While the sports department of the newsroom has often been referred to as the toy department, it is a far stretch from the job it used to be. I feel that this article all but sums up exactly what we have been talking about in class the past few weeks. The Mark McGwire story was one that made the summer of 1998 glamorous as him and Sammy Sosa chased arguably the most coveted single season record in sports. Then Steve Wilstein broke the story about McGwire using performance enhancing drugs. Wilstein took a lot of heat for this article that kind of put a black mark over that magical summer, and I doubt it was like a toy department for him.
That kind of began the evolution from toy department to what I believe is only kind of a toy department. No longer do we see journalists like the ones we read about in the Babe Ruth article, a man or woman would be run out of the business if they had a relationship like that and continuously wrote so positively about a figure. The evolution isn’t all bad though, look at the plethora of feel good stories you see run on various networks in the past year whether it be Oscar Pistorius the double amputee that ran in the Olympics or something like the Washington hosting baseball playoffs for the first time since 1933. Everyone just gets so caught up in the Penn State stories because the media blows them out of proportion. I would rather see the story about the kid who de-committed from Penn State and enrolled at Rutgers that was run on E: 60, it is much more of a human interest piece to me.
All in all this article shed light on tough situations to deal with in journalism such as cheating scandals, race issues and cheating. This leads me to believe that the “toy department” is now evolving to a mature area that still is allowed to have fun from time to time.