NBD: Never Been to Dallas Syndrome

I’m not a Skins fan but, as a guy who’s married to someone who roots for Duke—even though she never went to the school, doesn’t have any family who went to the school and has never lived anywhere near the school—I find this video pretty funny.


Another Former Washington Times Sportswriter Gone Indie

The "Terps" logo for the Maryland Te...

Image via Wikipedia

Another former Washington Times writer is going the route of Mark Zuckerman and working to raise money so he can cover sports independently via a blog. Just as Zuckerman is doing with the Nats on his Nats Insider blog, former Times writer Patrick Stevens has been doing with the Terps and the ACC for over eight months, and he’s looking for some support.

As Eric Prisbell of The Washington Post‘s Terrapins Insider describes it, Stevens “plans on taking his blog show on the road with the Terrapins ” and “is asking his loyal fan base to help him continue his coverage.”

Check out the donations page on Stevens’ website for more details. He’s aiming to raise $9,000 to cover this football and basketball season. As of this posting, he’s at $1,271 with contributions coming from 30 donors.

All Caps & Wizards games on Comcast Sportsnet will be in HD

Here’s some good news for Caps and Wizards fans. According to this post on the D.C. Sports Bog, CSN will “produce all Wizards and Caps games in HD”. Back when I wrote about how Fios was not carrying CSN+ in some areas, the poor quality of the CSN+ feed was something I saw people bring up—the picture on CSN+ was worse than a standard definition channel. But hopefully those days are behind us and Caps and Wizards fans will be able to enjoy all games by both teams in HD. I’m kind of digging this whole living in the future thing.

Now I just need to get an HD TV. (Now’s the time where, if you monitor social media for say Samsung, you could offer me the opportunity to demo one of your products for the upcoming hockey season—and I’ll blog about it in exchange. Let’s make it happen. What? You don’t have that kind of authority? Ask your boss, they’ll be cool with it. )

The Mike Wise Issue in One Tweet

Twitter logo initial

Twitter logo image via Wikipedia

Regarding Washington Post columnist Mike Wise and his experiment on Twitter—where he sent out tweets containing made-up information to basically test a theory and see if people would pass it on without verifying its accuracy—this tweet by John Ourand with Sports Business Journal says it all: “@MikeWiseguy You aen’t right about “nobody checking facts” on Twitter. People trust you and WaPo and figure your “news” is accurate.”

Ourand then followed that with a tweet to say: “@mikewiseguy A better test would be to set up an anonymous account and see how many follow fake news then. My guess is not many.”

When someone sees something reported by a Washington Post reporter—on Twitter or elsewhere—they assume it’s already been verified. And I think it’s completely understandable that someone would make that assumption. Outlets often say “so and so is reporting that such and such will…”  They’re covering for themselves in case the info ends up being inaccurate and giving credit to the source at the same time. Retweeting accomplishes these things as well.

I agree with Ourand, if Wise really wanted to test out whether people would pass along news without fact checking it, he should have tried using an anonymous account. But a tweet from Wise, or someone else who has built a reputation in the sports journalism business, is going to be taken as the truth or at the very least, worth forwarding along and credited to the source so that everyone’s clear on where it came from.

Whether we’re talking about Twitter or everyday offline interactions, when some people see someone say something newsworthy, or that they find interesting, they tend to tell others about it. If it were a stranger reporting NFL news, people might not repeat that news to others or they might investigate first. But when it’s Wise sending the tweet, people assume he’s already done his fact checking and, if he hasn’t, it’s his name that’s on the line more than theirs. It’d be different if a fairly unknown individual’s reporting had been retweeted and passed on by news outlets and others—then I’d put the blame more on those who put trust in someone who maybe had not earned it yet.

I thought Wise’s apology on his radio show (which I only read and did not hear) was well done and particularly nice to see in an age when many public figures issue apologies that aren’t really apologies.  But I still don’t agree with Wise’s tweet that came prior to that, in which he said he was sorry but also said that he “was right about nobody checking facts or sourcing.” Ourand hit the nail on the head with his tweet back to Wise. Trusted news sources are considered exactly that, trusted.