Sports journalism: a form of writing that reports on sporting topics and games. The University Daily Kansan does just that: reports on the current topics in sports and covers the sporting events that pertain to KU athletics.
There have been several FFAs submitted to the Kansan recently about how the sports staff has been “slamming coach Charlie Weis” in the paper.
The Kansan is not the football — or the basketball team’s — cheerleader. The Kansan has never been a cheerleader and never will be a cheerleader. The sports staff has a job to uphold by reporting current and relevant news. Weis being on the hot seat is current and relevant news. The football team not winning is current and relevant news. The Kansan sports writers are not on staff to glamorize anything. Their job is to tell it like it is.
If roles were reversed and football won 10-straight conference championships and basketball was going through a conference season without picking up a win, the sports staff would be addressing the problems with the basketball team. However, that is not the case.
If the students want someone to be a cheerleader (other than the actual cheerleaders) for the team, the students themselves should be cheerleaders and stay for the whole game, rather than leave when things get rough to hit up the bars. We all know the students don’t leave to do their homework or knit sweaters with their grandmas.
The Kansan sports staff should not have to defend its position when they are reporting the current topic in sports. No team is perfect for the duration of its existence. It’s not possible. Teams go through losing seasons; as a fan it sucks, but it is what it is.
I was in seventh grade when Kansas won the 2008 Orange Bowl and was in eighth grade when Kansas last went to a bowl game (2009 Insight Bowl). As a fan, I understand the frustrations with reading all the negative things about the football team and Weis in the paper. As a sports journalist, I know you can’t sugarcoat the truth.
Covering a team that is coming off several losing seasons in a row isn’t worlds of fun. However, we as sports writers owe it to the team and the fans to accurately report news that relates to the team, even if it isn’t pretty.
—Edited by Emily Brown