ESPN's watchdogs, the Poynter Institute, offer a self-review
The question I'm always asking Kelly and Jason is, "What does the issue say about ESPN's standards, and did ESPN hold itself to its own high standards. Because I think ultimately that is our job and that's what we are to do. I don't mean that in a scolding or mean to sound like a school marm when I say that. But that is ultimately what we have been asked to do and what we have agreed to do. So that gives you some sense of it. They come up with the ideas and those are the kinds of questions and issues we talk about as we hash them out.
But I appreciate the vigor of their expression. That means that we get roughed up a little more than we might have in other areas. But this has been good. I definitely would be interested in doing a project similar to this with other organizations. Sports is a great topic. I am a sports fan, and we have covered sports here prior to this Project and we will continue to do so. So I would be interested in that kind of thing. And I think we are doing something worthwhile for the Institute and I hope for the audience.
One of the things that we realized early on was that you just can't please everyone. You just can't. No matter what you write, there is somebody or some group or some cluster of fans who will be unhappy. And that just comes with the territory. This is a tough enough, challenging enough project, without factoring in public opinion and allowing that to sway us. That would make this job impossible.
Just to clarify: If there is a ton of clamor around a particular issue where folks aren't telling us what we should say, but it is clear that some issue or something that has happened on the air or ESPN's website or in the magazine, where clearly folks are saying, "Gosh, we would really like to hear from the Poynter Review Project," that has the potential to have an impact on us. But that is different from our wanting to be more critical or less critical of ESPN simply because of public opinion.