Major League Baseball: Media’s responsibility to athletes


Everything we say and do comes with consequences. The positive and negative results from the point of view a writer or a TV/radio personality brings forth.

We live in a 24/7 news cycle world, where being first to the story is key and having the exclusive angle will determine the strength of your viewer or readership.

Despite the best intentions of journalists as a whole, the informed public needs to start demanding that journalists stay true to the responsibilities they have to the people the write about.

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I am not a professional journalist. I’m just a sports fan who’s lucky enough to have a public forum to talk about things I find interesting. Opinions I’ve had previously have been wrong and I have openly admitted when it’s happened.

Since news broke of an Al Jazeera America documentary, which outed professional athletes for their history of doping, I can’t help but wonder how they could name players that have never failed PED testing since it’s implementation.

Even with the main source recanting his story, the news network is standing by their assertion as fact.

Most notably for Major League Baseball, Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard and Washington Nationals slugger Ryan Zimmerman have both been linked to the story that will air Sunday.

While I am writing about the baseless conclusions some journalists choose to cover, I will note that the investigation into these players will take place.

Perhaps the Al Jazeera story will prove correct, but the fact that remains is that these players are now out there, which could damage them professionally and personally.

The court of public opinion can be swift and unforgiving. If this was a story chronicling the dark side of drugs in baseball that has already existed and been proven, this wouldn’t even be a story. They aren’t trying to tell the news, they are trying to make it.

What is the media’s responsibility to athletes when it comes to reporting? If sources are good and can be verified, nothing should stop them from getting it to the public. Right now, journalists, or anyone with a computer and a thought in their head, can pretty much say what they want and hide behind the curtain of journalistic integrity.

There will finally come a time when things have gone too far. At the end of the day, I can only hope that the individuals who got it wrong, will work to make it right.