Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 12/14/12
In the business of sports journalism, it’s very tricky to decide how to move forward when tragic events outside of the realm of competition occur. While NESN has received Twitter comments responding to stories along the lines of “Why are you posting [expletive] like this on a day like today,” ESPN, based in Bristol, Conn. is even closer to the situation. In the wake of the tragic school shooting, ESPN has instructed its staff to refrain from tweeting about sports until noon Sunday, according to internal emails obtained by Deadspin. Additionally, the network has eliminated the “Showdown Sunday” label for NFL football games, and has asked that all editorial staff not use the word “shooter” in the context of sports. Bristol is about 30 miles from Newtown. ESPN plans to have all on-air personalities open by acknowledging the tragedy, then move into sports-world reaction to the shooting before actually beginning in on highlights or analysis. Additionally, details of the shooting will not be addressed, just general acknowledgements that it occurred. Anyone covering sports is in a difficult position for the immediate future. While continuing to cover sports can be viewed as insensitive, it also isn’t necessarily prudent to take away from legitimate news coverage of the events by moving outside the normal realm of competition. There aren’t necessarily any right or wrong answers, but it is an interesting philosophical question.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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