A couple of years ago I wrote about the shoddy reporting of the NCAA men’s basketball championship game. In particular, I noted how after reading no less than four articles and watching several videos of commentary, I still didn’t know what the score of the game was. Apparently in modern-day sports reporting that’s a trivial piece of information worthy of the cutting room floor.
Fast forward to the same tournament in 2018. It’s only the first round and the sloppiness of shoddy journalism is once again rearing its ugly head.
As it’s been reported, for the first time in the more than half-century history of the tournament, a number 16 seed has defeated a number one seed. Highly favored University of Virginia lost by more than 20 points (at least for this game, they reported the score) to UMBC.
Who? OK, I’ll admit that among the lower seeds there are often schools that are not household names. Hence, UMBC. Unfortunately, after reviewing more than four stories and watching two complete video wrap ups on the game, I still don’t know who the hell UMBC is. Oh, the heralds of modern sports journalism must assume that everyone must know who UMBC is. Well, I don’t. And after sampling what they puke up as journalism, I still don’t.
I seem to recall in News Writing 101 (and as confirmed by the AP Stylebook), it’s elementary journalism to spell out a name such as that on the first reference before it’s acceptable to use merely the initials in subsequent references. A serious journalist would know that. It seems that, once again, sports reporters have proven themselves to be something less than journalists.
I didn’t see the game, but I tip my hat to the kids on the UMBC team. They achieved a major upset. Cherish your victory, guys. You’ll remember it always and the good folks at UMBC always will remember the 2018 tournament upset – wherever they are.
For myself, apparently I’ll have to resort to Google to find out just what the hell UMBC stands for and where they’re located. I’d ask Alexa but she’s in the other room and I’m learning that she doesn’t know much of anything off the beaten path.
There is one place I know I won’t look for the answer – the sports page.