CBS Sports confirmed what everyone already knows—Auburn is under investigation for NCAA violations. According to CBS’ Dennis Dodd, “this is arguably the dirtiest era in NCAA history.” He explains there are many programs under scrutiny. And this includes Auburn. Dodd writes, “Auburn is being investigated on two fronts.”
For those who closely follow NCAA sports, this is not a revelation. However, if you depend on al.com, local newspapers or television for information about Auburn’s rampant cheating (see Big Cat Weekend, HBO 4, etc.) then you are out of luck.
Instead of doing real journalism, al.com would rather write puff pieces. Instead of investigative reporting, al.com would rather tell us how Prince William was almost an Auburn man. (LINK) And here is the image on the website:
What in the hell is wrong with newspapers today?
What happened to the commitment to expose the truth, and to do so no matter how unpopular?
Is it shocking that al.com would abandon its post on an issue involving Auburn? After all, an Auburn fan directs the state’s largest newspaper. Does this influence coverage at the Birmingham News and al.com?
What else can the general public think when real stories are ignored and irrelevant pieces are published linking British royalty with some Podunk town on the Plains?
When newspapers behave in this shameful manner, the entire profession is hurt. If shoddy journalism is allowed to grow within the confines of the sports page, will it not also find its way into the more important parts of the paper like the editorial page and the political coverage? Such shoddiness injures the state. It harms an important bulwark of our political system. If we cannot trust the newspapers, then what can we trust in our efforts to supervise public institutions?
While blogs and Internet sites are important elements of a new level of participatory journalism, professional journalists provide important things to the public discourse. Professionals are the ones who provide deep investigations, and professional organizations are the ones with the resources to conduct such investigations. Could any organization other than the Birmingham News have uncovered the corruption in Alabama’s two-year college system?
If the Birmingham News possessed such fine skills in its investigation of the state’s two-year college system, why does this same organization abdicate its responsibilities in reporting about Auburn?