If you visit Fox 40 you’ll see banner advertising and a prominently featured page on the topic “Get It Done.” A visit to the web page tells you that the “It” is a new downtown arena, and that we citizens should get an arena done by contacting our local representatives and exhorting them to do an arena deal. The page indicates that, agree or disagree, now is the time to “be heard,” but it also touts an arena as “about Sacramento being a world class city” and that without a deal, there will be no Kings.
Is this all appropriate? As the page is not by-lined, no one journalist can be singled out for a conflict of interest in his or her reporting. But in general, should Fox 40 be engaged in playing politics with the issue of spending hundreds of millions of dollars? Shouldn’t Fox 40 want to stay “fair and balanced”? As much as I love Jim Crandell, he specifically Tweets exhorting his followers to sign the petition. Other local journalists do the safe thing and merely report on what’s happening as the powers that be wrestle a possible deal to the mat.
I think radio commentators like Carmichael Dave and Grant Napear get a pass as we hire them to have opinions. So maybe sports anchors on local news are commonly held to that same standard? It just seems like there has to be some acknowledgment that sports media in Sacramento stand to lose a lot if the arena deal doesn’t get reached and Sacramento somehow slips from being a “world-class city.”
I suppose the strict definition would be that as long as Crandell does not personally benefit from having a team, there is no conflict of interest. But I’m ornery and more than moderately anti, so I am going to call bullshit.
I think we have a good cross-section of opinions here (meaning of the people who read this website, 1 is for and 1 is against, 100% of precincts reporting. Badda bing!) What do you think? Shouldn’t the media stay out of advocacy or am I being overly picky here?
5 thoughts on “What’s with Fox40 wanting to “Get It Done”?”
If anything you are not being picky enough, it is embarrassing the way the mass-media (tv news, SacBee) have fallen all over themselves praising KJ and the arena. There has been almost no objectivity in the reporting and to go out and openly encourage people to sign a petition in favor of the arena is completely out of line. Its not about a conflict of interest it is about journalistic integrity.
Having a local sports team to report is probably in the best of a local news station.
Also, the Kings viewing area (and Fox40 broadcast area) far exceeds 3 million people, of which the city of Sacramento is only 450,000. So lets say that for 85% of potential Fox40 viewers, retaining the Kings and building them a new arena costs them nothing. The station’s push for the City of Sacramento to make a huge investment in a new arena seems to align very well with their self-interest and the self interest of most of their viewers.
Now of course, it is much different calculus for those of us living inside city limits. Our cash strapped city is embarking on an enormously costly investment, with an undetermined potential for risk (and reward). But I don’t see that fact as Fox40’s cross to bear.
If you don’t think that Sacramento should commit public resources to a new arena while we’re facing massive budget cuts to out parks, police, and firefighters, you can sign a petition that says as much by visiting this link http://signon.org/sign/dont-use-public-resources?source=c.url&r_by=1389609.
I think Fox40, like most logical folks in Sac, knows that without an arena and high speed rail we have little chance of growing out of the economic rut that we’ve been in, not just the rut lately but that of the last decade or so. Sacramento decision makers were content in just being the capital, without really working for it. Yes, these projects are going to cost big, however the coin has a shiny face: if we want to have a great NBA team, then we need a great place for those game to take place in, and adjacent spaces where local & visiting folks can spend money. Even a book reviewer/ freelance writer can foresee the importance of these particular projects. I voted for high speed rail, and I voted for Mayor Johnson specifically with the mind that he’d help get a real arena get built.
A new arena has little to do with the quality of an NBA team. And arenas generally don’t have a positive economic effect on the communities where they reside–at best they are revenue neutral–the facts that we can see from other arena efforts bear that out. This also has nothing to do with high speed rail, so don’t try to connect the two.