Yesterday's megacolumn on the events at ESPN this week and the state of journalism at the network managed to draw quite the reaction from all around the web. Agree or not with the premise, the conversations taking place about improving sports journalism is encouraging. While the AL MVP vote fallout today is another step backwards, all hope is not lost at ESPN and elsewhere. This afternoon, ESPN's Outside the Lines will team with PBS's Frontline for a report on concussions in the NFL in launching a relationship between the two programs that looks promising:
"This afternoon’s Outside the Lines (ESPN, 3 p.m. ET) hosted by Bob Ley represents the start of a collaboration between two of journalism’s most recognizable and respected brands.
In a piece reported by brothers, Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru, OTL and PBS’s FRONTLINE launch a joint project to investigate the ongoing story of concussions in the National Football League. (ESPN.com has posted accompanying stories from the duo here and from ESPN’s Senior Writer and Legal Analyst Lester Munson here.)
The year-long effort will examine the latest research on brain injuries and football, the impact on players and the NFL’s effort to deal with a crisis that threatens the long-term health and popularity of the sport."
It's these kind of efforts that need to be applauded and most importantly, supported by viewers, to show ESPN this is the way forward instead of the antics of Skip Bayless, Stephen A. Smith, and Rob Parker. These are also the kind of efforts ESPN needs to make a more consistent commitment to promoting and putting on all its platforms to change the tide at the network. In-depth reporting on a serious topic like concussions is infinitely more meaningful than the latest news from anonymous Jets sources.