Jay Glazer broke the news earlier this week Johnny Manziel will start for the Browns in Week 15, specifically while on the set of Good Day LA. After the news began to trickle out, Glazer wasn’t very happy with the way ESPN handled his scoop, so he wrote a brief missive on social media calling out ESPN and its sourcing/attribution policy.
Glazer vs. ESPN is nothing new, but he did continue to bash the Worldwide Leader’s policy Thursday morning on the Rich Eisen Show saying, “when ESPN steals people’s work, yeah, I’m not going to sit by, I’m going to rip the hell out of them for it until they stop doing it.”
He continued, “Me and ESPN have battled about it for years, but they have such a lying, cheating, stealing policy over there. I don’t agree with lying, cheating and stealing in anything in life.” It’s worth listening to the whole clip which is embedded above. Glazer also mentioned how he was used by ESPN as a “source” when Sean Payton negotiated a contract extension with the Saints back in 2012 and talked about how others – such as CJ Nitkowski on the Yoenis Cespedes/Rick Porcello trade this morning – see their initial scoop turned into “reports” by ESPN. “It’s proper etiquette in life that you give the credit where credit is due. Quite frankly that’s how we all get judged in this business,” Glazer told Eisen.
There are a couple ways to look at it here. If you’re not a inside-media person, they you probably don’t care very much and this sounds a lot like whining, which Glazer mentions people tell him on Twitter. In the instance of the Manziel news, eventually it’s going to come out for everyone to consume. At the end of the day once the news breaks, 9 out of 10 people probably aren’t going to care who or where it came from first.
On a media level, sourcing and giving credit is a much bigger deal since reporters are often judged on their scoops. Baseball reporters, for example, at the Winter Meetings this week are almost always fair about citing the person with the original news. Last year I wrote a piece about how Twitter changed the Winter Meeting and asked Ken Rosenthal about sourcing and crediting colleagues and he said, “It’s a question of simple fairness.”
As for ESPN? It changed its policy about sourcing in 2013, using the catch-all “media reports” for information not broken or gathered exclusively by its own employees. This policy still probably isn’t going to get Jay Glazer’s name on the bottom line crawl, even if Fox Sports is cited.
Something else to consider: the vast majority of modern day American sports fans consider ESPN the be-all, end-all for sports news, the network does need confirmation, even if it’s someone with the usually sterling track record of Adrian Wojnarowski.
Also, it’s 2014 with Twitter and 24-hour news. Once information is out there, anyone can conceivably do anything they so choose with it. Ideally, ethics and etiquette would come into play, allowing proper credit to go where it is due.