Friday, March 27, 2009

Media talk

The fallout from the Nery Castillo tirade seems to have been overwhelmingly in favor of Castillo among the supporters. It seems the Mexican media is very low in the minds of many.

Now, I don't know what journalism is like in Mexico and what standards it follows. It's a different game there, so to speak. But the thing that bothers me is this idea that the media should support the national team and should be positive with the national team.

It's not the media's job to support. That's PR, public relations. The media's job is to report on what happened, report the major storylines, the minor storylines and everything in between, to cover a game or event or whatever from as many angles as possible so the reader or viewer or listener or whatever can get the full story.

The media's job is not to support or trash, it is not to give atta-boys or pats on the back, pick-me-up columns or fluff pieces. That's PR, marketing, whatever. Not media. Sure, you cover and deal with players you like on a personal level and other you don't care for on a personal level. But you have to be true to the job and the profession and remain objective. Media members aren't cheerleaders, and it seems that's a major complaint about the Mexican media, that they aren't supporting the national team.

The team has played like shit. What do you want the media to do? You want Mural to run a cover that says "Don't Worry Tri, Next Time You'll Win" if they lose on Saturday? Should that have been the headline following the US-Mexico game?

Now, there is an element of tabloid and sensationalism that goes on there and that part I can't speak about. I despise tabloids in general and if those are the basis of the complaints, I guess I can't really blame them.

Anyway, here's the Futbol Picante crew talking about the Nery situation.


JLC said...

LB -- The Mexican soccer media is an absolute farce. I don't agree with the letter of Nery's comments -- ie, you can't criticize if you haven't played -- but I wholly agree with the spirit of it.

The Mexican media criticizes for the sake of criticizing. They're just trying to create controversy and sell papers. Look at what they did to LaVolpe -- sure, the guy is a total jerk to reporters, but he had the national team producing some scintillating stuff and competing at a near-elite international level. They ran him off so they could get Hugo, their hero, the job.

As soon as Hugo struggled, they crucified him, too. In many ways, Sven never had a chance. They do the same thing to everyone. They're so hung up on this fantasy that Mexico should be in the quarterfinals of the World Cup by birthright. They never give the head coaches a chance.

All the while, they let the clowns who run the federation get away with murder. Slamming the head coach is easy, but they don't have the balls to go after the big shots.

Even if Sven rights the ship and gets us to the World Cup, he won't survive that tournament unless we make the quarters -- even if we draw the group of death, survive it and lose to Brazil in the round of 16.

Everyone wants Aguirre to take over if/when Sven gets canned. He won't have a chance either.

I'm a former journalist myself, I totally agree with you that the media should not be a cheerleader. But in the Mexican media's case, they're the exact opposite.

El Hocicón said...

I agree with both LB and JLC. I read Mediotiempo and other Mexican news outlets, and a lot of the times, it seems like the Mexican press criticizes for the sake of criticizing. There's very little analysis to go along with their criticisms. That would be fine if everything was op-ed pieces or tabloid media, but if you're being paid to be a reputable journalist than you need to do more than just complain.

On the opposite spectrum, I feel that the US media is far too rah-rah, pro-US without any real criticism when it comes to the USMNT. It's almost like they're afraid to criticize the players or coaches because they don't want to be labeled anti-soccer or anti-American by readers. And the few that do end up criticizing are immediately chastised by readers or are disregarded as "douches". There's far too much fluff in the American soccer media, and not enough tough questions or investigative reporting being done.

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casadomecq said...

I believe the papers criticize the National Team because, as the ESPN Fubtol Picante crew mention, the team is more readily available to TV Azteca and Televisa. These networks should tone the content of the advertisement a bit. For example, in 2007 TV Azteca had the Conquista de America where they pretty much were saying that Mexico was going to win the Gold Cup, Copa America, and the U - 20 World Cup. Come on, that was in a way irresponsible. The low - income, uneducated people of Mexico believe these guys, and think the National Team is at the same level as Argentina or Brazil. The commercials are also funny, especially the Movistar one where Rafa Marquez, wearing the National Team jersey, puts is hand to his heart and proclaims his love for the team. This aired after the US game where he clearly wanted to get red carded and go back to Barcelona.