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Should ESPN reporters show solidarity?

by on April 8, 2012

ESPN initially forbade its reporters from posting pics of themselves wearing hoodies on Twitter (done in order to show solidarity with Trayvon Martin), but then canceled its ban.

On Sunday, however, ESPN reversed its ban, reports Journal-isms. ”It’s a tragic situation that has led to much thoughtful discussion throughout the company,” Krulewitz told Journal-isms via email. “As a result, in this circumstance, we have decided to allow this particular expression of human sympathy.”

Even the most comprehensive social media policies can’t account for the real world.

What do you think? “Real world” or conflict of interest?

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4 Comments
  1. No matter who you work for and what your politics are, I think we can all agree that the shooting of an unarmed 13 year old boy is tragic. I realize this is still an open case-the shooter is claiming self-defense and that may hold up in court. There might be evidence the public doesn’t even know yet. Still, a lot of Americans are empathizing with the tragedy of a life cut so short, and it seems relatively humane to do so. If CNN employees choose to express their solidarity for this matter by wearing hoodies, I believe they should be allowed to do so. Expressing an opinion is not necessarily a conflict of interest. To the best of my knowledge, these employees are not trying to demonstrate CNN’s position, or call for a particular court decision, but rather to mourn and pay respect for a life lost. For CNN to prohibit this action seems to contradict one of the core values that journalism should stand by: freedom of expression.

  2. faye34 permalink

    Sorry, Trayvon was 17 and it was ESPN that chose to wear hoodies.
    The station shouldn’t have taken ban off. It’s better they stay neutral. However, I know I stand with LeBron James to wear one. Heck my fiance and I bought matching hoodies the next day.
    The only shining part of this sad case is is it exposes how racism is alive and well in 2012 in my opinion.

  3. I believe that it is ok for individuals to express their morning of a life cut short. I think that ESPN did make the right decision by taking away the ban. By establishing such a ban and claiming neutrality is ommitiing the truth. Journalists are peoplt too and death is something everyone can relate too. I think that the simplest way for ESPN to solve this issue is by putting up a diosclaimer explaining those wearing a hoodie is the expression of the individual and not the opinion of the corporation. Yes, I do believe that many onlookers in the public could see a perceived conflict of interest. Nevertheless, how does morining the death of a 17-year-old affect the journalist’s sports coverage? I believe there is room for professionalism as one’s frist priority and personal solidarity to work simulatneously without one taking away from the other.

  4. In the post above, ktams22 said, “establishing such a ban and claiming neutrality is omitting the truth,” and I completely agree. Claiming neutrality is itself deceptive, and few would argue journalists should be deceptive in any manner.

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