YOUR VIEW: Covering Michael Sam's Coming Out

3 years 5 months 5 days ago February 20, 2014 Feb 20, 2014 Thursday, February 20 2014 Thursday, February 20, 2014 7:23:00 PM CST in Your View
By: Hayley Buck and Taylor Barth, KOMU 8 Reporters
loading

COLUMBIA - When former University of Missouri football player Michael Sam released a statement announcing that he was gay, the news made national headlines.

KOMU 8 News chose to cover the announcement extensively, and the story led several newscasts. Coverage continued online and on-air as KOMU 8 News invested time and effort to search for community reaction.

Sam had spoken with The New York Times, and interviewed with ESPN. The story broke nationwide, but as a former Missouri Tiger football player, KOMU 8 News investigated the local impact, and the response from the university's athletic department.

Some viewers felt that a man's sexual orientation did not warrant coverage at all.

"Anything for a story...Really KOMU?" said viewer Tonya Turner on Facebook.

Viewer Barbara Johnson said, "I don't feel that someone's sexual preference should be considered news. What he did was probably hard for him and took a lot of courage but it's his business not ours! There are more important things going on in this world than whether a person is gay!"

KOMU 8 News Director Stacey Woelfel said because Sam is a public figure in the community, his announcement was of public interest.

"It's one of those rare stories where the source controls the newsworthiness a lot," Woelfel said. "Usually we think that we'll decide what's newsworthy and in this case because the source decided to make this a public announcement, he's already a public figure, a celebrity if you want to call them that, that gave it newsworthiness when he decided to make it a public announcement."

Other viewers understood why KOMU 8 News included this story in its news coverage, but argued that the subject matter shouldn't be of public interest to begin with. Viewer Beau Hammel said to those who argued a lack of news value.

"You are right it shouldn't matter. But it does due to the inequalities and hate that LGBT people face in our country," Hammel said.

In response, KOMU 8 spoke with Dr. Cyndi Frisby, an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism. Frisby teaches a course focusing on minority coverage in journalism. She said the way this story breaks stereotypes is what makes it newsworthy.

"It shouldn't have been news, but at the same time it has to be to kind of challenge our culture in perhaps what we consider to be, and I keep saying this, masculine," Frisby said. "It challenges us to think of the stereotypes."

Let us know what you think about our coverage of Michael Sam's announcement. Tell us on Facebook, Twitter or email us at news@komu.com.

 

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - A former University of Missouri student filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Kappa Alpha Order Fraternity, the Alpha... More >>
6 hours ago July 27, 2017 Jul 27, 2017 Thursday, July 27 2017 Thursday, July 27, 2017 9:38:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Local businesses heard plans for the Nifong Boulevard Improvement Project at a meeting Thursday. The project is... More >>
9 hours ago July 27, 2017 Jul 27, 2017 Thursday, July 27 2017 Thursday, July 27, 2017 6:39:00 PM CDT in News
CENTRALIA - Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, joined a bipartisan collective of senators with the goal of ending China's ban on... More >>
9 hours ago July 27, 2017 Jul 27, 2017 Thursday, July 27 2017 Thursday, July 27, 2017 6:12:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The American Red Cross issued an emergency appeal earlier this month for eligible individuals to donate blood or... More >>
9 hours ago July 27, 2017 Jul 27, 2017 Thursday, July 27 2017 Thursday, July 27, 2017 6:10:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - When finding a day care facility, parents expect their child to be taken care of, but former employees... More >>
12 hours ago July 27, 2017 Jul 27, 2017 Thursday, July 27 2017 Thursday, July 27, 2017 3:32:00 PM CDT in Target 8
JEFFERSON CITY - Bus drivers from First Student transportation company say they have plenty of positive stories about their experiences... More >>
12 hours ago July 27, 2017 Jul 27, 2017 Thursday, July 27 2017 Thursday, July 27, 2017 3:28:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – A rally was held to speak out against what some are calling discriminatory polices and legislation, following President... More >>
13 hours ago July 27, 2017 Jul 27, 2017 Thursday, July 27 2017 Thursday, July 27, 2017 2:54:00 PM CDT in News
OWENSVILLE - A deadly accident at another fair is on the minds of several fair-goers in mid-Missouri, but it’s not... More >>
13 hours ago July 27, 2017 Jul 27, 2017 Thursday, July 27 2017 Thursday, July 27, 2017 2:44:00 PM CDT in News
WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Roy Blunt today praised the announcement that President Trump intends to nominate Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback... More >>
13 hours ago July 27, 2017 Jul 27, 2017 Thursday, July 27 2017 Thursday, July 27, 2017 2:07:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — Police arrested a woman early Thursday morning during a traffic stop after she allegedly tried to stab an... More >>
17 hours ago July 27, 2017 Jul 27, 2017 Thursday, July 27 2017 Thursday, July 27, 2017 10:56:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Police took two people into custody Thursday morning following a traffic stop which led to a crash. ... More >>
19 hours ago July 27, 2017 Jul 27, 2017 Thursday, July 27 2017 Thursday, July 27, 2017 8:56:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A tanker truck is hanging off an Interstate 44 overpass in downtown St. Louis. KMOV-TV... More >>
19 hours ago July 27, 2017 Jul 27, 2017 Thursday, July 27 2017 Thursday, July 27, 2017 8:24:00 AM CDT in News
BOWLING GREEN, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a staff member at a Missouri prison has been hospitalized after an inmate... More >>
20 hours ago July 27, 2017 Jul 27, 2017 Thursday, July 27 2017 Thursday, July 27, 2017 7:13:00 AM CDT in News
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — The Latest on the opening of a new job training and education center in Ferguson nearly... More >>
20 hours ago July 27, 2017 Jul 27, 2017 Thursday, July 27 2017 Thursday, July 27, 2017 7:06:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has signed new regulations on abortion into law. The first-year... More >>
21 hours ago July 27, 2017 Jul 27, 2017 Thursday, July 27 2017 Thursday, July 27, 2017 6:57:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The former chief financial officer of a suburban St. Louis company has admitted embezzling nearly $3... More >>
21 hours ago July 27, 2017 Jul 27, 2017 Thursday, July 27 2017 Thursday, July 27, 2017 6:36:00 AM CDT in News
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — A woman is being sought for questioning in the killing of a southeast Missouri man.... More >>
21 hours ago July 27, 2017 Jul 27, 2017 Thursday, July 27 2017 Thursday, July 27, 2017 6:29:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia’s post office will host a customer appreciation day at its downtown location Thursday. The event will take... More >>
1 day ago July 27, 2017 Jul 27, 2017 Thursday, July 27 2017 Thursday, July 27, 2017 2:34:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 74°
4am 72°
5am 71°
6am 70°
7am 70°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

3:00a
Mad Money
4:00a
Early Today
4:30a
KOMU 8 News Today
3:30a
Paid Program
4:00a
Paid Program
4:30a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
America's Got Talent
8:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
Masters of Illusion
7:30p
Masters of Illusion
8:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld