Imagine seeing the headline to a story about a speech President Barack Obama gives on foreign policy appearing next to a story titled, “20 Athletes Who Need to Take a Chill Pill,” on a website.
Too farfetched an idea? Not anymore.
CNN announced on Jan. 8 that it has associated itself with the sports website Bleacher Report, ending a long time partnership with Sports Illustrated.
When you go to CNN’s website and attempt to use its link that takes you to the Sports Illustrated website, you are instead first directed to a message stating that CNN is changing its partnership soon.
The message says, “Starting in February, CNN Sports will be provided by Bleacher Report.”
They might as well have said, “We at CNN have decided to make PowerPoint our No. 1 formatting tool.”
The announcement piggybacks off another one made on Aug. 6, 2012 when the Turner Broadcasting System acquired Bleacher Report after ending its own relationship with Sports Illustrated.
This is an amazing move that is a win for the new wave of blog type websites and a loss for almost everyone else.
Bleacher Report launched in 2007 and states on its website it wanted to create “an amplified outlet for writers whose unique voices were routinely drowned out by cookie-cutter analysts and celebrity ‘experts’.”
It allows anyone with a keyboard a platform for their writing and opinions to be expressed with the chance of it being viewed by the masses.
While news is indeed reported on the website, it doesn’t match anywhere the quality of what the CNN brand has worked towards.
Bleacher Report doesn’t look to find and tell the story about news on its own like many reputable news agencies, its writers usually pass along the work that others have done or creates unique, controversial opinionated lists in the aforementioned slideshow format.
The blog-website Deadspin on Oct. 4, 2012 published an email it acquired which appeared to show how stories are written for BR. In the email, it showed someone providing over 100 different possible headlines for a story which included many possible pre-written outcomes of a sporting event or things involving the “top 5” or how many total things. Hardly real journalism.
Sports Illustrated is a brand that began in 1954. Its Sportsman of the Year award is one of the most coveted in the world of sports every year. Its magazine cover has great notoriety for having a jinx associated with being featured on it.
About the only thing associated with being on the front of Bleacher Report is you’re probably being called the greatest or worst living athlete ever by Joe-Schmoe from his couch.
Bleacher Report has at least tried to become more reputable by hiring actual journalists. They still are drown out by the hoards of everyday people who are trying to earn their site “achievements” by getting higher page views or comments on their stories for “medals.” I mean, a free sweatshirt is on the line for them if they can accumulate enough points.
Of course, if they don’t get their points, they can console themselves by reading up on the latest news from World Wrestling Entertainment, which the site lumps across its main feed with actual sporting organizations.
There’s going to be some that say this is just part of the changing times, where print is dying and digital is in. Reality says CNN doesn’t appear to mind if it might end up filling its viewers with nonsense lists.
For those that enjoy the site, continue surfing through your choice between “Gauging the Mood in Laker Nation After Second Straight Win” and “Can Ryback Escape the Shield and Finally Become the WWE Champion?”
Just make sure you check out those hard hitting slideshows every now and then about “25 Best NHL Ice Girl Lockout Photos” too.