I was extremely happy to learn that NFL Network and ESPN have decided that they won’t be tipping draft picks via Twitter this week during the NFL draft. Adam Schefter will still be working to break extraordinary news like trades or bold moves, but if there’s just a team sitting in a slot and selecting a guy, Schefter will not be reporting it a minute ahead of time, for example. They’ve also agreed to avoid showing potential draftees on the phone in New York City in order to try and get the pick to the TV audience before it escapes the lips of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. I don’t know if this will work completely to keep from spoiling picks as ESPN and NFL Network can’t control other guys like Jay Glazer who are as plugged in as anyone in the NFL world, but it’s a good idea, I think.
So am I really just advocating for the death of reporting? I don’t think so. I’ve taken the same stance with the NBA draft too, by the way. I just think that while uncovering potential trades and free agency moves is a valuable bit of reporting there’s something really worthless about scooping a live event a mere minute or less before the thing actually happens. If information is measured in value where the amount of time of relevance is determinant of actual value of the piece of info, then info with mere seconds or minutes of “useful” life is decidedly of low value.
All this comes in the same time period where I discussed the value of information on Twitter against the backdrops of the cable news networks with regard to the Boston bombing and subsequent man-hunt. In that case, I prefer the truth and immediacy of Twitter as the events are unfolding. Even taking into account the sheer difference in gravity of the NFL draft and the hunting of a terror suspect, it would seem that what I’m displaying is a hypocritical stance. I guess I’m alright with that in this case. Yes, it takes some work to report on a draft pick before it actually happens, but clearly the entertainment angle is of importance on draft night and shouldn’t be ignored. [Read more...]