Just a brief update about the comparison of two networks' coverage of Ernie Banks passing -- ESPN and baseball's MLB Network. I was about to post this yesterday as part of my other article, but decided not to let it to get in the way of the tribute.
The MLB Network had a very nice 4-minute segment complete with video of Banks in action and additional footage to put his career in perspective.
ESPN did at least make it their top story on SportsCenter. But it seemed about two minutes and had not even a single second of film footage of Ernie Banks, nothing of him playing baseball or being interviewed or anything. And the only public reaction they showed was two tweets, one from Dick Vitale (a former basketball coach) and Lance Briggs (a football player on the Chicago Bears).
Seriously? ESPN couldn't find a reaction about the passing of beloved Hall of Famer Ernie Banks from anyone in baseball??! And if they couldn't find a tweet...why on earth couldn't they reach out themselves -- hey, they're a 24-hour sports network, after all, y'know -- and just...well, ASK someone for a comment? It's what reporters do, I'm told..
To be fair, I would expect a baseball channel, like the MLB Network, to devote more time to the story, so that's thoroughly understandable. And it was good that ESPN made it their top story. But for them to have zero footage and just those two tweets from no one in baseball is irresponsible for a 24-hour sports network. "We had to rush to get the story out" would be no excuse -- MLB Network was able to do it. Besides which, all news organizations put together obituaries ahead of time for famous people who are elderly, just so they're prepared, in case. Far better would have been to briefly announce the news as the lead story and then say, "We'll have more coverage of Ernie Banks' legendary career later in the broadcast." No pun intended, but ESPN dropped the ball.
Here's the fine piece that ran on the MLB Network.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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