TV networks show respect for Newtown tragedy


Following the tragedy in Newton, Conn., I was interested to see how the media covered the story in their pregame broadcasts and during Sunday Night Football.

CBS, ESPN and FOX all acknowledged the event and did so in a very respectable way. They should be commended. Even the slightest choice of wrong words could hurt many people. 

Each network interviewed Giants head coach Tom Coughlin about how his team wanted to remember all the victims with a moment of silence and initials imprinted on their shoes. The networks were respectful of the emotions involved with this tragedy.

At halftime during Sunday Night Football, I wondered if Bob Costas would use the events in Newtown as another stage to address the issue of gun control. Just a few weeks ago, Costas was heavily criticized for his feature on gun control in the wake of Jovan Belcher’s suicide.

This Sunday, Costas instead chose to discuss another topic and avoided any political issues.

NBC also decided to cut into the first quarter of Sunday night’s game to televise President Obama’s speech at the prayer vigil being held in Newtown. This was a classy and respectable move by the network. It demonstrated how sports should be in the back of viewers’ minds right now and instead focused on showing respect for this tragedy.

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About The Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project

The Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project is a hub for teaching, research, and service related to sport media. The Project benefits students and faculty at Bowling Green State University, and offers outreach and media consulting to area and regional groups that work with student-athletes. Through collaborative efforts of the Sport Management program and the School of Media and Communication, BGSU students have the opportunity to learn such skills as sports writing, reporting, broadcasting, announcing, public relations, media relations, communication management and production. Faculty and other scholars have access to resources about the commercial and sociological aspects of sport.

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