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SBD/November 10, 2011/Media
Big Ten Net's Mark Silverman Defends Coverage Of Penn State Scandal
Published November 10, 2011
coverage of Penn State story
Q: Have you been told by any league partners, any Big Ten officials, any Penn State officials, to go soft on this story or mitigate your coverage?
Silverman: "No, and we have never gotten a call on any topic we have covered."
Q: Should the Big Ten Network be judged by the same standards as an ESPN, or Sports Illustrated or Yahoo! Sports on this story? Or should the standards for covering a story like this be different for a league-owned network?
Silverman: I think we are a different network than ESPN and others. We obviously are branded. What I think is a fair evaluation of us is less about how much of it are you doing, and what is it we are doing. … I think you will see our guys are giving fully candid, true views that frankly are not often times making the conference look the way we would prefer to make them look. … We are not CNN. We are not ESPN. We are not able to go to that length. But if you look at what we have out there and how often we are trying to re-air our content, I think most people would find it relevant and appropriate for who we are.
Q: How would you assess your coverage, so far, of the Penn State story?
Silverman: It is hard to imagine a more difficult story for a branded network to cover, and I think given that incredible sensitivity around this type of story, I am really proud of the fact of how we covered it. We have covered (the story) since it launched in all of our shows. We have not shied away from it. Our challenge is we don't have a 24-hour operation. We are rarely live.
Q: How would you assess your coverage plans going forward?
Silverman: We are looking at doing regular updates and we will continue, for the most part, with our regular programming, breaking in with updates as we think they are relevant to our audience. I think that is the appropriate way to cover it (SI.com, 11/9).
full implications of Penn State story
WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG? In Las Vegas, Mark Anderson writes the national media "rightly has been aggressive in covering the travesty at Penn State involving alleged sexual assault of minors by former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky." But "what took so long?" The story, which resulted in the firing of Paterno and PSU President Graham Spanier "hasn't been a secret." Local media "were digging for answers long before ESPN, The New York Times, Sports Illustrated and CBSSports.com moved in." News of Sandusky's alleged "appalling acts have been around for a while, and it shouldn't have taken his arrest Saturday and the grand jury report to get the national media's attention" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 11/10).
MEDIA MONITOR: Last night’s editions of ABC’s “World News,” CBS’ “Evening News” and NBC’s “Nightly News” all led with coverage of the fallout from the Penn State sexual abuse scandal, with all three broadcasts featuring live reports from the Penn State campus. ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap appeared in-studio with ABC’s Diane Sawyer. ABC’s “GMA,” CBS’ “The Early Show” and NBC’s “Today” also led with Penn State news. All three broadcasts featured live on-campus reports, with legal analyst Nancy Grace and Dan Abrams discussing the legal ramifications of the case on “GMA.” SI’s Jon Wertheim and former NHLer and sex abuse victim Theo Fleury appeared live via satellite on “The Early Show,” while NBC’s “Today” featured commentary from N.Y. Daily News columnist Mike Lupica in-studio (THE DAILY).