Sunday, November 27, 2011

AZ's Slant on Sunday - ESPN: The Real-Life Psychological Thriller

(After writing this, I fully realize that this post will either make or break the dream I may have of maybe working at ESPN. Still I write.)

I don't know about you, but I'm getting absolutely irritated by the often unnecessary coverage on ESPN about the realignment of some NCAA teams, aren't you? There's that expression of beating a dead horse, right? I think there should be a new expression called "beating the Kentucky Derby" after all of this.

Me, being the nerdy "one who still reads newspapers" kind of person, I read a copy of USA Today a few weeks ago. It mainly highlighted how ESPN may be the driving force in much of the realignment occurring in NCAA sports conferences today. How is that, you ask? The article states: "As a TV rights holder, ESPN is a business partner to a wide array of conferences and schools (its total college outlay will average more than $700 million annually by next year)" (Berkowitz et al. 2011). Time out...really? Oh wow. We're talking about an overhaul of juggernaut proportions here. There are now speculations of scripting these things just so people can keep watching like it's some soap opera in danger of being canceled because it's "out of style."

Here's the thing though, they (ESPN) won't be a public "you do this or else" kind of group--they'll only really start talking about it once it's brought up. Once that happens, they'll blow it up to Chernobyl-like proportions so people have no choice but to talk about it at the dinner table with your sons/dad or at the bar with your buddies. If you read my previous post, you know exactly where I'm going with this. ESPN isn't exactly telling them what to do, but they're certainly making a big deal out of it so the people have it on their mind and their opinions have a possibility of swaying something.

It irritates me, is all. This is what the media does day in and day out. At this point, you're probably asking why I still insist on going into this field. Trust me, it's not for the swaying or the setting of the agenda for the people. I want to write about things, just as I am right now; however, when it comes to blowing something up, then we've got problems.

When it comes to the agenda, it's like the organizations watch the coverage, and then they go, "huuh, we're actually doing this? Since when?" Because of the false coverage, high officials start asking questions, and just to keep suit, the organization will try to deny the allegations, leading to more and more controversy. If it sounds like it's a bad thing if a team is covering something up, that will lead to more press (bad press at that). Geez, I wish I had a blackboard at a time like this. If I were to display examples to you, I'd draw something that would ultimately resemble a vicious-looking cycle. Nobody is safe from the press. ESPN is this huge conglomerate that can make or break you. They've been doing it for over 30 years now, so they're pretty much seasoned veterans when it comes to making a mountain out of a molehill. Do they do it all the time? No, but they're certainly infamous for showing favoritism toward certain topics (coughcoughTimTebowcoughcough). On that note, nobody would really care about what Tebow does personally if ESPN wasn't constantly breathing down his I right or am I right?

Anyway, media outlets that primarily deliver news have the tendency to pick brains and psychologically screw around with your mind in some way. Is it ethical? Unfortunately, that is still up for discussion. People have to make money, so people have to make news stories. Is starting certain moves such as talking about division moves the right way to go about making things interesting for the audience? Well...I don't think we're ever going to avoid it. This is going to horribly confuse presidents of University status, but it looks like the world of college football is sucked into the realm of psychological drama and they're [art of the all-star cast.

Oh, journalism. How two-faced can you be...

[You can find the digital article I had mentioned here. You're welcome.]


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