Monday, January 7, 2008

DUKE: MEDIA DARLINGS?

We try not to get caught up in griping about Duke, the media, ESPN, Dickie V, Crazy Faced Jon Scheyer, etc. Mind you we bring it up here and there, but we try not to whine about it. Of course, on a grand scale, we leave the serious Duke-bashing to TruthaboutDuke.com, and they do a masterful job.

Having said that, let’s take a quick look at what appears to be a national media bias toward the Blue Devils at least as it relates to photographs. Last night, Duke played women's polo and lightweight rowing powerhouse Cornell down in Durham. Shockingly unranked in hoop, the Bears lost by fifteen.

Down in Clemson, the #1 team in the country was making its regular season ACC debut against another ranked team and heated rival in the Clemson Tigers.

So, we ask you – which game is more significant and deserves the most national media coverage…Isn’t the answer obvious?

Evidently to some media outlets, it’s not.

Starting with photographs…Here’s how it works. TAH gets the overwhelming majority of its published photos from sports.yahoo.com. Thank you, Yahoo, you’re awesome. Yahoo picks them up primarily from the AP photo wire and the Getty news photo service. Point being, we don’t think Yahoo made the call about how many photographers were at each game – that is up to the assignment editors at AP and Getty.

Yahoo does, however, have control over how many pictures they post of each game. So, let’s count. Number of photos of #1 vs. #19 in a conference game = 8. Number of photos of #8 Duke vs. a non-conference weakling = 25.

Other factors? Yes, there are some such as the location of the game. Were the Duke game played in New York City or some other news media center, it would make sense that there would be more photographers and hence more photos. It wasn’t. Durham, for all its loveliness, is not a media center, nor is Clemson, SC.

ESPN uses the same photo services and their ratio was about the same (4 UNC, 11 Duke). FYI, Each had just one picture of Coach Roy and one of Coach K – both were yelling at the refs as it should be...

Now, to be fair (and believe it or not, we are occasionally accused of not being so), when we Google UNC basketball/News we get 529 stories about last night’s game, etc. The same action for Duke basketball/News generates 250 on one result and 43 more on another. A clear win for the Tar Heels.

Maybe the lighting is just nicer in ultra-modern Cameron Indoor…

(AP Photo/Gerry Broome and Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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