SBD/May 3, 2012/Media

ESPN Praised For Patience In Reporting News Of Junior Seau's Suicide

Many news outlets waited until mid-afternoon to report Seau's death
ESPN first covered yesterday's news of former NFLer Junior Seau's death more than an hour after other media outlets broke the story, but the net "made a very wise decision to wait until the story was officially confirmed" before reporting it, according to SPORTS MEDIA WATCH. ESPN "waited until the very last minute" of the 2:00pm ET edition of "SportsCenter" before mentioning the story. NFL Network also "waited to report on the Seau story until after 3 PM." Some people have "argued that the media should be quick to report in the 'Twitter' age," but that mindset "tends to lend itself to carelessness" (SPORTSMEDIAWATCH.com, 5/2). SI’s Richard Deitsch wrote on his Twitter account, “When people die, be right, not first. You want news orgs to be diligent in such matters. There will be no criticism of ESPN/others here.” Awful Announcing's Twitter feed stated, "Anyone criticizing ESPN for waiting to report the Junior Seau death doesn't remember what we sadly went through with Joe Paterno."

PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE: ESPN's Bram Weinstein wrote on Twitter, "Espn takes the reporting of stories like junior seau very seriously and will not report until confirmed. I appreciate that about my employer." ESPN's Jemele Hill wrote, "Like many, began to hear the reports about Junior Seau. Find it interesting that ESPN is being criticized for trying to be thorough." Octagon First Call's David Schwab wrote, "Junior Seau story is absolutely awful. TMZ has been discussing for 36 minutes. When will ESPN.com or ESPN TV acknowledge?" The Ft. Worth Star-Telegram's Clarence Hill Jr. wrote, "is junior seau dead for real..espn is now dropping the ball..they arguing about the saints suspensions and not talk about seau..wow." Deadspin's Timothy Burke wrote, "ESPN finally acknowledges the Seau shooting 70 minutes after TMZ reported it. ... Here's something weird, though. ESPN Deportes ran the Seau news on its bottom line ten minutes before ESPN did."

MEDIA MONITOR: Last night’s edition of NBC’s “Nightly News” led its broadcast with a 2:45 report on Seau's passing. ABC’s “World News” aired a 2:53 report on Seau three minutes into the broadcast, while CBS’ “Evening News” aired a 27-second report on Seau at the 11:15 mark. All three network morning shows today included a report on Seau as well. ABC’s “GMA” hit the story 10:18 into its broadcast, with a 3:51 report examining whether Seau’s football career and the potential for brain trauma contributed to his suicide. “CBS This Morning” first reported on Seau at the 12:20 mark, with a 5:20 report that included a live appearance via satellite by CBS Sports’ James Brown. NBC’s “Today” reported on Seau at 12:42, with a 2:53 report that included live coverage from NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez from San Diego (THE DAILY).
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