Wednesday, February 23, 2011

AnkleGate -One small step for accountability, one giant leap into the craptasm

AnkleGate has been a bitter pill to swallow at 540 Baxter St these last couple days. The news world moves so fast these days the pressure to be FIRST!! is ever increasing. The Red and Black's Zach Dillard had a long drive but fumbled on the one yard line. But give credit to him for knowing when it's time to come clean. After reading the diatribe admittance however, it comes across as if he left the soap on the shelf.

At around 1 p.m. on Monday, The Red & Black broke the story that Murray, Georgia’s starting quarterback, had injured his ankle and was getting around campus on crutches and in a boot. The Red & Black broke how he injured the ankle, in an activity with teammates and friends (it came out later to be a pick-up soccer game). The Red & Black broke that he injured the ankle on Saturday.
No other publication had the information or the story, and the article sent the Georgia sports media and fans into a tailspin of hysteria trying to catch up on every detail of the injury.
Now that's just a snippet of the "story". Dillard uses phrases like "personal responsibility" and admits that the story he wrote was inaccurate. But as a whole the essay comes across as more of a long advertisement that the campus newspaper was the first to report of the injury. A broken ankle would've been a huge story in a long dull off season. A sprained ankle is pedestrian print at best. And when he types things like -
The only regret, my only regret, is those two words — broken and injured — that made all the difference between a completely accurate breaking news story and being shunned for “yellow journalism.”
- it leads me to believe that the most important lesson has yet to learned. For it's not who's FIRST!! Mr. Dillard that matters most. It's who's RIGHT!!


AthensHomerDawg said...


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, he has learned first is better than right. What is lost in all of this is that we (the corporate we: the normally mindless end users of media information) don't care who is right, we care who is first.

He is right about one thing, broken was the hot word in the story and the one I have all the problem with. Regretfully, he doesn't see the issue with being wrong about that, even though it appears his sourcing was two dudes at the Taco Stand and a townie who happened to be riding his bike past BMHH at the right time.

NCT said...

To be fair, I recall getting a lot of really useful information from dudes at the Taco Stand and townies on bikes. But it wasn't fit to print.

JenniferfromLaJolla said...

Hopefully, the staff of The Red and Black will learn from this. They are practicing a craft, they certainly haven't mastered it. When a football player messes up we remind ourselves that they are kids... so are the people who are writing for The Red and Black. I am not excusing what they did, it's bad journalism. I just think it is good to remember that the campus newspaper is a training ground.

watcher16 said...

Wonder if he wouuld feel the same if somebody called and said his mother was dead as opposed to having difficulty breathing.

Anonymous said...
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Bernie said...

Thanks for the comments y'all. Like anyone fine tuning their craft, I hope the right lessons are learned here. However, with the way modern media is today the emphasis continues to shift towards entertainment at best and sensationalism at worst...even in the arena of news.

@Anon 9:12 Again, whatever issue you have with another Dawg blogger is your business. I deleted your comment for two reasons: 1) attacking someone (even indirectly) behind an anonymous tag is not Dawg like. And 2), it really had nothing to do with my post.