williams is now facing intense ridicule and scrutiny from various news sources and comedians. He has stepped down from the nightly news for "several days" and Lester Holt is to take his place for the time being. In this kind of situation, I believe that he should be fired. He deliberately lied to the public to what had happened in these places to boost his image more. He has insulted soldiers and veterans and they have expressed their opinions via social media. How can the public get real in depth detail of what is going on in the world if the newscaster is lying about his experience? It's like he is falsely advertising himself.
In this situation, his reputation is already tarnished. It would be ideal for him to state another apology and step down from his position, because he violated a code of ethics.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
By Nicolette Danzy
From reading about Lillian Ross, I learned that the most important part in reporting for a feature story is to be honest and to care about what you are writing. In the NPR interview of Ross, she emphasizes that every writer is different. Diversity, creativity, and passion are the essentials that I learned from Lillian Ross in order to be a journalist.
In the Letter From Lillian Ross, the long-time New Yorker writer sets down her guidelines to writing. One of the guidelines that I felt was the most important and essential was, “I choose to write only about people, situations, and events that appeal to me. Every editor I’ve worked with believed, as I did, that the only reason to write a story – especially a story about a person – was to shed some light on what that individual is in relation to the work he does.”
I thought this was important because she is telling us that we should write about what we are actually interested in. When you write about something you like or are passionate about, your writing comes out better, because you put more heart and effort into it. Also I liked when Ross said, “I resist taking a writing assignment for financial reasons. Earning money is often mentioned as a way to ‘free you to do what you want to do later on.' One certain way of blocking you from doing what you want to do is to do something else now for the money alone.” I believed this was the most important line because she is telling us that we shouldn’t be writing just for the money.
Another lesson that Lillian Ross taught me was to create a relationship with the person you are interviewing. The questions and conversation that you are making while you are interviewing your subject should be intimate enough that you really get to know this person and a friendship or bond will form. She says “A friend is not to be used and abandoned. A friendship established in writing about someone often continues to grow after a piece of writing is published.” Her friendship with Hemingway that she speaks about in her interview is an example of the relationships that journalism forms.
From Lillian Ross’s interview with NPR, I learned some very important guidelines and tips. She told us that we should stay true to ourselves in writing and choosing our topics. Establish a relationship with the person you are interviewing and the writing will be that much better, and always stay passionate about your writing.
By Nicolette Danzy
On Tuesday, February 3, Brian Williams, chief anchor and managing editor for NBC Nightly News, was suspended without pay for the falsification of a story. There have been many different reactions to Williams' actions. Some people think what he did was nothing but a petty little mistake that every journalist makes, while others think what he has done was unforgivable and question his status as a well respected news anchor. The NBC Nightly News Anchor said that his helicopter was struck by a rocket propelled grenade in Iraq, which is not true.
I believe that what Williams did was irresponsible and wrong and I do believe that he should be punished for his actions. The job of a journalist is to tell the truth and keep citizens aware. When you decide that you want to be a journalist you have officially signed up to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. The falsification of a story is a lesson that all of us journalists learn from the start.
So for Williams, a well-renowned journalist, to make up such a story that is very big and has a lot of significance is not only disappointing but also makes me question his ability as a writer. He knows what not to do and he still did it, so I highly doubt that his story was a mistake. Being in an event like that would have such a big impact on you that there is no way you can forget or mix up details.
The falsification of stories by journalists is not an uncommon thing. There have been plenty of stories of journalists coming up with stories or exaggerating details in a story to make it sound better. Every writer wants that golden story or wants their story to get the most attention. Being a writer and journalist you have creative skills and you know what sounds good and what the people want to hear. So, although what Williams did was wrong and disappointing, it was not a surprise or unexpected.
By Samantha Burden
This year’s Super Bowl featured the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks in what was an exciting and thrilling football game. In fact, Super Bowl XLIX was reported to have a viewership of 114.4 million viewers, the most in television history.
Both teams had two of the best quarterbacks in the league: Tom Brady for the Patriots and Russell Wilson for the Seahawks and thus, neither team had an edge in this respect. Additionally, both teams had two of the best offensive players in the league as well as defensive players. Both the Patriots and the Seahawks had been number one in their divisions; both teams had respected and experienced head coaches, talented special teams, and previous Super Bowl appearances. Due to these numerous parallels, fans, analysts and, specifically, the media, were unable to label one team as an underdog.
The media such as newspapers, magazines and television featured the game as one that would be close. They highlighted the talents of super star quarterback Tom Brady while at the same time praising the Seahawks for their efficient defensive tactics. Besides reporting the positives, the media also focused on negative aspects of both teams. Many reports covered the Patriot’s “deflategate” scandal and discussed how it could be a huge distraction for the organization.
At the same time, the media also brought to our attention that the star cornerback for the Seahawks, Richard Sherman, and his girlfriend were expecting a baby that was to be born on the same day as the Super Bowl, creating a dilemma for him.
In covering both positives and negatives about both teams entering the Super Bowl, the media did a great job in maintaining that balance during the game. Commentators focused on both of the teams’ highlights and mistakes. However, it was at the end of the game when the media focused on one particular story.
The end of the game was one of the most exciting finishes in Super Bowl history. Down by only four points in the final minute of play, the Seattle Seahawks needed a touch down to clinch their second consecutive Super Bowl title. Instead of handing it off to their star player, Marshawn Lynch, the offensive coaching staff decided to run a passing play that was, to say the least, not executed the way they had hoped. In the ensuing play, quarterback Russell Wilson threw an interception received by Patriots defender, Malcom Butler, that led the Patriots to win the game.
Despite the exciting finish by the New England Patriots, this controversial play call was the focus of many media reports. On many websites, broadcasts, and in newspapers, reporters mainly discussed the thought process of the Seattle coaching staff. They called it “the worst play call in football history.”
The media also reported on the legacy of Tom Brady, who has now won 3 Super Bowl MVPs and 6 championships. Overall, the media covered the Super Bowl in an exciting and informative way.
Monday, February 16, 2015
By Kristin McGrath
Due to the massive media coverage on the super storm “Blizzard Juno,” Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for the state of New York on Monday, January 26. Blizzard Juno was supposedly going to force everyone to be stuck inside their homes for a few days. When we ended up getting about three to four inches of snow, we realized that “Juno” passed us. Long Island got hit hard and New England got the predicted three feet of snow that we were supposed to get.
New York City was like a ghost town towards the night on Monday, the roads were shut down by 11 pm and if anyone was found on the roads they were threatened with being fined with as much as a three hundred dollar ticket. The meteorologists didn’t predict wrong, it did end up being a huge storm, just not near us.
This caused a ton of problems for the City of New York. All Government buildings were shut down, state buildings, the trains, the buses, stores, and schools. The City lost a lot of money because of closing down all of the means of transportation and their buildings. The supermarkets were crazy because everyone was buying an excess supply of food just in case, the lines at the gas station were long, too. A couple years ago, we got hit with Hurricane Sandy and because of that storm a lot of people went out and bought generators just in case that were to ever happen again.
When these stories are on the news it makes people more cautious of the worst that could happen and they prepare for the next time. The media coverage on storms is to prepare the citizens of what could happen; it is a good thing that we didn’t get three feet of snow, but the fact that the storm missed us caused a lot of money to be lost.
Sunday, February 15, 2015
By Dylan Bestler
Every year, the NFL hosts a Super Bowl Media Day. On this day, all the players from both teams competing in the Super Bowl come in and answer questions sports reporters throw at them. It is a very exciting day for the players, the media, and the fans, who are allowed to watch the interviews from seats in the stands. This year’s Media Day was held at the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. The two teams in the spotlight were the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots.
The two most popular people at this event were New England Patriot’s head coach Bill Belichick and Seattle Seahawk running back Marshawn Lynch. The media was all over Belichick because of the Deflate-gate scandal in which the Patriots were accused of deflating balls in the AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. To these questions, Belichick responded “I’m just thinking about Seattle.”
Marshawn Lynch was very popular because besides being one of the best running backs in the league, he never talked to the press before, after or during the game. To every question the reporters asked him, he responded “I’m just here so I don’t get fined.” In the player’s contracts, it states that each player must talk to the media whenever approached, and Lynch hardly ever does. Other popular players included Tom Brady, quarterback for the New England Patriots, whose podium audience filled up an hour before he even got there.
It was a busy, fun, trash-talking day in Phoenix. The media loves this day because it gives the reporters a chance to shine and get some really good information and gossip about each player/coach.
By Jenna Hutchins
Winning the Super Bowl is any football player’s dream. The fame, the championship rings, and the almost guaranteed contract deals are only just a few of the perks of being on the winning team. The day after the New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX, however, the victors were met with media backlash instead of a parade.
Leading up to the big game, the Patriots were embroiled in a scandal about the low air pressure of their footballs in the game that solidified their spot in the Super Bowl. The real story doesn’t start until after the Super Bowl was played. In the days following Super Bowl XLIX, the media focused on emerging scandals of the New England Patriots and allegations that the game was fixed instead of the game itself.
A huge concern about the NFL is the way it handles players who receive concussions during game play. During the first half of the fourth quarter, Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman connected hard with Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor. Edelman immediately got to his feet and continued to run for a few more yards, but not without difficulty. It was very apparent to viewers, coaches, and medical staff that Julian Edelman had suffered some type of injury, given his stumbling, crawling, and slow movements getting off the ground after each subsequent play. He exhibited clear signs of having a concussion, which should have resulted in removal from the game for testing.
Edelman’s symptoms were ignored and he went on to score the game winning touchdown. Concerns arose about the decision due to his health being compromised and, also, the possibility that the Patriots may not have won if he was removed accordingly. This disregard for NFL standards and rules is very reminiscent of the under-inflated footballs.
Another focus of media attention following the Super Bowl was how Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson seemingly threw the game by throwing the ball. After the Patriots made an impressive drive to score the winning touchdown, the Seahawks took the ball all the way to the one-yard line. There was over a minute left in the game with the team on its second down, just feet from the end zone. The game essentially belonged to the Seahawks. Instead of making the easy play of running the ball into the end zone, Wilson threw the ball. His pass was intercepted by the Patriots, and the outcome was sealed.
There are two conspiracy theories as to why this occurred. Some media analysts believe that the Seahawks wanted Wilson to get the MVP award instead of Marshawn Lynch, who certainly would have if Wilson had him run the ball. Others believe there were behind the scenes deals being made to throw the game in favor of the Patriots, perhaps for profit. Some people in the media have latched onto these ideas and suggest the game might have been rigged.
Following the big game, the media’s coverage focused on the idea that the Patriots took certain steps and made shady decisions to solidify their victory in Super Bowl XLIX. Important, factual details were sprinkled in various articles, such as scores at different points of the game and individual player performance, but these facts were definitely not the main focus of most stories. Instead of preparing for Disneyland, some Patriots players and coaches will be preparing statements regarding these recent allegations.
By Jenna Hutchins
Lillian Ross is more than qualified to write on what she believes to be the proper way of reporting. Her personal guidelines are definitely insightfulㄧbeing compiled and decided after years of professional writing for The New Yorker magazine. Although she has many words of wisdom, I disagree with Ross on a few of her “principles.”
I would describe Ross’s list of rules to be overly ethical and slightly idealistic. Two points she makes is that she does not want to write about anyone who would not want her to and anyone whom she does not like. Perhaps our styles differ, but I believe that to get the truth and bring information to the public that it would not have otherwise been known requires digging and hard-hitting reporting on those who may not appreciate the investigation. This may stem from my fascination with muckrakers who expose wrongdoing, and in this instance, it is necessary to go after those you may not like, as long as you report the story objectively.
It is idealistic to say, too, that every individual you write about should be considered a friend, and remain that way long after publication. This may happen in some cases, and I generally believe it would be beneficial to a reporter to establish some type of rapport with the individual supplying him or her with the story. However, I do not believe it is necessary, or even feasible, to have a relationship with every headline that walks in. I understand being kind to sources, during and after writing, but I do not agree with the way that Ross idealizes her reporting.
I could not disagree more with Ross’s statement that she chooses “to write only about people, situations, and events that appeal to [her].” As with any job, sometimes you are going to have to do things you don’t want to do. If you are working your way up the ranks of your job, you do any assignment your boss asks you to do. Not only this, but there may be a story that you dislike, but the public deserves to know it. You may not want to write about it, but it is your duty as a journalist to inform the public on the important issues.
I may be too harsh with my criticisms of Lillian Ross’s rules for reporting. Although I disagree on quite a few of her guidelines, they are, in fact, just guidelines. I’m sure she herself has broken these rules from time to time. If not, I’m sure the discrepancy is due to just very different styles of reporting and types of articles being written. All in all, Lillian Ross is still a professional reporter that I can learn much from.