Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, seems pretty unhappy about some internet writers right now. He called some out, saying
If you can back up what you say with well thought out and in depth analysis, you know the things that some people used to call journalism, you are welcome in the locker room. The internet reporters who get paid , IMHO , are to the Mavs and any sports team, the least valuable of all media . I’m a firm believer that their interests are not only not aligned with sports teams like the Mavs, but in fact are diametrically opposed. They tend to look at the number of page views they get for any article as ‘their ratings”.
Surprisingly, I agree with Cuban and I think it’s all good stuff. Allow me to illustrate.
First off, Cuban comes straight to the defense of most media platforms. He defends newspaper and TV reporters with tenacity, then calls unpaid internet writers people who “Typically do it as a labor of love and IMHO far exceed the influence and impact of their paid counterparts. If you can back up what you say with well thought out and in depth analysis, you know the things that some people used to call journalism, you are welcome in the locker room.”
His call-out goes straight to paid internet writers who want access to the locker room, but generate “negative headlines” and “create rumors” to merely gain traffic. I agree with Cuban on this one, regardless of whether you are a fan or not of the team. Why?
As much as I defend the right of the media to cover events, there is a thing of “too much media”. When untrained, biased internet writers try to go in and do the job of the professionally trained media, it both slows down the seasoned journalists and gives the media a bad name in general.
These journalists don’t bring value to the Mavs or really, to their writing. If they are doing a story on how a player may get traded, there’s little to no value on asking that player what he feels about the rumor.
There is nothing more frustrating for a reporter to be uprooted at a press conference because someone else wants to ask a stupid question. It makes for a tougher interviewing environment and causes friction to happen between the media and their subject.
While the media is absolutely essential in covering sports and the development of sports franchises, Cuban has a very valid point when it comes to that specific locker room coverage.
Now having said that, I would like to clarify that if Cuban were to start censoring sources just because they say something negative about the team, then I would have a beef with him. The media’s job is to serve the public, not the franchise.
If Cuban started to silence journalists for being negative, like some other franchises, I would be one of the first to say something.
However, this is not the case. Cuban merely wants to keep writers who bog down players out of the locker room. I’m sure that the players would side on this too. Additionally, to the extent that Cuban has gone, it’s acceptable.
I don’t always agree with Cuban, but regarding this matter, what Cuban posted is perfectly acceptable and I agree with him.