Sunday, March 28, 2010

Can You Handle Being a Journalist?


A JOURNALIST WORKS IN the public eye, and we often catch people at sensitive moments - after losses, crimes and failures of various sorts. On occasion, people yell at us in response. Can you handle it?

The video above shows the University of Florida football coach Urban Meyer snapping at a reporter from the Orlando Sentinel. The reporter had published a story including a quote that one Florida player made about a former player. The quoted player sounds critical of the former player.

Does the coach have the right to be upset? Did the reporter do his job poorly, and thus deserve the tongue-lashing?

How would you have handled the situation?

6 comments:

bartleby4rcg said...

That's great. It's one thing to get emotional, it's another to be unable to think with a clear head. Journalism is, by definition, a means of exposing truth or simply whats out there in the world and encouring the marketplace of ideas. Sorry coach, that one of YOUR players said something about another of YOUR players and you don't like it. Don't take it out on the guy who's job it is to write stuff like that down - maybe think about how your players/former players behave on and off the field before you go around pointing fingers.

Ian Watson said...

I wonder if Coach Meyer thought that his hissyfit might actually make him look like the bad guy in the long run...

While I don't think Fowler's follow-up article explaining the whole event was very fair (there seemed to be one or two underhanded jabs in there), I still consider him more in the right in this situation. Meyer lost his cool and acted like a jerk.

If I was in the situation, I'd feel rather secure in the fact that so long as I maintained my cool and told things how they were, the public would be able to easily see that Meyer was acting out of line.

Christopher Malo said...

So I don't know if I ever told you this story, but one time I was down in Atlanta...

Berryman, A said...

That is a reported job, the coach can be mad and I am not surprised he acted that way, but being a football coach of a colege and having a player speak of another player, the coach has to deal with controversy and is going to be asked what is going on with the teammates. On the other hand a reporter knows how to handle situations like this, a reporters job is to get information that the public wants to know, whether it is at the right time or the wrong time.

Lorraine S. Patterson said...

I guess the test for a journalist in an antagonistic situation is to say and do the right thing (stay professional). "I'll play by the rules, but i was just quoting the guy..." seems like the right thing. He didn't let it escalate. I understand the coach's anger too...but i think he's overestimating the influence of one quote coming from another player. And where is that player in all this?

Anonymous said...

The real story is that after his infant tyraid he sat down with this journalist and so called "construcitve" talk, meaning he probably sat him down and apologized, but didnt mean it.