The video below has been archived at Penn State’s College of Communications page and was recorded during Tuesday night’s panel discussion entitled, “A Conversation About Covering Controversy.”
The panel — which focused on coverage of the Penn State scandal — consisted of ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap; Mark Viera of The New York Times, Sara Ganim of the Harrisburg Patriot-News, Jerry Micco of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Christine Brennan of USA Today. Malcolm Moran, the Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society and director of the Curley Center, moderated the discussion.
Front Row caught up with Schaap Wednesday morning to get his take on the event.
(NOTE: Schaap ran into some travel delays and didn’t arrive at the auditorium until about 45 minutes into the discussion, as you will see from the empty chair on the far right of the stage.)
“I was probably most interested in hearing from the students and faculty in the audience in addition to the two young reporters Sarah and Mark [both Penn State graduates],” said Schaap, who was asked to participate by Moran.
“I feel it was ESPN’s responsibility to be there because we are the sports news source for so many millions of people.”
Schaap said there were several thought-provoking questions from the audience.
One in particular focused on how national entities handle “parachuting in” for a story and getting up to speed in quick fashion.
“We are fortunate at ESPN because we are able to work as a team and help one another get educated on the subject,” he said.
“We have college football experts who helped in explaining the inner workings and we also have several alumni on our staff who were able to give us perspective that maybe some others didn’t have. Then you become as much of a gumshoe as you can and report the story.”
We encourage you to watch the video for some insightful perspective on one of the year’s biggest stories.