Friday, August 10, 2012

Olympic Media Coverage - Too Harsh?

If you're like me, you've been following the Olympics since the closing ceremony of 2008. You may have also noticed a change in tone as some media coverage goes. For instance, this article written by Jere Longman of The New York Times about U.S. Olympic runner, Lolo Jones.

In a nutshell, Longman reminds us of the disappointment endured after Jones' performance in 2008, then proceeds to tell the world that her looks get her more attention than her "meager" skills (Okay, the girl got 4th place out of 24 people total including the semifinals. Really??). He attacks her stance to stay a virgin until she's married, and claims that she is too much of an open book. Ouch.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I have this wild idea that we are supposed to be supporting our athletes representing our country in the arena. Is it not a big enough deal to simply have made it to the Olympics in the first place? Yes, gold is nice and I like to look at the medal count on my "Results" app and see that the U.S. is ahead of China, however, let's not lose sight of the bigger picture: becoming an Olympian is a big deal in itself. Obviously, by now you're better than someone. Also, the Olympics are supposed to be fun. This is the only time the entire world comes together with a sort of unity. We're still competing with each other, but we all form a temporary alliance where the only discord between us is left on the field.

Not to mention, how many cover-stories have we gotten to dive deeper into an Olympian's life and see the struggles they went through leading up to their stop in London? Some of these stories get pretty deep. I don't see this as a bad thing, quite the contrary, it gives us hope that our circumstances need not to define us.

There have been a few counter articles questioning the tone of Longman's attack on Jones, who has responded to the articles herself saying that the media has "ripped her to shreds."

Being a journalist may offer some opportunity for input of opinion, but being a journalist is also opportunistic for professionalism and perspective...unless you're the paparazzi. What are your thoughts?

No comments:

Post a Comment