Sunday, July 23, 2006

USA Today- Joe Saraceno, 1/11/06; LA Times Ethics Guidelines 10/25/05

Blyleven now has been rejected 10 times, Gossage eight, Dawson five. The entire ordeal seems almost cruel and unfair for everyone. And it's not going to become any easier for the Baseball Writers' Association of America, whose involvement is under increasing scrutiny. Some newspapers don't allow their writers to vote.

From the LA Times Ethics Guidelines:
Some types of civic participation may be deemed inappropriate. An environmental writer, for instance, would be prohibited from affiliating with environmental organizations, a health writer from joining medical groups, a business editor from membership in certain trade or financial associations.
  • This says to me that the BBWAA as it now exists, doesn't pass ethical guidelines. It has so many offshoots, such as recently considering televising its selections via Dick Clark Productions, to many other income-creating outlets, publishing interests, and higher levels of office seeking which have even more leverage over players' lives.
The LA Times continues:

The Times, like many newspapers, for years has allowed its sports writers to participate in voting for baseball's Hall of Fame, college football's Heisman Trophy and national rankings in college sports, among other areas. Participation in these polls creates possibilities for conflicts of interest. Similar issues arise in the arts when journalists are invited to vote for awards and prizes in film, literature and other fields.

In general, it is inappropriate for reporters to vote for awards and rankings; doing so could reasonably be seen as compromising their objectivity. For critics, whose job is to express opinions on the merits of creative works, awards voting is less troublesome.

Nevertheless, any staff member invited to vote for an award must first receive the permission of the managing editor. No staff member who votes for an award -- whether in sports, the arts or any other area -- may be part of the paper's news coverage of that award.


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