Monthly Archives: December 2013

ESPN has a Picture Problem


When athletes are under investigation for a crime, or even a victim of a situation, they are extensively covered by the sports media contingents nationwide; the largest of which happens to be ESPN.

Their flagship show, SportsCenter, always includes pictures of the athletes being talked about when an anchor is talking about that athlete.

The pictures are usually the generic team photo of the athlete, with them smiling while looking straight into the camera.

This was not the case for both Jonathan Martin, when he abruptly left the Dolphins, and for Jameis Winston, when he was under investigation for sexual assault.

In the case of Jonathan Martin, he was being played up as the victim of bullying by Richie Incognito. I am not delving into the situation as a whole, but rather the coverage of the situation. On ESPN, every time Martin was talked about they used a picture of him that could not have possibly been his team photo.

The photo shown was of Martin looking off to the side, with a sad look on his face. It almost seemed like the photo was designed to make Martin look like hopeless; to make him the clear victim.

This was not a good move by ESPN to do this, because it completed destroyed any sense of objectivity. If it comes down to changing pictures in order to sway opinions of viewers, that is not a respectable move.

Jameis Winston had his picture presented differently when he was under investigation for sexual assault. His new picture had him looking extremely unprofessional, and was once again not the generic team photo players take.

Remember, this is a nineteen-year-old kid we are talking about, and his image is being doctored in a blatant dismissal of objective reporting. Once again, no opinions are being offered on the case itself, but rather the expectation of objective reporting.

This practice of altering the presentation of athletes is often done by ESPN and even other outlets, and it becomes increasingly noticeable as it is done more and more.

The Winter Olympics Start in Two Months – Who Knew?


Based on current media coverage, or lack thereof, it seems that the only major sporting event in February will be Super Bowl XLVIII. However, an event that sees athletes from all over the world taking part will begin just five days after the end of the NFL season.

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia will begin on February 7th, and will end on the 23rd of the month.

For the casual sports fan, the only real mention of the event has come through commercials on NBC. These have been seen for a few months, but there should be much more.

NBC should be having programming that highlights the athletes that will be seen in the Olympics. This would be ideal for fans, but NBC knows that they will still make their money without having to hype up an event that will get viewers no matter what because of the weight carried in the name.

A likely reason for the lack of attention towards upcoming Winter Olympics is the fact that there are less iconic athletes along with less popular American sports in the winter portion of the Olympics.

The likes of Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps will not be taking part, with the biggest names being Lindsey Vonn and Shaun White. I mention those two because they were the only names advertised on the original commercial released by NBC eight months ago.

Surely, there are other prominent athletes taking place, but these are the only two “big” names taking part, in the eyes of NBC.

The event will be more popular in places like Scandinavia, Canada, and parts of Europe, where the sports are more popular. That means that just because the media here in America isn’t focusing on the event, it doesn’t mean that it is not popular in other countries.

Promotion of the Winter Olympics will hopefully become more prominent in the next month, both on NBC and across the spectrum of sports media. If not, those in charge of the many media outlets here in America will be making mistakes.