Are we witnessing the slow decline of ESPN?

Posted: August 6, 2009 in sports opinion

A directive straight from Bristol or Disney. Twitter is dead in the ESPN-verse. You know Twitter, right? The uber-popular site populated with celebs and regular folks. It’s a big deal (no Ron Burgundy)

So why the straitjacket? Please read the guidelines Stank-0 has posted.


ESPN regards social networks such as message boards, conversation pages and other forms of social networking such as Facebook and Twitter as important new forms of content. As such, we expect to hold all talent who participate in social networking to the same standards we hold for interaction with our audiences across TV, radio and
our digital platforms. This applies to all ESPN Talent, anchors, play by play,
hosts, analysts, commentators, reporters and writers who participate in any form
of personal social networking that contain sports related content.

ESPN Digital Media is currently building and testing modules designed to publish
Twitter and Facebook entries simultaneously on,, Page
2, ESPN Profile pages and other similar pages across our web site and mobile
platforms. The plan is to fully deploy these modules this fall.

Specific Guidelines

· Personal websites and blogs that contain sports content are not
· Prior to engaging in any form of social networking dealing with
sports, you must receive permission from the supervisor as appointed by your department head
· ESPN.COM may choose to post sports related social media
· If opts not to post sports related social media content
created by ESPN talent, you are not permitted to report, speculate, discuss or give any opinions on sports related topics or personalities on your personal platforms
· The first and only priority is to serve ESPN sanctioned efforts,
including sports news, information and content. Assume at all times you are
representing ESPN.
If you wouldn’t say it on the air or write it in your column,
don’t tweet it. Exercise discretion, thoughtfulness and respect for your
colleagues, business associates and our fans.
· Avoid discussing internal policies or detailing how a story or feature was reported, written, edited or produced and discussing stories or features in progress, those that haven’t been posted or produced, interviews you’ve conducted, or any future coverage plans.
· Steer clear of engaging in dialogue that defends your work against
those who challenge it
and do not engage in media criticism or disparage
colleagues or competitors
· Be mindful that all posted content is subject to review in accordance with ESPN’s employee policies and editorial guidelines
· Confidential or proprietary company information or similar information of third
parties who have shared such information with ESPN, should not be shared
Any violation of these guidelines could result in a range of consequences, including
but not limited to suspension or dismissal.

Let’s highlight some things here.

  • Personal blogs are out! You serve ESPN, step lively and dance when ESPN says so.
  • Before you use social networking sites, ask ESPN’s permission.
  • If ESPN does not report a story, do not question ESPN’s decision. ANYWHERE, ANYTIME OR ANY PLACE!
  • Do not discuss the inner workings of ESPN with outsiders.
  • Do not defend your work on ESPN to outsiders.
  • Any posted content must be cleared by ESPN.

Sounds like some cult sh!t to Stank-0. Now is all this because of the dust up over ESPN’s non-coverage of Ben Roethlisberger? Stank-0 didn’t realize Big Ben was that important.

Stank-0 thinks having writers write on their own blogs adds to sports journalism. It’s an interaction/dialogue versus a monologue or diatribe. Guess that’s why ESPN hasn’t given Stank-0 a deal.

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