Classy Journalism 101 by Jonathan Liew
This morning I lost a little hope in the world of journalism when valiant hockey fan
@MarkUKLeaf brought to my attention an article written by one Jonathan Liew, a sports columnist for a UK publication titled “The Telegraph”. In said article, Jonathan attempted, unsuccessfully, to write about a sport he didn’t understand nor had he researched – even in the slightest. After viewing a game between France and Great Britain on TV (admitting only viewing the game for a half hour – oh how the journalistic values ooze) Jonathan came to a conclusion on his newfound sport, citing that “Attempting to follow the puck made my eyes hurt after a while,” and using those same criteria as good reason for why Great Britain was trailing.
“Perhaps they were having trouble locating the puck as well,” he said, attempting to mock a game he claims moves to fast, having never watched the game previously. The article develops a richer sense of self-worth when the first time viewer proceeds to trash the colour commentary and play-by-play broadcasters, criticizing their insight into the game and observing that one of them was of “Canadian or American” nationality (would it be so hard as to Google the answer to your question?).
Astonishingly, Jonathan attempts to regain the respect he surely just lost in his previous 569 words by pleading ignorance to the sport and citing that he could have done what is often expected of a paid journalist, but simply chose the low road… All this in a nation whose programs and fans are just beginning to surface and find their place in a hockey world that is prominent in dozens of other countries around the world.
In fact, Great Britain played admirably, despite going 0-3 in the Olympic Qualifier Competition in question. Classy journalism though, I must say…
On Twitter, as British fans came out in throngs to support a sport they all enjoy, Jonathan’s “holier than thou” attitude protruded through again in these tweets:
@jonathanliew @britpen Nah, already had my 15 minutes. Young Sportswriter of the Year, mate pic.twitter.com/7csmsvOH
He’s the 2011 Young Sportswriter of the Year, so it’s ok if he doesn’t write like one, get it?
@jonathanliew @weephil56 It's an article about ice hockey. Of course I thought people wouldn't notice.
When asked to talk to a fellow UK hockey blogger: @jonathanliew @BlueSeatBlogs @aj_ranger @nyr_jugs88 I truly don't [care]. I'm just in it for lols.
Fact of the matter is that any self-respecting sports journalist takes interest in all sports, no matter their national popularity or inability to understand at first glance, especially if they’re going to publish work on them. It’s for this very reason I was taken aback by Jonathan’s conceited attitude towards a sport he doesn’t deem relevant. Jonathan has failed to both show any insight or researching ability, as well as alienate a fan base (however small it may be) that finds it difficult enough as it is to follow the sport they love.
Previously, I wrote a piece discussing the struggles that the dedicated hockey fans of Europe face, as their Sports Networks and the NHL slowly abandoned them, breaking promises set out by the networks and Gary Bettman on the way. Mark, as one of many passionate hockey diehards in the UK, only hopes the game can be given a chance to grow into a relatively untapped market, its articles like Jonathan’s that make it more difficult.
My 569 words of insight for the day (in blogging format).
Appropriately, as a send-off, Mark had this to say:
“I feel frustrated and angry. In the last week Team GB has had great press from the BBC and TV coverage from ESPN as they made the last round of the Olympic Qualifying campaign - the furthest GB have been in a long time.
Hockey is a minority sport in the UK which needs all the positive press it can garner. This article seems pointless, apart from demeaning the sport and mocking those taking part. The Telegraph is a big UK newspaper, circulation in 2011 was over 600,000.”