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Toronto sports media weekend poll: news??

December 15th, 2012 | by torontosportsmedia

By TSM

Besides a Raptors win, what a shitty Friday.

Couple of folks emailed me this question, thought it would make a good poll question:

Today, when news of the tragedy broke, do you think all sports radio stations should have started to “cover” that story? If so, why or when? If not, do you think it’s ever warranted?

Any personal attacks on the political issue of guns will be deleted.

Personally, I think the right call is to mention it, to accept calls or comments on it but to stick to the topic at hand. People tune in to hear sports. The odd comment or question is okay and to totally ignore it would be odd. I was in Detroit for 9/11. I’m pretty sure eventually the sports station basically picked up a national news feed as it was such a huge event and there was no sports to talk about. Everything was cancelled. That’s my 2 cents

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5 Comments

  1. Ami_Angelwings says:

    It’s a sports station and sports is a way of getting away from heavy topics, so I definitely don’t think that all sports talk should be stopped to talk about a serious topic. However, a mention and any discussion that the hosts wanted to have (that was respectful and not political) I think would have suited the day, as well as making sure you didn’t do anything like make jokes about people being shot.

    It isn’t like sports stations and hosts never talk about non-sports news topics if they concern tragedy or human interest though. You don’t even have to go to 9/11. They’ve talked about the devastation caused Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina, they’ve talked about the US election, and Bob promotes Pinball’s charity and goes into detail about the situation regarding education and poverty in Africa which is a human interest story. So it’s not unusual for them to mention non-sports related topics.

    Also, just mentioning it would let listeners who didn’t know what was going on, know, and they could turn to a news station if they wanted to know more. That’s probably not good for ratings, but again, it’s not like sports stations haven’t done this before. And you could just mention what happened, that your heart goes out to the victims and their families, and how the program still has to talk about sports, even on a day like this, but that listeners can go to a news affiliate if they want more on this story.

    That doesn’t take away from anybody who would still want to listen to sports, and it doesn’t turn the program into talking about something that’s not sports.

    I seem to remember Bob and other hosts having said similar things in the past, so again, it’s not unprecedented, or unusual even.

  2. ticky13 says:

    They can talk about it for a segment at the top of the show, sure. However, there is still sports going on in the world, and people want to get away from all the fucked up shit going on and tune-in to something to take their mind off it. If people want details on a tragedy, there are a thousand other places they can look for updates.

    September 11 of course was a whole other thing, and it’s no surprise sport stations took a news feeds following it. While this shooting is terrible, it is minute on the scale compared to that.

  3. (Another) Andrew says:

    I don’t think many sports talk presenters are knowledgeable enough to discuss important issues. When they do talk about other things, such as politics, they just repeat what they’ve heard from other media. Then there’s the question of maturity. When I turned on Tim & Sid yesterday Sid was calling someone a “doucheface”. I’d rather someone like that stay away from sensitive topics. They should mention what has happened for the benefit of those who may not have heard then get back to sports.

  4. cam says:

    While others have said it more elegantly, I don’t think there was a requirement to either cover or acknowledge the horrific incident in Newtown yesterday. In my opinion, it was as important to provide a place to escape from the coverage as it was for the various news services to provide that coverage. There were plenty of alternatives if one wanted to follow the evolving story.

    It is also only my opinion, but the decision for any sports network or host to either reference or not reference it needs no explanation. That the President and some seasoned news anchors had very real difficulties with their emotions in talking about the story; it does not surprise me that some sports hosts did not talk about it.

    Is news coverage by sports outlets ever merited; yes and I think 9/11 is the perfect example. Natural disasters which clearly have larger implications on sporting events such as Sandy and the NY marathon will also be the focus of some attention.

    I cannot possibly imagine the grief these parents and families must now endure; my heart goes out to them.

  5. Alex says:

    I had to watch Sportscenter at lunch today (on the tvs where i was eating) and they led with shooting. Admittedly, i think showing mournful tweets from lebron, rg3 and the like is ludicruous, but at least they were discussing it.

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