Recently, it was reported that 2 media members asked Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow for autographs when they were interviewing him in the locker room. Apparently, these accredited members of the media were fanboys first and journalists second. Needless to say, it’s hard to imagine any reporter being objective when he’s asking the subject he’s covering for his autograph.
The situation represents a complete lack of professionalism from the mainstream media. These are the same guys who are constantly criticizing bloggers as not being “real journalists”, and yet, they’re doing everything short of showing up on the job wearing their Tim Tebow jersey. Objective coverage? Yeah right.
Of course, this isn’t the only case demonstrating the lack of media objectivity that’s rampant these days. Remember LeBron James’ grandstanding earlier this summer when he had a TV special announcing which NBA team he would be playing for next season? If you watched it, you saw a prime example of softball journalism at its very worst. Reporter Jim Gray hosted the event, and during the entire hour-long program, he didn’t ask LeBron a single tough question. It was one softball tossed up after another.
And it didn’t take long for us to find out why. Turns out Team LeBron actually paid Jim Gray to interview him. Let me repeat that again, LeBron James (the interview subject) paid Jim Gray (the reporter) to interview him. Has journalistic integrity completely gone out the window? Is it really all just about getting ratings and creating a buzz, facts be damned?
Now, I know what you’re saying: We’re talking about sports here, not a serious subject. Sports are entertainment, so who cares if the media isn’t objective.
Well, if you think media bias only happens in sports reporting, I pity your naiveté. The simple truth is there are legitimate questions about journalistic integrity in every industry, from political news to your local city’s business news.
Consider the complaints John McCain raised during the 2008 Presidential election. Like him or hate him, McCain made some good points showing specific cases of the national media granting coverage to Barack Obama and denying coverage to McCain when he tried to do the same thing.
Of course, Obama supporters will justifiably point to Fox News, the cable news station that boasts its coverage is “fair and balanced” when the reality is that it tends to favor conservative points of view. And like other cable news stations, Fox News has the nasty habit of continuously disguising opinions as news. But it works for them as they continuously get the highest rankings of all cable news channels.
What’s my point with all of this? The point is that you have to be aware that media bias isn’t a myth. It exists, and it very well could have an effect on your PR efforts.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 7 Cheap PR Tactics for Success in Any Economy here: http://www.ereleases.com/7cheaptactics.html