Editor & Publisher questioned if “reporters belong in sports locker rooms” in a Sept. 20 post. The debate was in response to a Wall Street Journal’s criticism of the practice. A June 10 report in the Wall Street Journal asked “Is there a point to” sports writers collecting and attempting to interview athletes before and after games. The article also suggested the locker room interviews can be uncomfortable given the circumstances of being in a locker room.
Editor & Publisher cited the responses of a University of Washington journalism student and, the Portland Press Herald’s vice president and executive editor both who rejected supporters of no more locker room interviews.
Both argued that stories are improved by sports reporters “developing trusting relationships” and having good interviews with the athletes.
iMediaEthics wrote in October 2010 when Mexican journalist Ines Sainz stated she wouldn’t report from locker rooms anymore. The National Football League’s commissioner ruled in September 2010 that the New York Jets football team was “unprofessional” when Sainz attempted to interview players in the locker room.