Communications and Society blog: By and for students in Marist COM 201

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Sideline reporters: part of the team?

with 2 comments

Bet you didn’t know that the Washington Redskins made two sideline reporters (who work for local media outlets, not the team) wear shirts with the Redskins team logo while working the team’s preseason games.  Neither did I, until I read this.

Broadcasting/sports communication people – what do you think of this?  Is it crossing a line that shouldn’t be crossed?  Do you consider sports broadcasters – be they play-by-play announcers, color commentators, or sideline reporters as different in style and substance as Erin Andrews, Tony Siragusa and David Aldridge – to be “journalists”?  And if so, shouldn’t they insist upon, and be allowed to, preserve their journalistic independence?  Do they lose some of their ability to ask athletes and coaches tough questions when it seems like they’re part of the organization they are covering?

And if so, isn’t that the point of putting them in team gear?

Written by michaelhkoch

September 10, 2009 at 6:33 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

2 Responses

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  1. Being required to wear team logo’s is definitely crossing a line. Journalists are supposed to remain neutral. They are not required to be advertisements either. They are there to report the facts and plays of the game. As mentioned in the article, I think wearing a sports jacket or polo shirt for the station they work is acceptable but, wearing a NFL team logo decreases the journalists integrity and creates a conflict of interest. As a professional in their field, I think they have the right wearing the team shirt.


    September 11, 2009 at 11:37 pm

  2. It is a serious crediblity issue as it seems that reporter is rooting for a team. In some sideline reporting it is expected for local broadcasts to root for the home team. The Buffalo Bills actually use ex players as side line commentors. They broadcast locally and talk and root for the Bills. In a proffessional and wider market this is uneceptable. The hard stance and questions are where news comes from. Where a teams shirt damages crediblity.


    September 28, 2009 at 4:12 pm

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