Views of the News: ESPN's decision to broadcast Sam's celebratory kiss

May 14, 2014

Credit Courtesy ESPN/NFL Films

Michael Sam made history, becoming the first openly gay football player to be drafted into the NFL.  Saturday, the St. Louis Rams used their seventh round pick to take Sam, giving him a chance to make the team later this summer.

ESPN has a crew with Sam while he watched the draft and awaited word of his future.  And, when the call came from Rams head coach Jeff Fisher, the network decided to air Sam's emotional response in its entirety, live on on television.

Lynn Elber, Associated Press: “No hesitation for networks airing Sam reaction

Amanda Sakuma, MSNBC: “Michael Sam subjected to social media backlash after NFL draft

Richard Deitsch, Sports Illustrated: “Bill Polian, ESPN’s Michael Sam coverage stand out at the NFL draft

Daniel Beekman, Daily News: “Michael Sam and boyfriend Vito Cammisano party in Las Vegas after NFL draft selection

TMZ: “Michael Sam focused on football, not homophobia… agent says

CNN: “NFL draft Michael Sam: Just a kiss, and more than a kiss” (opinion)

Christina Coleman, KSDK: “Rams drafting Michael Sam could impact Missouri law

AP, Reuters: Keep it short

The Associated Press and Reuters wire services issued a directive to employees that stories should be limited to 300-500 words for dissemination to subscribers.  The thinking is newspapers have shrinking space to publish longer stories and fewer copy editors to trim them down.

Erik Wemple, Washington Post: “Associated Press polices story length

Paul Farhi, Washington Post: “New AP Guidelines: keep it brief

Erik Wemple, Washington Post: “Reuters polices story length, too

Credit Courtesy Toronto Star

What is an online journalist worth?

Staffers at the Toronto Star staged a byline strike last week. All of the articles ran with "Star Staff" as the only credit in protest of a plan to hire 17 digital editors at lower salary than their print edition counterparts.

Huffington Post Canada: “Toronto Star byline strike: What are online reporters worth, anyway?

Tamara Baluja, The Canadian Journalism Project: “Updated: Union holds byline strike at Toronto Star

Wayne MacPhail, The Canadian Journalism Project: “The market devaluation of digital journalism at Toronto Star

Tamara Baluja, The Canadian Journalism Project: “Toronto Star hiring 8 digital journalists at ‘market-based salaries’

‘Right to be forgotten’

A European Union court has ruled that Google must amend search results at the request of private citizens in member countries.  The case was brought by a man in Spain who complained an online notice to sell his foreclosed home infringed on his privacy.

Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC: “EU court backs ‘right to be forgotten’ in Google case"

David Streitfeld, James Kanter & Mark Scott, New York Times: “Google must honor requests to delete links, European Court rules

Court of Justice of the European Union press release (pdf)

Paul McClean, World News Publishing Focus: “Spain set to introduce new law against aggregators

Credit Rosemary / Flickr

Reporting on health studies

A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine reveals journalists often do a poor job of reporting on health and fitness stories.  Among the most common problems: always reporting in a positive light, using single-source stories based on press releases and stories that are "cheerleading" for local researchers and businesses.

Andrew Beaujon, Poynter: “Journalists do a lousy job reporting on health studies, researchers find

Gary Schwitzer, JAMA Internal Medicine: "A guide to reading health care news stories"

Saying goodbye to Barbara Walters

After more than five decades working in network television news, Barbara Walters is retiring.  Friday will be her last day on The View, the program she created for ABC in 1997. 

Catherine Taibi, Huffington Post: “Barbara Walters mocks herself and ‘The View’ on ‘Saturday Night Live’"

Hilary Lewis, The Hollywood Reporter: “Bette Midler sings to Barbara Walters, makes her cry

Michael Rothman, ABC News: “How ‘The View’ plans to mark Barbara Walters’ retirement

Ramin Setoodeh, Variety: “Barbara Walters on her retirement an big changes at ABC’s ‘The View’

Lorne Manly, New York Times: “The 11th most fascinating person ever