Friday, February 19, 2010

Tape Delayed Frustration

Michael Rosenberg of Sports Illustrated complains that it's impossible to enjoy the Olympics because so much of the coverage is tape-delayed (even though the games are being held in our own longitude this year) and it's impossible to avoid finding out the results of the events before seeing them.

I agree that this is a big frustration -- it's hard to enjoy a sporting event if you already know the result. I'm kind of upset at my favorite news websites for telling me results before I want to know them. But the same technology that brings us instant results could easily shield us from them if only editors would use a little intelligence.

It's simple: news websites, instead of splashing "Vonn Takes Gold" across their home page, should have a prominent link marked "Olympic Results." Then people who want to see results instantly wouuld only be one click away from them, and people who don't want results thrust upon them involuntarily wouldn't click the link.

Sheesh, is that so hard? News websites don't publish spoilers in the headlines of their movie reviews. When a story or a review contains a spoiler pretty much everybody follows the convention of giving a spoiler warning. So why not do it for Olympic results?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I sympathize with you, professor, but Olympic results are news, and news organizations compete to bring news to the public. Unlike plot twists in a book or film, sporting events happen in real time, and when something worth reporting occurs -- such as who's won and who's lost -- news outlets should report it. And they shouldn't have to handicap themselves by making it more difficult for people to find the news. Big news should be played prominently, not hidden behind another link. The media's job is to report what's happening -- not to preserve drama for a TV show produced by another media company.