Thursday, April 28, 2011

Truth? Creative? Speculation? Which One?

The media in our area created a story recently. They didn't lie, they didn't make it up. Instead, they speculated and built a story around that speculation. The story is in the sports world, but it serves a purpose in showing what media reporting is like.

The University of Missouri hired a new basketball coach quite soon after the present coach left for greener pastures. The new coach had left the University of Miami, so that school had to fill their vacancy. Sports writers began to speculate. Hmmm, they thought, Frank Martin at Kansas State University is from the Miami area. He's the man! So they began to write article upon article about Miami contacting Frank Martin, about Martin giving serious consideration to leaving K-State, about the boosters of Miami coming up with more money to be able to entice Coach Martin to Miami. On and on it went.

Next, the radio and TV sportscasters got into the act. I heard..... I heard...... and on and on it went--Rumor City. Martin was interviewed by one station and he said he was happy where he was but he'd always be open to listen to another school who had interest in him. And he left it at that. Rumble, rumble, rumble--more speculation.

The media told the world that Martin was listening to Miami. It put fear in the hearts of the K-State fans who love their coach and wanted him to stay. It may have made the K-State administration a little nervous.

Earlier this week, Miami hired a coach, and it wasn't Frank Martin. At last night's K-State Basketball Banquet, the coach addressed the media in attendance. He told them he'd never been seriously interested in the Miami job, it crossed his mind for about 24 hours. He added that it was so not serious that he never even discussed it with his wife. And that Miami had not even called him during their search.

It was clear that the media made the story, they gathered a bunch of facts, threw in some speculation and created a story. By doing so, they gave a lot of people some anxious moments. These writers and broadcasters managed to keep people interested and on the edge of their seats for  a couple of weeks. It's over now, and they will need to find another story. In their defense, it's their job to keep readers reading, and this is a surefire way to do it. But will it be truth, creation, or speculative?

As for me, I think I'll steer clear of newspaper reporting in my writing world. Give me an anthology anytime!

1 comment:

  1. Nancy, you should think of being a sports writer sometime in your writing career. You know so much about sports and sports people. Imagine! Our Nancy, a sports newscaster! I think it's possible.
    Maria :)