Payton reporting prompts ESPN to twist news terms


FOX’s Jay Glazer often jokes that ESPN misspells his name when he breaks a story and then ESPN puts the same story on the crawl at the bottom of its screen with the word “sources” instead of “Glazer” in front of the news.

We didn’t realize he wasn’t joking.  (He likely didn’t, either.)

Last night’s report from Glazer that Sean Payton has agreed to terms on a new contract with the Saints resulted promptly in ESPN programming the news into its crawl after the term “sources.”  That prompted Glazer to call ESPN out on Twitter — and it eventually provoked a response on Twitter from an ESPN producer named Steve Peresman.

Peresman explained that ESPN uses the term “sources” when there are multiple reporters reporting the same thing, including one of their own (in this case, Adam Schefter).

I didn’t go to what the cool kids call “J” school, but when there are multiple reports, the operative prefatory term is (wait for it) “reports.”  Reporters employed by other networks are never “sources,” unless they are leaking information about their own situation or network.

It’s a stupid way, in our view, to avoid giving Glazer due credit for being the first to report it.  Not that it’s a surprise he was first; it’s well known that Glazer and Payton are tight.  While other reporters and media outlets may choose to resent that, we choose to accept it.  And in turn to acknowledge and credit Glazer when that relationship bears fruit for him.

The most unfortunate aspect of this exchange is that it perpetuates audience confusion regarding the meaning of the terms “source” and “report” when used here or elsewhere.  For us, “source” applies when we are reporting something based on a source of our own.  We use “report” when some other company is reporting something based on its own sources.  For ESPN to use the term “sources” to encompass a melange of their own reporters and other reporters is misleading, factually inaccurate, and hardly inadvertent or accidental.

50 responses to “Payton reporting prompts ESPN to twist news terms

  1. ESPN is terrible. Id love to see some media outlet in this country adopt an attitude similar to HBOs “Newsroom” and cover the sports market objectively and respectfully. ESPN has turned into an embarrassment. Although I’ll still continue to watch sports center on a daily basis….

  2. Only you media people care about this. No one likes ESPN or most of the manipulative media, for that matter. So funny how it’s soo important who breaks the news about a gosh darn contract.

  3. This does not surprise me. While not illegal, it does strip ESPN of some credibility. Mainly because everyone now knows they don’t have the fastest “sources.”

    But we already knew Jay Glazer is the first to report many of the NFL’s biggest pieces of news.

  4. Wouldn’t they refer to the sources of their reporters’ reports as “sources”? Should they qualify it as “sources and Glazer”?

  5. When are the idiots in the media (and also those who run this site, ie. the pseudo-media) going to figure out that no one outside the media gives a rat’s ass who breaks a story. Its nothing more than a pissing contest and weak opportunity for them to justify their pathetic existence.

  6. Chris mortenson is a joke in himself too… Now that bill polian is out of the league himself, the mort report has lost most of his inside info. In a desperation move, he begs ESPN to hire him in a hope that billy boy still has some clout…. Complete joke of a network, all of us can do ourselves a favor and not watch this garbage

  7. I’ll echo others, no one cares except you people in the media. You act like children wanting to be recognized. Grow up.

  8. The American media generally is self-involved. Media just doesn’t seem to get that they themselves are not the story. They are more or less parasites living on the backs of people who have truly succeeded at something.

    When the media looks in the mirror I wish they would reflect on how they can do better and act with more honor rather than just revel in how cool they look.

    I do agree that ESPN are the bottom-feeders of the bunch, but the problem is endemic.

  9. ESPN is irrelevant anyway. I’m not watching them voluntarily so long as they employ Rob “It’s all about race” Parker, and he’s not the only vermin in their stable.

    I don’t have to have the news FIRST!!!!! I just need it accurately and without a lot of screaming and self-promotion.

  10. ESPN is a joke anyway. We all know Jay Glazer is more reliable than any of the hacks at that network. When you have the kind of so-called “talent” they have working for them, you expect them to act like bottom feeders.

  11. Dude – I generally dislike your snarky lawyer arrogance. I know its hard as a lawyer to keep it in.

    However, you nailed this one. The nature of the biz is you give credit where credit is due. Cool for Jay to call em up and ask what’s up! Just another case of the Man keepin a brother down…..

  12. I stopped watching ESPN after the Rob Parker deal. Deleted all their apps (including fantasy football), and won’t be tuning in, even for games. Never went to their website anyway.

  13. ESPN is evil and NBC is awesome, OK? is that why u wrote this? Hey, remember sports? Here’s something common to ESPN and nbc, your writers are too busy finger pointing, witch hunting and whining about the hall of fame to write about the sports the fans love. you are pathetic.

  14. Who really cares. Just report it correctly and give credit to the right person and stop the stupid childish bickering. It makes me laugh!!!

  15. “Blah blah blah who cares, this isnt news but I am going to read this and comment on it anyway”

    Tell us, oh wise ones, what you do for a living. Maybe we couldn’t care less about that, either.

    Lots of careers are made or crushed when it comes to breaking news and getting the stories first. It’s a huge part of the profession. It may mean little to you (translation: you’re too stupid to comprehend) but to everyone in that field, it’s a big deal. Again, tell us what you do and then we’ll start nitpicking (and no, the “250 Billion Served” tagline doesn’t make you immune to criticism).

  16. I’ve long trusted Glazer over other…ahem…sources.
    And yes it matters who gets credit because it’s about ethics, and it’s part of how reporters are judged and compensated. And with companies, how many ads they sell are based partly on how many eyeballs they pull in, which goes back to being able to claim they “break” news. Refusing to credit a story properly to make yourself look better is like giving Player A’s tackles to Player B just because he said he made them then Player A makes the All Pro team.

  17. Wasn’t it just a week or so ago that Adam (The Gerbal) Shefter was reporting with it engraved in stone that Sean was going to become with out an absolute doubt a free agent…….what a tool……..Glazer vs Shefter in a cage match!!!!!!!!

  18. ESPN has been doing this for years. And worse yet, they have notorious hacks like Broussard make up stories or twist them in order to get clicks and viewers when he really has nothing substantive. They have done this with Glazer dozens of times.

  19. My favorite is when ESPN says “ESPN has learned”, i.e. our reporters got scooped and we just read it on the news wire.

  20. Some may not care who gets credit, but for me, it is about ETHICS. This is supposed to be the “Worldwide Leader…..” They should be ethical.

  21. Why does it matter who reported it first? The news will come out…. what in the world changed by people finding out the news about Payton last night vs this morning?

  22. ESPN lost their NHL TV contract and then put this league on their back-burner, while still glamorizing NASCAR and soccer. They aired LeBron’s “Decision” show too. It’s no wonder why I only watch them on Mondays during football season.

  23. ESPN is pathetic. THey should have fired Chris Mortensen after he repeatedly and unashamedly proclaimed over and over that the Saints would definitely leave NOLA for Los Angeles, just days after Katrina hit. Nobody called him on it, nobody. ESPN may be sports, but news is news. Accuracy is your bread and butter. How about having some (as well as a modicum of decency)?

  24. Mortensen also reported that Eli Manning would miss the entire season a few years back when he got hurt in week 1, even after Archie Manning called him and told him he should retract the story. Eli started the next week.

    Mortensen also reported there was no way Farve was going to come out of retirement to play for the Vikings. How did that work out?

  25. They do the same thing with their radio outlets. In Chicago when 670 the Score breaks a story, the local espn station (I won’t bother to even use their call letters they suck so bad) won’t give them credit, and always uses the ‘sources or reports’ crap.

  26. Ah yes, ESPN. Never let the truth stop you from you attention grabbing headlines. This has become all too common lately with them, but I like the fact that Glazer, Florio, Dan Patrick Show, etc. all call them out on it.

    It’s reached the point of being petty and childish on ESPN’s part. Grow up already and give Glazer his due. All I know is that Glazer seems to report accurate information before his competitors. Keep it going Jay.

  27. Back in the days when real journalists worked hard for their stories, “breaking” a story meant something; but nowadays, “reporters” are simply fed information by “sources” who want their particular spin on events to be released, knowing that the reporter will blast it out there with little or no vetting. In today’s world, any yahoo with a smart phone can “break” a story on Twitter; I find it best not to believe anything until several days after the fact.

  28. There are also so-called “team insiders” at the local level. Those “insiders” are paid to be right more often than wrong. The ones in Pittsburgh are seldom right, yet they continue to be employed. I’ve often wondered how that can possibly happen.

  29. ESPN is annoying but nowhere near as annoying as Glazer. I have to turn my tv off when he comes on.

  30. I agree with the point, but what an irritating man…….no wonder old guys like me gave up pregame in the 90’s and just turn it on at kickoff…….

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