A few weeks ago I asked the Slabbed Nation exactly how much independent news and commentary was worth. This is not a one and done conversation by any stretch as I absolutely intend to continue having it with those of you that have exhibited the courage to hit the “Post Comment” button and the thousands of you guys that stop here everyday satisfying the need to know what is going on in this area.
So yup, my ears should’ve been burning last night but they weren’t (more on that later) but the events again begs the question exactly how much is independent news and commentary worth? Today, the PBS show Frontline provides the backdrop because I was too riveted by excellent TeeVee journalism last night for my ears to burn as we again examine that question. First we start with this gem I’ve been holding for a few months:
N.F.L. Pressure Said to Lead ESPN to Quit Film Project ~ Ken Belson and James Andrew Miller
On Thursday, ESPN, which has spent heavily in recent years to build its investigative reporting team, abruptly ended its affiliation with “Frontline,” a public affairs television series that was weeks from showing a jointly produced two-part investigative project about the N.F.L.’s contentious handling of head injuries. The divorce came a week after the N.F.L. voiced its displeasure with the documentary at a lunch between league and ESPN executives, according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation.
It is a fundamental law of the media industry that when you add advertisers you add sacred cows aka topics that will never be covered because of those sacred cows. Throw in other contractual relationships like the one between ESPN and the NFL and the conflict between journalism in the public interest and $$$$$$$ becomes acute.
Frontline is donor funded and while that can also lead to conflict between journalism and the (new) Benjamins typically any strings are attached on the front end of the journalism thus the potential for conflict is less. It shows in the reporting. Continue reading “So I hear my ears shudda been burning last night: A periodic examination of the media and journalism in the public interest”