There was a discussion a few weeks ago amongst us UFers about sensationalism in sports reporting these days. The conclusion was that there isn’t enough staff and enough time in this crazy news world to do the reporting and fact-checking that is truly necessary. As someone who is a refugee of the newspaper industry, I totally agree with this premise.
Exhibit A: Mark Stokes’ column about Rangers and Celtic in the Boston Globe.
Essentially, Stokes blames fans in the stands for the 1971 Ibrox Disaster that killed dozens. (column can be found on this thread)
If he didn’t know the truth before, Stokes learned a tough lesson. One that might cost the Boston area the chance to host the Old Firm this July.
This mistake, and I’m sure that’s all it really was, was stupid and easy to catch. Stokes has apologized, and I believe him, but the damage is done.
Rangers have already filed a complaint with the paper, and they are now rethinking coming to the Boston area during the summer, although the money to be made here will, I’m sure, eventually outweigh hurt feelings.
And if you’re going to hurt some feelings, try not to make it in relation to one of the hottest and most bitter rivalries in all of sport.
I’m not going to kill this journalist for the mistake. I’m not even going to rail on journalism as a whole. I think that, in today’s information-rich environment, news organizations should be investing more in reporters and copy editors.
That said, the Rangers supporters need to take a chill pill. If you look at the comments from today’s apology, they are WAY more civil than the threats of violence that came after the mistake appeared online. Journalism may be in trouble, but I hope those yelling hate at this reporter find the irony in their words.
Either way, I think it’s clear to say that, if the Old Firm do come to Boston (and specifically Fenway Park), it going to be one hell of an atmosphere.
You stay classy, football supporters.