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I presume that if they do not return their ballot, it does not count towards the final "denominator", correct?
How does the BBWAA decide who gets ballots? I know you have to have been a BBWAA member for 10 years, but beyond that?
It seems odd that two people have been given the opportunity and then decline to participate at all, especially if they are "never comfortable with it".
I can see the conflict of interest argument for seasonal awards given the reporters will still be covering those players. By the time a player is on the HoF ballot though, any such conflict of interest is quite minimal.
What seems odd about it? I don't think every member (or even most) joins the BBWAA so they can vote on stuff, even if that's the only reason we care about the organization.
It's not just the conflict of interest angle, though that is significant. It's the simple belief that reporters shouldn't be involved in the newsmaking process.
reporters shouldn't be involved in the newsmaking process
Given that so many of these guys are basically pundits who make a living out of stirring the pot, that ship has sailed.
But isn't that exactly what investigative reporters are involved in, and what they aim for -- breaking the big story that has an effect on what comes afterwards?
It's the simple belief that reporters shouldn't be involved in the newsmaking process.
This is a really interesting article, but if his conclusion is supposed to be: "I shouldn't vote for the Hall of Fame," then only one of his points supports that. I understand how the fact that he's a journalist and journalists shouldn't make the news but merely report it (because they need to preserve objectivity) means he shouldn't vote.
Hopelessly naive I'm afraid. As #24 notes, every decision about what story goes into the paper is "newsmaking." Putting anything in the above-the-fold photo is making news out of it just like burying a story on A16 ensures it has less impact. Heck, headlines are newsmaking.
Just curious, do you have similar objections to the Pulitzer Prizes?
Subjectivity exists in every facet of the job. It is far better to let loose of the illusion of objectivity and not rely on unenforceable principles and instead be as upfront as you can be about the subjective decisions involved.
I certainly have no objection to someone forgoing their HoF vote because they feel it's a conflict; I don't have a problem with a paper instituting that as policy. But an HoF vote column seems to me to be substantially less ethically questionable than reviews of movies, plays, books, TV, music ... and probably less ethically questionable than awarding Pulitzers.
This ship sailed the first time somebody accepted an advertisement ... which I assume was the day after Gutenberg got the damned thing working.
Opinion will always have a place in the journalism field, though a nice wall between opinion pieces and general reporting isn't hard to manage.
Good publications/organizations put up a pretty strong wall between the revenue side and the editorial side. Sadly, that wall weakened considerably during my time in the daily paper business. But when I started, it really was impregnable.
There's a fine line between being a crusading reporter and being a propagandist for a cause, but the main difference is that the former is interested in all the facts, not just the ones that support his "case". That doesn't mean that the final result has to be "balanced", but it does mean that an honest effort had to be made to consider all possible angles before going to press.
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