TBL came across an interesting ESPN chat item from much-maligned ESPN Reporter, Chris Mortensen today. A reader was asking about ESPN attributing stories to certain websites and the same not being the case for other networks and websites. Mortensen ended up giving a pretty interesting response and even hinted that some outlets utilize “time stamp” fudging….

Ken (Scottsdale, AZ): Mort, you got props on the blogs for answering my question a few weeks ago about ESPN “confirming” other network’s stories. You guys still continue to do it. Do you know why Fox or SI doesn’t post headlines confirming your breaking stories?

SportsNation Chris Mortensen: It’s not that big a deal. really, some of the reporting is so split-second..or minutes apart and there’s a little trick to getting it out. I think each brand/agency should just do their job and not worry about the “credit.” ESPN is the big brand so I think we’re treated like that.

Interesting angle there, but I don’t think it addresses the real issue. It’s not that ESPN, or Mort for that matter, isn’t doing their job. No, it’s the fact that up until recently, ESPN had been taking credit when other outlets had the story upwards of a few hours before them. I know stories can break fast, and that not every item needs to be accredited to a certain individual, but the perception that ESPN breaks everything is just insulting.

I think things have gotten much better, and I wouldn’t doubt there’s time-stamping going on, but it’s just something that ESPN needs to keep more of an eye on.

Chat with Chris Mortensen (ESPN)
Chris Mortensen Concurs with Buster Olney on the Mysterious Time Stamp Controversy (The Big Lead)

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