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?