Cowboys tweet highlights dangers of team-owned media

Cowboys tweet highlights dangers of team-owned media
Cowboys tweet highlights dangers of team-owned media

About 20 years ago, sports teams and leagues decided to create their own media outlets, assigning team and league employees to cover the entities that pay them. Usually, problems arise when team and league owned media are consistently positive and/or oblivious to the negative.

Recently, internal media covering one of the most popular teams in the league made waves for doing the exact opposite.

This tweet has caused a stir since it was posted on the official Cowboys account on Sunday night: “Dak Prescott

in the narrow loss to the 49ers, in a matchup the Cowboys had a chance to win if they didn’t get hurt again.

It’s one thing for someone who doesn’t work for the Cowboys to criticize their players, coaches, etc. It’s quite another for a co-worker, colleague, writer whose paycheck is signed by Jerry Jones to turn the flamethrower on Dak Prescott or anyone else involved in the sausage-making process on the pitch.

If this demonstrates that captive media can be objective, it raises the question of whether captive media should be. By now, consumers know (or should know) that when they log on to the NFL Network or NFL.com, they get their news and analytics through Shield-colored glasses. Ditto for the media belonging to the team. If you go to a team’s website, you get information that is ultimately aimed at advancing that team’s interests.

For the Cowboys, making money seemingly trumps keeping players and coaches from being lambasted by supposedly friendly voices. If/when team-owned media calls a guy, it’s basically the same as the team calls him.

While the Cowboys may claim the team gives autonomy to its writers, even that has guardrails. (For example, you won’t find any stories on DallasCowboys.com about last year’s quickly-hushed-up voyeurism scandal, or the ongoing paternity lawsuit against Jones himself.) Even though the team says it doesn’t tell writers what to write and/or what not to write, the reality is that they implicitly allow key players like Prescott to be blamed by the platforms the team owns.

Again, the Cowboys can tell this isn’t personal. That they want good and bad coverage in order to maximize the audience. And it’s good. But they better make sure that Prescott and the other players and the coaches on the team are okay with the possibility of employees of the team’s media properties ignoring camaraderie and collegiality and shit all over them .

. tweet from Cowboys highlights the dangers from media owned a team

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