I want to be a (paid) Mad Man

Sports Leagues as Media Moguls

Posted in Media by jartkin on October 16, 2009

dondraper_twitterHi. My name is Jamie Artkin, and I want to be a (paid) Mad Man.

For those of you who knew me in my former role as the Halifax Sports Guy you are going to know that I enjoy tackling the odd angles of sports, media and business. An area where this has for the past few years continued to intertwine is with the launch of individual networks for the big four sports leagues.

It struck me as odd that a reporter could maintain some sense of autonomy when trying to report news on specific players when he was working for the league. Guys like Adam Schefter who was an excellent writer for the Denver Post moved to the NFL Network for several years before joining ESPN this past spring. Could this move be attributed to a writer feeling the pressure not to report something, or to report something?

The level of coverage pertaining to certain events was also off when it came to things like Michael Vick’s arrest and indictment or the ongoing Roger Clemens steroid saga. While sites like ProFootballTalk.com or Deadspin.com have been reporting from day one, the league networks have either ignored the news or chosen to report on only specific issues that don’t make their players or league look bad.

The reason I bring all of this up is due to a series of articles from the Nieman Journalism Foundation at Harvard University examining; “What happens when the people we cover start to control the news?”

Fantastic read and worth it for anyone who follows sports and wonders if the message you are getting has been shaped or controlled by the league machine.

As always, don’t forget to follow me on twitter @jamieartkin



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