ESPN Treatment of Sports By Brooks Shows There’s Still a Major Divide in Media
There are times when Mainstream media uses loopholes and gray areas to not give credit when credit is due.
When Dez Bryant was caught breaking curfew at Privae, BSO was the only site that recognized it, who was able to screenshot the Tweets, caused the deletion of the tweets and confirmed with several people in the club Bryant was there.
Bryant had been to the club several times since the “Dez Rules” were in place, but that was the first time we had concrete confirmation and that is why we ran the story.
Pro Football Talk correctly sourced us as the site that broke the news and other mainstream sites did the same, because in fact we broke the story.
12 hours later ESPN confirmed our report with Dez Bryant’s adviser (while not mentioning us) and confirmed the Tweets by the DJ who said Bryant was at the club.
There was no way that ESPN could have seen the Tweets because they were deleted minutes after we broke the story, the only way they could have seen them is from the screenshots we collected or the Pro Football Talk story that specifically states we broke the story.
They didn’t care about that, they used the term “reports”.
What happened to Sports By Brooks is even more egregious. Brooks Tweeted this at 3:07pm November 27th, 2012.
Exclusive: SbB has learned Arkansas is engaged w/ reps of the interests of Les Miles & a $5-yr $27.5M offer is on the table
— SPORTSbyBROOKS (@SPORTSbyBROOKS) November 27, 2012
Before this Tweet, no one had said anything about Les Miles and Arkansas speaking about a contract. This was Brooks scoop and a true definition of a breaking story. Brooks isn’t just a random blogger he has been around covering sports for well over a decade.
On the 11pm Sportscenter Brooks was originally credited with breaking the story as he should have been, but according to Deadspin this is where things get disturbing. After that airing an ESPN internal memo went out saying this.
IMPORTANT: DO NOT CREDIT SPORTS BY BROOKS FOR THE ORIGINAL STORY ABOUT MILES HAVING AN OFFER. CREDIT REPORTS
ESPN uses the term “reports” frequently when not wanting to credit an story to someone.
The question is why? Why would ESPN not want to credit Sports by Brooks? Is it because they were scooped? Is it because they don’t like Brooks? Is it because they don’t believe independent media can break stories?
What is the reason?
I have done this independently for almost seven years now and before that I interned/worked for TV/Radio stations and newspapers. I am aware of how things work behind the scenes and you would be surprised at some of the things that take place. There has been a lot of progress between independent media and corporate mainstream media. I know a lot of people at ESPN and all the major networks. I can tell you from personal experience it isn’t the on-air talent for the most part that is the problem. It isn’t the PR or behind the scenes people. Most of those people are great, down to earth, humble individuals who respect what independent sites do.
The problem is up the chain. Even though the ESPN is worth billions, it appears at times they don’t want to see the little guy prosper. Like the King who hoards all the food while his town is starving to death.
Reminds me a lot of the music industry. Big labels often steal their ideas from independent artists and claim them as their own or they sign up all the artists and put them on the shelf. Mainstream media didn’t start breaking news on Twitter until Bloggers were beating them to the punch and there are 100 more examples like that.
A lot of the things you hear on mainstream radio, that sound often came from an independent artists you never heard of. I call it the Kanye West effect. Jay Z and Roc-A-Fella loved the beats that Yeezy brought to them, but they didn’t take him seriously as an artist for a very long time. West had to basically finance his own music and videos to get heard and break into the mainstream. It was his desire to have his voice heard which led him to successs. If your independent site is strong enough people will find it. Brooks has a strong voice, so ESPN can’t just sweep this under the rug like it didn’t happen.
ESPN and Mitt Romney have something in common. They believe a portion of the media (the independent side) doesn’t matter, but they are wrong as that minority voice is slowly becoming the majority.
It isn’t that independents want to be accepted by ESPN, the just want to be treated fairly.
Is that too much to ask from a company that call itself the World Wide Leader?