Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sport Information Overload = Not Enough Information?

THERE WAS A TIME when journalists got to know athletes.

There was a time when journalists went beyond public relations specialists and sports agents and learned about the lives of our sporting heroes. George Plimpton, among the greats who practiced New Journalism, even practiced with the Detroit Lions. As a quarterback. He even got into a professional game, and his book about the experience was made into a movie.

These days, all of the media - bloggers, reporters, broadcasters - are herded into press conferences where they all receive the same information, and it's hard to get beyond the superficial facts.

Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe wrote, "Today's players are protected from the media by team publicists. There are too many people with media passes. Players don't need us. We are a nuisance - tolerated at best. Interview access is parsed out like a high school hall pass."

Is this a matter of allowing athletes to have their privacy or is this a way for sports teams (and athletes) to control the messages that are coming out?

Because there is such a massive proliferation of media outlets, have we lost the ability to get information?

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