Encouraging signs of a changing of the guard in Bristol? Saturday, Fox's Jay Glazer fired another shot at ESPN accusing them of not crediting him for breaking a story and folding his work into Bristol's mysterious "sources." After an exchange with an ESPN producer, Glazer was incredulous over learning that his work was included with ESPN's own reporting under the monolithic "sources" tag. Make no mistake, this wasn't about "who had it first on Twitter." This exchange was about ESPN admitting to using Glazer's work as a source, but passing it off (intended or not) as ESPN's own work.
At the beginning of the NFL's Black Monday, Fox's Jay Glazer reported that Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur was fired. Ten minutes later, the above graphic appeared on the morning SportsCenter as NFL reporters Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen were on set discussing the news of the day. ESPN credited Glazer and Fox by name for the report, even doing so on Twitter.
BREAKING: The Cleveland Browns have fired coach Pat Shurmur (via @foxsports)
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 31, 2012
Also, Sunday night, ESPN used the "Reports" tag instead of "Sources" when it came to reports of Andy Reid's firing from various outlets, which was another point of contention raised this weekend…
Hopefully ESPN keeps up these practices and the events of the last weekend are a turning point for ESPN's sourcing issues. It's more transparent, more honest, and more accurate. No ESPN viewer or online visitor is going to think less of ESPN if they label a story as "reports" instead of sources. Similarly, no ESPN viewer is going to think less of ESPN if they give credit to other outlets from time to time. I've always maintained it does ESPN's brand more harm in being shady with sources than it does properly crediting and labeling reports, even if it means mentioning other outlets. In fact, doing just that will actually help ESPN's own reporting and make it more trustworthy.
If SportsCenter continues to credit in these specific and transparent ways and it isn't just a one time event to placate Glazer and critics, ESPN will have earned plenty of newfound respect for making a much needed change in policy. It's worth taking note when ESPN gets it right and hopefully Bristol continues to do so.
(Pic via mickey_lew)