Panelists discuss ethics, accuracy of sports media
At an event hosted by the Institute of Sports, Media & Society on Thursday night, students, faculty and six panelists discussed the mediaâs role in reporting sports accurately and what can be done to provide a stronger moral compass within journalism.
Panelists included Scott Boras, considered Major League Baseballâs âsuper agent,â whose clients include New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, Washington Nationals rookie phenomenon Stephen Strasburg and Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Jayson Werth.
While on the panel, Boras said journalists working on deadline rush too much, and the time factor contributes to poor work.
âThe cake is never cooked; weâre getting pudding,â Boras said.
Tara Lipinski, the youngest individual gold medalist in the history of the Olympics who won the gold medal in figure skating at the 1998 Nagano Olympics, was also on the panel.
âI grew up in sports. To me itâs the most important thing in the world, and to be able to have kids going to school have this opportunity, I think itâs really great,â she said.
Lipinski gave an athleteâs point of view, saying her only option to avoid media scrutiny was to be cautious in all aspects of her life.
Lucia Florindez, a graduate student studying communication management who attended the event, said she thinks ethics is a critical parts of the sports industry.
âItâs interesting how ethics can play into a sport narrative because I think sports largely are narrative stories and every athlete has a story to tell,â Florindez said.
Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism Dean Ernest Wilson spoke to a smaller group before the event at the University Club about his plans for the institute.
âIâve never seen an initiative take off vertically before,â Wilson said.
He predicted that in three years, USC and Annenberg will have the most robust sports media and society program of any university in the world.
Moderator Pat OâBrien, an entertainment and sports broadcaster, criticized the media and encouraged students to do research and report accurately.
âHow do you wade through the crap out there when 90 percent of it is wrong?â he said.
During the feedback portion of the event, attendees asked about the future of the journalism industry, which many said was negative and clouded in gossip.
Among the suggestions, panelists told prospective journalists to be patient while reporting, to inform themselves about the subject and to distinguish morality from popularity.
Sports, Media and Society is now a minor at Annenberg. The institute plans to add more speaker seriesâ and a summer institute for athletes transitioning from professional careers to life beyond the field or court.