By MATIAS WODNER
We’ve essentially been beaten to death by the Miami Dolphins scandal involving Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito. I’ll spare the details in order to get to the journalistic side of the story. This story raised several questions and kind of put a dent into the integrity of sports journalism, or at least some are saying that.
When the story broke, everyone went into a bit of an outrage, whether they were taking Martin’s side or Incognito’s. And when I say everyone, I mean everyone. That’s where problems begin to brew. Yes, everyone has the right to their own personal opinion. But when that opinion is thoroughly thrown across everyone’s faces, the thin line of professionalism is crossed.
As journalists, we can’t allow that to happen.
This story wore that line even thinner. Sportswriters began to draw conclusions hours after the initial story was told. Most didn’t care that there were infinite amounts of questions to be answered by all different kinds of sources. As journalists, we are told to report the truth. And though these journalists may have just been tweeting out their thoughts, they needed to be aware that they are the guides for the masses. Everything they say is taken into account by the public that is reading their thoughts. Stating your opinion on a subject that is incredibly premature in nature defies all counts of logic that journalism entails.
In addition to that, journalists were beginning to take sides without even considering the personal aspect that the story consisted of. Bullying is a very serious topic, one that should not be taken lightly by anyone. Not everyone has been bullied, and I myself can’t speak on the subject, but writers were talking about the people in the story as if it was a joke. As if Martin was a big crybaby and Incognito was just a product of his employers.
No one really knew what had happened or what was going on. Still, many journalists found themselves knowledgeable enough to speak their thoughts without thinking of the repercussions. This story easily raised more questions about journalism than it may have solved.