View From the Press Box: Dion Clisso 11/10

Dion Clisso

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: November 10, 2014 - 8:30 PM

I am very proud of the work we have done at PrepsKC in the last five seasons. I feel we have given the best coverage of high school football in the Metro during that time.

We always want to get better, and each day we strive to do that. We also seek to find the positive stories while not just looking for angles that will grab the headlines and drive traffic. If we wanted we could do weekly stories discussing concussion risks that will scare more than inform, but that is not the type of journalism we do.

We have done stories about concussions. We have tried to inform our readers to new technology and techniques that are making football safer. Coaches and administrators at the high school level want to see the sport played safely and to see the sport flourish.

Some may say I am just championing a sport I cover because it benefits me no matter what the dangers of that sport. What I champion through my work is good journalism and I do that by not scaring my readers. I don’t look to give you partial information simply to make you run to my site for a quick read.

That being said there are plenty of other media outlets willing to do that. They will give you a small part of the story in a two-minute report that doesn’t give all of the information. Not only will they give you a story on helmet safety, they will put it in the spot that benefits the media outlet, not the public, the most.

A story on helmet safety benefits the intended audience before football season when players, students, coaches and administrators are making important decisions about the upcoming season. That time would be July or August. But, we’ve seen stories on this topic in November during the height of the high school football playoffs. That story is run when interest in high school football is at its highest. It is also run during the all-important November sweeps period for television. The timing of the story benefits the media outlet, not the audience, which is not good journalism.

Look, when it comes to concussions and football, or for any sport, there is no magic bullet. There is no helmet that will prevent concussions or head injuries. Concussions and head injuries are a combination of factors such as size of the athletes involved, proper technique, genetics and luck. Also, football isn’t the only sport that deals with concussions. Women’s soccer ranks second in terms of concussions, but we never see exposes on what to do about young girls and women playing soccer.

What we hope to do at PrepsKC is provide the best coverage of high school football in Kansas City and the surrounding areas and do it with the readers’ best interest in mind. We will not scare you. We will not misinform you. We will try to educate you and treat you like adults who are able to make your own decisions.