Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sports Announcing

Most people tend to think that the media has some kind of ideological bias toward a liberal or conservative view . W. Lance Bennett approaches the debate of the media’s bias in a different way. Bennet writes in News: The Politics of Illusion that the media actually has a bias toward personalizing and fragmenting news stories. Basically he is saying that the news talks about specific events rather than the whole social problem causing the event. Readers get lost and events are dramatized.
I was watching the Packer game today when I realized that sports announcers actually try to connect the play by play events of the game to past league records and team trends. These announcers show the overall trend and story rather than a more fragmented approach. At one point, while discussing the defensive problems of the New York Giants, the announcer pointed out that many people covered up the flaws of the Giants by discussing Eli Manning’s personal growth. The announcer was acknowledging that the public personalized the story of the New York Giants by talking specifically about Eli Manning as if he were the entire team. After Brett Favre reached achieved yet another record the announcers discussed the development of Favre’s career and the Packer franchise.
While sports announcing may not be the same as covering hard news it covers the sport on a very fragmented basis: game by game. If these announcers are able to find a way to tie the present with the past so that fans can understand the development of the team, why can’t reporters find a way to connect the story of a homeless family in Milwaukee to the greater social problem of homelessness in the United States?

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