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Mar 18 / Zander Freund

Important New Policy Regarding Humor and Breaking News articles

Hey everyone,

Humor articles are some of the finest pieces Bleacher Report has to offer.  Since Dave Metrick’s famous stadium re-naming satire from the site’s earliest days, readers have been able to reliably visit the humor section of the site for high quality, laugh-out-loud original concepts that will have any legitimate sports fan in stitches.

That said, we’ve started to have some major problems recently with articles that purport to be breaking news but are actually satire.  Or in some cases…purport to be satire but are in actuality mere unsubstantiated rumors.

This all came to a boiling point yesterday when this article, which claimed that a trade agreement between the Redskins and Broncos that would send Jay Cutler to Washington was near completion, was reported on by several media outlets and then addressed by Washington Redskins management.

The article was tagged on Bleacher Report with “Humor,” but for those who stumbled upon the piece via on outside source, it appeared to be the cold-hard truth.

We of course want nothing more than for Bleacher Report to attact mainstream media attention, but we strongly believe that this kind of attention is not in the best interest of our Community.  As the web’s first Open Source Sports Network it is crucial that we are seen as a legitimate editorial publication and not as a site which starts rumors via unconfirmed sources.

We are taking the following measures to remedy this problem going forward:

1) All articles that are tagged with “humor” will be more prominently labeled as such in news feeds. This is the most effective way to alert readers to the fact that a piece of content they have opened up does not contain actual news.

2) When a writer tags their article with “breaking news,” they may be asked to confirm their sources with our editorial staff. Authors that cannot provide legitimate sources will have their articles deleted. Please note that Bleacher Report will not publicly disclose your sources.

3) Any article tagged with “humor” that contains no satire whatsoever shall be deleted.  We simply don’t feel these pieces add anything to the Community given that they are both not funny and untrue.  It has never been a part of Bleacher Report’s mission to confuse sports readers.

4) We will create a “rumors” section where writers can speculate on upcoming events.  To clarify, rumor pieces that mask themselves as breaking news will still be deleted.

We are confident that these new policies will put our Community in a much better position to continuing establishing itself as one of the premiere sources for sports knowlegde and insight, while also allowing our many talented humor writers to continue working their magic.

If you have any questions about these new policies, please email me directly (zander at  Thanks as always for understanding guys.

  • Jameson

    Thank you for making the changes Zander. They were much needed with some of the stuff that has been published.

  • Shay Roddy

    It’s the media’s own fault. Anyone who reports that article as true without confirming it with their own source or contacting the pieces’ author is a bad journalist.

    B/R should check writers before they allow them to write for the site. I’m finding B/R cluttered with more and more [you know what] from ten year olds these days than legitimate writing.

  • Shane

    I love this. Good job Z and Co.

  • JR Salazar

    Anything to keep the credibility of b/r there is fine with me.
    Good job.

  • Steven Resnick

    I agree with Shay. It’s the medias fault for not taking the time to do their jobs. Not the writer on bleacherreport. If the person from outside of bleacherreport reads the article, then doesn’t bother to read that it was out of humor it is their own fault.

    I saw that article and immediately saw that it was humor. What was this so called media expert doing? Sure they probably didn’t come from the front page of bleacherreport but they should have done a better job at doing their own job.

    I do understand that some of the humor articles get placed into the breaking news and look like credible articles, but isn’t that why there are editors to make sure the article gets put into the proper place?

    Also, I like the idea of rumors as well.

  • http://BleacherReport Matt Reagan

    Thank you! This is a wise decision because articles like the Cutler one are written to gain attention and reads nothing else. As a writer who takes this seriously I was mad to see this garbage written. All it does it take away from the people who work hard to write informative articles. It was misleading and contained no humor at all. What a waste of 15,000 + people’s time!

  • Bryn Swartz

    Great idea Zander!

    I’ll never forget how I felt the one time when I saw that the Eagles had acquired TJ Houshmanzadeh….and the article was a freakin joke.

  • Jeffery Stoner

    Thanks. The rumor section is a great idea. I understand the balance between being an OSN and eliminating garbage that has already been discussed is a very delicate one. I am glad to see the balance start to shift toward professionalism.

  • Andy

    Great Idea! I enjoy reading some of those articles, but some are obviously misplaced. The rumor section is a fantastic idea!

  • Ray Bogusz

    Thank you, oh merciful God.

  • John Buchanan

    You guys need to take that story down immediately – it is ruining your credibility, new policy or not.

    I have said this before, but I think you need to re-think your model. First, I would hire some folks that have actual journalistic experience to seed, edit and oversee the site. I have given the site a try over the past month, but is already falling off my radar screen because of the amount of poor writing and self-promoting on the site.

    I think you guys have a good idea and it is important time to be thinking about new models in journalism, but in the end, you get what you pay for.

  • JR

    I agree with John Buchanan. Many of us who are aspiring journalists and enjoy writing on this site get associated with those people who write that garbage. As a result, the site as a whole loses credibility.

    I say that person should be banned from writing future articles on this site. I’m all for entertaining and I know that most people will write on here for the sake of only promoting themselves, but there comes a point where a line has to be drawn.

    Zander thanks for taking that first step.