09 December 2009

Hunting Tiger Woods

Go to VOANews.com’s sports page and you will see several stories about Tiger Woods, the star golfer who had a mysterious auto accident outside his Florida home and subsequently admitted to unspecified "transgressions". The admission came amid published allegations that he had extramarital affairs.

The Woods story has dominated the news media. On Google’s new search yesterday, there were nearly 4,000 articles – and not all of them from American media outlets. There were items from India and Ireland, Australia, Canada and Britain, just to mention a few foreign news sources.

VOA editors have discussed the issue of global interest in Tiger Woods and their responsibilities in handling the story.

Like other organizations, there are various camps here: those who say that the golfer is entitled to some privacy, and others who say that as a public figure, anything he is involved in is open to coverage. Some say there is no interest in the story in certain foreign markets. Others say it’s an aspect of American life but needs to be treated as part of a bigger issue – like ‘why are people interested in celebrities’ or ‘why do public figures get involved in sex scandals’ or, simply, ‘what is it about the Tiger story that captivates audiences?’

Listening to the discussion, I had to think about something Time magazine’s James Poniewozik wrote in a blog post this week: about watching “the contortions the respectable media go through” to try to justify covering a hot topic “while appearing to be serious-minded, and not like all those other outlets just trying to pry into Tiger Woods’ personal life.”

He says such justifications are unlikely to help the mainstream media: “What these half-measures do, more than anything, is convey the sense that the mainstream media is phony, inauthentic, that it lacks the courage of its convictions either to go all in and give the public what it wants, or take a bullet and stick to its principles. Trying to please everyone, it pleases no one.”

Do you have an opinion? Do you even care? Would more stories about Tiger Woods cause you to visit our website more often? Let us know.


Anonymous said...

No, I did not care. But the news keep coming everyday. http://thestar.com.my/sports/story.asp?file=/2009/12/11/sports/5285018&sec=sports
So now I know something about it. Like many people in this world, I sort of know someone who is famous because it is the news that bring me to know this person. Tiger Woods is or was, an admired person because of his golfing skills and the winnings that he made. If a person once not married and now is married, will his sport’s performance remain the same ? There are other sportspeople whose marriage somehow cause them to fade away from the limelight. Then there is the common weaknesses of a man and a woman. Money, fame and affairs. Especially one who is really rich and can afford the whole world. Regretably, this assumption comes true. Tiger Woods is always thought of as a role model. Someone like President Barrack Obama. But of course, after much thought, he is a normal person and like any other normal person, he has a normal person’s needs. This assumed expectation of him is too great and probably unfair because of the social background that is different. The reported news somehow makes his situation look worse from day to day. At first it was just a car crash. What’s the big deal ? Then the whispers behind the stories. Later a blond woman was taken out from the ambulance. Following suit are all the unbelievable stories. If there are people who are disappointed with him, it will not be because he lose in his golfing competitions. It is all these unbelievable stories. It is hoped that the mass media can forgive him by reporting the better side of him.

frankCC said...

------is he soup yet /

Yogi 's Music World said...

Please, no more Tiger Woods!!! I also don't care about Angelina's pregnancy, or how the jackson family battle over Micheal's kids comes out. I don't care, and frankly, this reader votes against giving it time or press on VOA. You guys have actual work to do, and that stuff is NOT actual work. 'Nuff said?

I grew up an Army brat in the 1960s and 70s, and read VOA as a kid. Then I thought VOA was conservatively biased compared to mainstream American press. Now its the opposite. I go to VOA precisely to find more authentic reporting and analyses than the major new networks are providing these days.

VOA maybe even had its roots in cold-war days info tactics as the Ayatollah claims. But the VOA of today has outgrown that and is finding itself in the position of defending free unbiased news reporting because the big networks are jumping ship, and thinking their future lies in the plastic trash circling in the great ocean of mediocrity.

VOA may even become a casualty of the infotainment war, I don't know. But as long as you guys fight the good fight for free, fair, and accurate reporting and in-depth analyses, this reader will support you!