They don’t teach you to ‘fake it’ in Journalism school. However, Charissa Thompson has been doing just that… faking facts on the sidelines.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not easy being a sideline reporter or a broadcaster in general. Sideline reporters are tasked with getting information from players and coaches who sometimes don’t want to give up said information. Thompson has used a trick that might make sense to some but loses credibility… if the coach isn’t giving you useful information to report on a broadcast, just make something up.
“I’ve said this before,” Thompson noted. “I haven’t been fired to saying it, but I’ll say it again. I would make up the report sometimes, because A, the coach wouldn’t come out at halftime, or it was too late and I didn’t want to screw up the report. So I was like, ‘I’m just gonna make this up.”
The former ESPN Analyst is now working for Fox Sports and is the Sideline Reporter for Prime on Thursday Night Football.
“Because first of all, no coach is gonna get mad if I say, ‘Hey, we need to stop hurting ourselves, we need to be better on third down, we need to stop turning the ball over and do a better job of getting off the field.’ They’re not gonna correct me on that. So I’m like, it’s fine, I’ll just make up the report.”
Charissa Thompson has previously discussed this topic on the podcast with Erin Andrews. Previously, she alluded to paraphrasing and embellishing news from the sidelines. Its no secret that some coaches don’t want to talk to the media during the game. In school, these sideline reporters are taught to dig for answers. That’s essentially what the best reporters need to do. Thompson admitting this is going to lose credibility. The audience is going to question any report that comes from her and other sideline reporters now.
Schools likely won’t add a class to teach “fake reports.” It does show that most in-game reports are unnecessary. Occasionally, a coach might say something notable or emotional enough to garner the audience’s attention. But usually, the coachspeak they offer is generic enough that it can be predicted and curated by reporters.
As of now, it doesn’t sound like Amazon is going to do anything about it.
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