Sunday, February 19, 2012

What Was ESPN Thinking?

The aftermath of ESPN's mobile web site publishing an article headlined "Chink in the armor" in reference to New York Knicks' sensation Jeremy Lin having a down night against New Orleans on Friday night has been explosive. The original author has been fired and another employee has been suspended for repeating the slur on broadcast.

This story has brought something very important to the forefront, as much as I love ESPN and have dreamed of working for them (sorry Pundit Press, but I'd bolt in a second for Bristol), they have big editorial issues within their website and mobile apparatus.

If someone, regardless of their seniority, can publish whatever they want under the news section at something as far-reaching and important as ESPN without editorial review, or even slight approval, they have serious internal issues that must be dealt with. We're not talking about RedState, or some low level blog here, but the leading source in sports.

I'm not calling for Bristol to review every article for racist codewords, although headlining "chink" with Lin's picture right above wouldn't be hard to spot as a red flag, but some measured system of editorial review must be put in place, because you will never be able to fully trust your writers not only to be professional and tolerant, but to consider your company's appearance as well.

Here's to hoping ESPN learns a lesson from this media debacle and is intelligent enough to review articles to their website before tens of millions of people eventually view them, and that they treat their website more like a newspaper; not a blog site.

What say you?

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