Some thoughts about the media and dog racing

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Every time I read a news story reporting on greyhound racing or dog sled racing in a positive light, in what is typically a legitimate news outlet, it screams of poor journalism.

And for sports news outlets to report dog race results – the way the national media reports on the IdiocyRod, for example – ranks as a 1 on a scale of 1 to 10 on the journalism scale. Even if for just a moment, we put aside the cruelty involved in these industries, it ranks with reporting the results of a street-corner dice game in the ‘Sports’ section.

John Smith beat Howard Howey with role of seven in a back alley off Market Street – and won 10 bucks. More details at 11.

Report on more local sports. It is far better to report on the local recreation team that won its league tournament – or in the case of national media, do that too. Report more news about youth sports safety or on the U10 team that won a national tournament. Don’t waste space on crap; especially crap with a history of animal cruelty and death of animals on the race course.

But it also poor journalism to consistently ignore the primary issue within the subject matter you are reporting on. The major component within dog racing is the treatment and death of dogs. I’ve been a sports journalist too for 14 years. I would never want to cover a game without noting the primary news out of that game. Or I’d never want to write a feature about a particular sport or event or athlete, without mentioning the primary piece of information from that story.

I already hear the naysayers who don’t agree with me. They might be saying, ‘But wait, they are only reporting the results. They can’t mention the horrors of dog racing every time they cover a race.

But that’s the point. Why cover something in this way to begin with, knowing there are horrors behind the scenes? We don’t see dog-fight results in the paper for a reason. True, it’s illegal. But we also know it’s horrible.

Stop covering it and cover something else. Do this and maybe it could lead to dog racing going away for good.


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