This was written a couple hours before WWE Announced the Move to USA. until then, my post was factually accurate. Keep it in mind.
Dear everyone that makes a dime on videos, articles and podcasts on pro wrestling content. I respect your hustle. I am not blind to the fact that this at the end of the day is to sustain an economy, to provide for oneself and to do so by way of something you are passionate about. That isn’t lost on me as i write this piece.
But every kind of medium you publish, every video, every article, every podcast, every tweet from you, the “Wrestling Journalist”. Please keep in mind that you are feeding your audience what they assume to be right. You are in many ways controlling the narrative of the wrestling business more-so than any other kind of media has done before. And its on the uptrend, with content creators such as Wrestletalk, Cultaholic, WhatCulture WWE, F4WOnline, Bleacher Report, all blooming and bringing content that the promotions don’t. But with that comes a responsibility.
And this isn’t new by any stretch, and should be self-explanatory, but the moment you start reporting news, you are a journalist. And by that title alone, you are expected to make sure what you publish is factually correct. In this line of media its not in a “Your news better be correct or you get a strike” way, but in a “What you are reporting better be correct or you fuck someones day up” kinda way.
I write this in response to the reports that have been circling for weeks, if not months. That WWE is going to put NXT on network television on Wednesdays to counter-program AEW’s new show on TNT starting in October. First it was reported ot be FS1, but now its been reported USA Network. Do you know what the big kicker in that story is?
If so please tell me.
Because WWE hasn’t said anything. Triple H has talked about the issue of counter programming with AEW once, but in no language has he or the WWE said anything resemblant to “Yes NXT is definately going on television.” This is entirely from reports that have started online. And as late as yesterday, the main dude that spreads this “business insider” content, Mr Dave Meltzer’s website F4WOnline reported in no uncertain terms that there was going to be an announcement on last nights Raw.
Which there was not. And now with that we have a set of circumstances we can discuss.
Wrestletalk spoke in a video yesterday of an announcement on Raw, which credit where it is due, Laurie Blake knew to call a rumour, nothing was official, and they didnt mention it in their title. 92K people have seen that video at the time of writing this. Add another 87K from Cultaholic who made a video hyping an announcement on Raw. And another 133K from the two videos that Whatculture WWE has made regarding this announcement. Thats approximately 312 000 views between three content providers, and from that people, that have all seen videos saying, “Oh WWE is going to do this tonight.” And so the 312K people tune into Raw like they always do, however this time expecting an annoucement. they sit through 3 hours of Raw. And theres nothing.
All because Dave Meltzer has said something he heard that he can’t confirm as fact because that would mean revealing sources and being transparent. But because that won’t happen. At bare minimum, now 312K people from videos alone went into a show expecting something and didn’t get that something. The rumoured announcement being what it is, that may be a jump of joy, or it may be disappointing. Bottom line is that it’s now the show is in the can. There was no announcement, and Meltzers mouth has handed the wrestling media world a stamp of factually incorrect and a massive L to boot.
This isn’t a smear piece on Meltzer by any stretch. He is one of an elite few source on this fiasco. This circles back to being a journalist and getting things right. If you can’t say with certainty that something is right, then don’t say it, because either you spread opinion, assumption, or speculation that doesn’t need to be there. And instead could be replaced with time spent on well written/produced content to the best of your merit.
Heck to put it bluntly. I could do the exact same job as the content creators in this medium, because its churnalism most the time. I wouldn’t be saying anything new, and the content is there for me to produce. Instead i choose to write fantasy booking, where my imagination can roam freely and i can book as i wish without anyone then being able to do as i’m now doing, recognizing wrongdoings and calling out the entire business of wrestling media on their bullshit.
Please, be a little more critical about what you publish, about what you report. Check sources more thoroughly, don’t just shit something out because it’s what everyone else does. There’s an inherent responsibility in being a journalist that still stands whatever it is you decide to write about.
Kornelius Kings Eyes