We live in a society that is easily influenced by what is seen on television. When you see someone rather often on television, you have a better opportunity to make an opinion on that person. Whether you like the person or not, that person is getting more recognition by the media for viewers to base an opinion about him. I say this because there are people out there that deserve more recognition than others. There are people that are doing something great for their community, uplifting the spirits of a not so well known town, and those who are doing great things themselves that never get as much “air time” as the next person because of who that person is or what they are well known for. Unfortunately, we can only blame the media for making us believe that what we really want us to see is whatever they show us the most. I will talk about three different broadcasts that expose the faults that our media brings to their viewers.
The first broadcast that I will like to discuss is ESPN’s SportsCenter. SportsCenter is a daily sports news broadcast that shows us from different sports and also shows other “off the court” news about many different sports figures. This broadcast airs twelve times a day and shows highlights, scores, and other news from major sporting events such as the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), National Hockey League (NHL), and other major sports. SportsCenter has been aired more times than any other program in American television with more than 30,000 unique episodes. Along with highlights, SportsCenter gives us exclusive interviews from players, coaches, and even managers to give us an inside scoop of what is going on prior to the game, in the locker room, during the game, and “off the court or field” issues. People tune in to SportsCenter because people like people like to know what is going on with their favorite sports figures. People want to know if their hometown team won last night, if a player is hurt, if there will be a coaching change, or if there will be any new additions to the team. Along with these issues, SportsCenter also will make reports about any scandals that an athlete has done. For instance, SportsCenter reported on January 6, 2010 that the Commissioner of the NBA, David Stern, suspended the Washington Wizards’ Gilbert Arenas indefinitely for bringing firearms to an arena.
Although SportsCenter is the broadcast that you tune in for all of your daily news in sports, they have a tendency to be biased toward certain teams and players. If you are a fan of baseball, the two teams that are talked about the most are the Yankees and the Red Sox. Whether these teams are having great seasons or not, you will find a lot of their highlights on SportCenter because of the history that these two teams have alone. Tom Krasovic, a writer for the San Diego Union Tribune, did an interview with the San Diego Padres’ relief pitcher Heath Bell. Bell’s comments addressed how he watched ESPN and saw that his former teammate, Jake Peavy, pitched eight innings but only one pitch was aired. He went by saying “I truly believe that ESPN only cares about promoting Yankees, Red Sox, and Mets… That’s why I love the MLB Network, because they promote everyone.” I agree with this article because as a fan of Chicago sports, I feel that SportsCenter is biased toward other teams and players. If I were to watch highlights from a Chicago Bulls vs. Cleveland Cavaliers game on SportsCenter, most of the highlights would be from LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, watching those same highlights on NBAtv would show highlights from both teams. This is an example of Agenda Setting Theory, because this broadcast shows us what they feel like people want to see. Instead of showing how great the White Sox are doing, SportsCenter would much rather show the Cubs losing because