UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

3-4-24 PDF
March 4, 2024
2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

ESPN: The Worldwide Leader in Sports and Information They Think You Should Hear About

ESPN is the world’s leading multimedia sports entertainment company. However despite this popularity, the everyday sports fan typically does not turn to ESPN as their source of what they need to know. With the recent release of information regarding the New England Patriots “SpyGate” scandal eight years after the offense, and conveniently as the “DeflateGate” scandal was beginning to wind down, questions of whether or not ESPN targets particular teams, or if they withhold information for their own benefit, have surfaced. The real question is, just how credible is ESPN?

The company was founded in 1979 and was groundbreaking. It was the first ever round-the-clock sports coverage offered on TV. The network has grown from that into a multi-sport, multi-international conglomerate for sports media. Many of their programs are iconic, such as SportsCenter and Monday Night Football. Over the years, however, ESPN has shown fans that this virtual stranglehold the company has over sports media may not be a good thing.

It was once said that with great power comes great responsibility. If that’s the case, as a major news outlet for sports fans, it would be ESPN’s job to report the things the fans need to know, when they need to know it, while also allowing them to develop an opinion of their own. Perhaps this is a common complaint of the media in general, but I would suggest that ESPN takes it to a level that makes them the FOX News of the sports media industry.

Anybody who watches ESPN can see these things firsthand. Their incessant overuse of analysts to water down a story into nothing more than a platform for propaganda either for against a certain matter is obvious. You would also be wise to take a closer look at some of the analysts they have on their program.

Start with Curt Schilling, a beloved baseball great who helped the Boston Red Sox end the “Curse of The Bambino.” Curt has been involved in numerous scandals throughout his career, including some during his tenure as an ESPN baseball analyst. His most recent episode came in the form of a tweet in which he compared Muslims to Nazis. He was suspended but still is an on air personality for the network.

Questionable personalities, and of course, questionable reporting, are what combine to make ESPN a polarizing entity among fans. For example, ESPN’s recent release of “new” details regarding the New England Patriots “SpyGate” scandal from 2007 seemed timed a little too perfectly. ESPN reportedly got word that the Patriots sent spies into the visiting locker room to steal plays from the playbook, in addition to the initial report eight years ago where they were accused of stealing signals on the field.

This story came out just as the Patriots’ Quarterback, Tom Brady, was exonerated of his alleged involvement in “DeflateGate” where the QB was accused of tampering with game balls to lower the PSI from the legal NFL amount. It seemed too perfect that just as fans started to feel a sense of triumph for the team and were excited they would get to see their beloved QB week one, their team was once again marred in controversy, this time from an occurrence eight years prior.

These recent accounts are just examples of how ESPN abuses its power and can manipulate its audience into rooting who they want them to root for and knowing what they want them to know. Media in general is something that is questioned a lot nowadays, but perhaps ESPN has become so big with such a vast audience that they, quite literally, are the news.