Do Some Media Types Have A "Contempt" For Fans?

This weekend, a nice little spat erupted between two members of the local media, if you're interested in what it is and why I wrote about it over at SBNation Philly. However, the specifics aren't really important to one issue that was raised in the story that sparked the fight. In a column where he basically chastised the local media for chastising fans for booing, John Gonzalez brought up an interesting point.

I bristle when media members - and it isn't just the print guys; TV reporters and radio hosts do it all the time - tell the general public how to act. It can come off as though they think they're better or smarter than the average person.

That's part of the problem. Many media types I know hold the fans in contempt.

It's the misguided elitism that rankles. Reporters don't consume sports the same way fans do, and few of them have made much of an effort to understand your perspective.

Now I don't claim to know anything at all about the specific reporter he directed part of this commentary at, however I have experienced some of this contempt he mentioned firsthand. I've never told this story before, but I felt like this was an apropos time. Last year, I got credentialed to Eagles training camp for the first time. So I got to stand on the sidelines with all the reporters to watch practice. In doing so, I overheard a conversation that both shocked and pissed me off.

Two photographers (and I really don't know where they were from or else I'd say) were standing on the sidelines talking about the thousands of fans that were there to see the practice and one guy says to the other "Look at all these people here, don't they have f-ing jobs? I mean, it's a weekday!" and the two proceeded to crack up about it.

Now it was my first time covering camp officially and I wasn't going to create a scene on the sidelines or anything, but I really wanted to say "You know what a-hole? They probably do all have jobs and decided to take a day off just so they could come all the way up here to see their team practice. And that dedication to a team is the only reason a person like you has a job."

You see, this guy couldn't contemplate the idea of someone coming to see the Eagles practice unless they were getting paid... which means this guy doesn't understand even a little but what it means to be a fan.If you can't understand what it means to be a fan, how can you be any good at making a living off them? Because that's all sports reporter or photographer does.

Plus, he doesn't even get what makes Eagles training camp such a special time. It's one of the few times when we get to see the team up close for free. Plus the presence of the fans completely changes the atmosphere at Lehigh. Eagles personnel would tell you that, players would tell you that, coaches and even most reporters... but according to this photographer, they were just a bunch of out of slobs with nothing better to do.

I honestly don't really have any complaints about the job the local Eagles writers do. I find them to be reasonably earnest in what they do. However, do you think you're being served? Do sports reporters, locally or nationally speak to issues you care about?

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