Stephen Curry won a playoff game. His daughter joined him at the podium. Humanity offered a mild disruption to a boilerplate press conference. Most found this adorable. Some sportswriters took issue.
"My man @WindhorstESPN taking the most unpopular position ever, saying NBA might need to ban kids from podium so reporters can ask questions"- — Ramona Shelburne
"Steph Curry's kid is cute. That doesn't mean she should have been at presser. There are professionals on deadlines there w/ jobs to do, too."- — Star-News ACC (@starnewsacc)
Out of the way, child. I have journalism to perform!
Sportswriting is a job (not a profession, there are no qualifications required). Sportswriters have deadlines (which we’re presuming were still met despite this insidious interruption). But, there’s a point often lost here. Sportswriters write about sports.
Sports news is entertainment news. It is journalism, but it performs no vital public function. An informed citizenry needs to know neither the Warriors vs. Rockets result nor the details of said contest. It’s fun, but it’s frivolous. It’s Taylor Swift gossip for men and women who like to gamble.
That’s not to say there aren’t fine beat writers doing fine work. But, there’s a reason why self-righteous indignation about a child’s antics, or not having the best seats in the stadium, or, the almighty forbid, athletes wanting to put on pants before having microphones shoved in their faces goes down like a noxious fart. Sportswriting is not that important. Sportswriters aren’t revealing the Pentagon Papers. They may still work from the same building, if those latter folks still exist with the budget cutbacks.
There are far graver threats to “the industry” than someone’s child. Robot journalists are real and happening. Teams can communicate with fans directly. Once the algorithms parse out art, wit and context, the ship’s sunk. The actual problem will be when that happens in journalism people need.
It’s 2015. Box scores and video highlights of the game are available immediately online. Hopefully, your outlet had a late night person posting the video of Steph Curry’s kid online. More people clicked on that than your gamer.