Jessica Moran confirmed Friday that she resigned from her position as a sideline reporter with Comcast SportsNet New England … on the heels of questions that surrounded her relationship with Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell.
And while she didn’t confirm or deny that she was involved with the manager of the team she covered … her departure and the questions that surround it brought to light something we see quite a bit.
Jessica, you did the noble thing by falling on your sword. But it’s not indicative of female sports reporters as a whole.
Let’s be real: women in sports journalism aren’t in this business to land a husband from the men whom they cover. Though it’s happened. And it won’t stop. And it’s something that’s frowned upon – dating one of the people whom you cover – because it’s seen as a conflict of interest. It’s perceived as getting an unfair advantage – and holding a bias towards a person.
A (male) coworker told me, “well, it’s a little more accepted with broadcasters.” So that makes them different from other journalists? Some would argue that argue that they’re personalities – not reporters
But they started out as reporters – many of them – trying to gather the same information that their male and female counterparts needed to get. That I needed to get. And giving the impression of sleeping with one of the people whom they cover? That’s not an ethical way of getting information.
I’ve worked in markets where it’s happened, though not on my beat. I saw a television personality leave town – and continue her relationship with someone who was on her beat. And that’s well and good, but if that had been my beat and she worked next to me, I wouldn’t have had it.
Because then there would be that question: Well, how does she get her information?
It’s not a fun thing to deal with, on a macro or a micro level.