Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ignoring the Obvious

For months a scandal has been brewing on Mount Oread involving the athletic department.  But if you lived in Lawrence and relied on the local newspaper, the Journal World, the reporting was scant.  I learned most of what I know about the ticket scandal at Kansas from the Kansas City Star's website, which in and of itself is a joke but that's a whole different blog. 

The final straw in reporting came for me this morning when Yahoo broke even more damning information about the millions of dollars that K.U. lost because of the unethical practices by some athletic department employees.  Shortly after the revelations word came that K.U. was holding a 1:30 p.m. news conference to finally come clean about what had appeared in print for weeks.

Yet nowhere in the lead up to this afternoon's media event was there any original reporting from the hometown newspaper.  The Journal World added nothing "new" to the growing scandal in terms of trying to shed some light on what was going on in the athletic department.  While I'm disappointed, I'm not surprised.

A lot of very good journalists work at the Journal World and 6 News.  At least one I know left in frustration over the ongoing efforts of the Simons family to protect certain people and certain institutions from negative coverage.  I hope I'm wrong but I suspect Dolph, Dan, or Dolph III made it clear to the staff that there was no need to do any digging on this story.  Again, I hope I'm wrong. 

The Simons have taken a lot of pride in being leaders in media convergence and trying to put together a powerful presence on the Web.  I think what the Simons fail to in this day and age of instant media gratification their paternalistic approach to journalism is dying. 

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