Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Is ESPN Coming Around to Embracing Impact of Blogs?

ESPN and its personalities have been widely criticized online by bloggers and commentators for their apparent inability or unwillingness to embrace blogs and online communities for their contributions to "journalism" and reporting.

In the wake of the Bissinger/Leitch slobberknocker and subsequent reactions, ESPN, while late to the game, may be slowly becoming the first major mainstream outlet to see the writing on the wall.

Note: This may only apply to sports journalism. For instance, Drudge has led the way for years now, yet sports commentators look at their field in a vacuum and fail to recognize the impact the 'Net has had in (say) politics. While The Sporting News, Yahoo and others embrace fan interaction and "blogs," neither have the mass impact of the WWL.

The piece below was run on Sports Center yesterday (I believe re-broadcast from OTL). ESPN not only centered the premise for the piece on TheDirty's photos in referencing Matt Leinart's perceived partying ways, but showed the very pictures that were published on the site - the very kind of low-brow "journalism" Bissinger and his colleagues decry. Yet, they have no qualms splashing the pictures on their worldwide flagship program.

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