Reality Check: ESPN Journalism
In some recent coverage regarding conference re-alignment, it has been suggested that ESPN lacks a commitment to journalism in covering these and other stories. Our comprehensive body of work indicates the opposite.
ESPN will continue to separate its journalism operation from its business interests on all levels, college and pro. ESPN is committed to the highest level of reporting, often involving stories of all kinds about the company’s business partners. Hundreds of ESPN’s news employees – from TV to magazine to ESPN.com – are completely focused on enterprise reporting, breaking news and long-form journalism, free of influence or involvement from the league contracts ESPN’s programming department manages.
It’s also worth noting that ESPN’s dynamic in the college space is not unique in our industry. Several other media companies have reporters covering all aspects of college sports, while at the same time, these same companies have long-term contracts with multiple conferences such as the SEC, Big 10, Pac-12, Big 12, Big East and others.
Whatever your interest in these topics is, the facts should help in forming your opinions. Below is a small sampling of some recent news content on ESPN’s entities:
ESPN filed an open-records request for internal communications to every school affected in the proposed June 2010 college football realignment, including every member school of the Big 12, Big Ten and the (then-) Pac-10. When the University of Texas withheld documents, ESPN wound up suing the University for those remaining documents. The case is still pending.
In July 2011 ESPN sued Ohio State University for withholding records that it viewed as public documents. In early October, the Supreme Court of Ohio denied Ohio State’s motion to settle the lawsuit out of court. The case is still pending.
Gene Wojciechowski’s commentary on the Big East’s turmoil
ESPN breaks news of long-time Texas associate AD fired for harassment
Follow-up to harassment story
Jeff MacGregor’s commentary on NCAA’s shortcomings
Andy Katz reported the reason the Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott wouldn’t expand was because he couldn’t get revenue share assurance from Texas
ESPN airsfirst playing of Jim Tressel audio tapes from NCAA Meeting
Cleve Bryant report on OTL:
Dana O’Neill and Pat Forde on OTL: