Joe Covering The Media On Media Day

January 30th, 2009
Inside the NFL reporter and Clearwater native Jenn Brown gets a lift from Cardinals defensive end Antonio Smith during Media Day Tuesday.

"Inside the NFL" reporter and Clearwater native Jenn Brown gets a lift from Cardinals defensive end Antonio Smith during Media Day Tuesday.

As we are all waiting for the Super Bowl to kick off, Joe thought he would share some of the work he did when attending Media Day earlier this week. Joe will also post a rundown of his Media Day experience later today.

Tomorrow, Joe will offer some revealing photos he shot of some of the media hotties who attended the event.

This post is of various people Joe interviewed about ethics and journalism in the 21st Century, including a Bucs nugget.


Since you are a web guy and with newspapers trimming staff daily, are you looked at as the enemy by many in the print media?

I have not yet been accosted or slugged or treated poorly in any way, but I haven’t been here that long. It’s still early.

Since it’s now clear even to someone with a white cane that the internet is the future of journalism if not the present, are you now accepted by the fourth estate or possibly looked at as maybe even some sort of a pioneer in some way?

We went through a phase early on when there was a sense where folks looked down their nose at us. But I think as time has past and we have shown passion and consistency and how we have kept our nose to the grindstone and we try to select good interesting stuff to put out there.

[] makes it easier for people in the media to do their jobs so they can go and see what is perking or pressing at any given moment.

I think that is just how, over time, we have gained acceptance. When national figures like Peter King in a roundabout way endorses us I think that helps too.

NFL Network,

Talk about your transformation from a print journalist to a multimedia journalist to now a TV network talking head.

When I was in Denver I had done some local television on a very random basis and I feel incredibly fortunate to do what I do. I love what I do. To me, it’s a privilege. I get to talk about football and report on football and follow football.

Now I will say there’s a lot that goes into it and it’s not that easy. There are times my wife wants to strangle me because I won’t stop working. There are times I’m sleeping in my bed and my blackberry is buzzing. But I still wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Last week Chris Mortensen of ESPN comes out with a report, which naturally got blanket coverage by the four-letter, that Mike Shanahan was on the verge of being anointed the new coach at Kansas City. You quickly came out with a report that your sources categorically denied there was any substance to Mort’s report and it seemed the subject became a “Mort vs. Schefter” match.

I have an enormous respect for Mort. He’s a pioneer in the business. There was nothing against him personally. I was just reporting the story as the information I had.

What I got tired with was my office. All these Denver and Kansas City radio stations calling me saying “Mike Shanahan is going to Kansas City.” No he’s not going to Kansas City! It had nothing to do with Mort.

There was an e-mail I had from a Chiefs insider that said the deal with Shanahan is done — exclamation point. So everyone wanted to know what the situation was and I was just doing my job and just telling the story like I knew it to be going down.

I’ve heard sports radio guys say this on the air and I have heard whispers among writers that you are little more than a mouthpiece for the NFL and the reason you break so many stories is that you are being fed information through the NFL front office and teams’ front offices.

I appreciate you saying that because they could not be more wrong. When I was in Denver, Mike Shanahan was giving me all the information — that’s what people said and it was inconceivable to me.

The league has never given me a single story! The league tries its best NOT to give me information. The league is BOTHERED about what I report often times. They have NEVER given me information and they have never wanted to give me information. Quite frankly they get upset with me sometimes with the information I have.

The people that think that, they can think that all they want. It’s flat out not true. I have had stories I checked with them and they were furious. The last thing they want to see from me is news and I’m telling you that is the truth.

NFL Network/New York Giants play-by-play, NFL Radio host

Since you took the job this past year as a national play-by-play voice for the NFL Network, is this your future possibly full-time with CBS or Fox or NBC?

No, I am happy where I am at. I have the best of both worlds: I do the Giants on Sunday and the national game on Thursday nights. Two games a week is better than one.

During the season its pretty crazy. I am pretty much only home on Monday nights. I ship off on Tuesday. I tape my Giants TV shows before I leave and I go right from the NFL Network to the Giants game. If [the Giants] are on the road it makes for a long week. But it’s only an eight-week window and my family is understanding and it’s all for the common cause and common good of me doing a good job.

Most fans expect – rightly or wrongly — a home announcer to look at a game through their prism so it’s understandable if a home team broadcast will lean toward the home team as the home team’s radio audience is who you are broadcasting to, it’s the target audience. So when you go from that format to a national broadcast and have to call a game down the middle is that a tough balancing act to navigate each week?

Not really because we [NFL Network] get such tremendous access from the players and coaches that we get both sides of the story.

Sometimes we get more than the beat writers get because some of the information is kind of sensitive. It’s fun being down the middle — no rooting interest. You just hope you get good football. This year we had great games.

What kind of feedback did you get from Jets fans that a Giants announcer was calling a Jets game on NFL Network?

You know what, what’s funny about that is I have a bunch of friends who are Jets fans and they thought I did a good job. People I knew around town in New York thought I did a good job. They didn’t think, “Oh, the Giant guy is doing our biggest game of the year.”

Are Patriots fans saying [about an NFL Network telecast], “Oh, it was the Giants guy. We lost to them in the Super Bowl last year so will he be against us?” That’s when you know you are doing a good job is when fans of both teams think you could be leaning the other way.

ESPN, Washington Post columnist on how his owning Washington Redskins season tickets is not a conflict of interest.

I don’t go to the games. My wife goes to the games. They are a major chunk of money. They are like a house payment, $5400 a year. I have never used them.

When I am critical of the Redskins, the readers know it’s coming from someone who has season tickets.

I believe in being part of the community. We (as journalists) should be involved in the community. We should be part of the community. Owning season tickets is one way of doing that.

NBC Sports on the ethical minefield of how Tampa Bay Buccaneers co-chairman Bryan Glazer confessed one factor in firing Jon Gruden was due to negative fan feedback.

It is a very slippery slope. Look, fan reaction matters. It is obviously your business base and you have to be sensitive to it. You have to be very careful about [basing football judgments on fan feedback ]because fans are always going to react viscerally. And it’s the job of the organization to make sober judgments.

To be fair, I don’t know to what extent Glazer was influenced by this.

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