Double Coverage: Press box is a no-cheering zone

Cassie Kolias


Cassie Kolias

Journalists should never cheer in the press box.

It’s really as plain and simple as that.

Sports journalists may especially have the tendency to inherit an attachment to the team they cover, but that doesn’t mean they should cross the line of professionalism in the press box.

There is a time and place for everything. While on the beat covering a story is definitely not the place, and during the game is not the time.

No matter how big the accomplishment of the team or athlete, the cheering should wait until the writer is off duty. They should first file the story before ever considering clapping their hands or cheering.

A month ago there were articles surfacing about the writers covering the Daytona 500, and about how the journalists not only cheered in the press box, but they also applauded when the race winner, Trevor Bayne, made a joke.

What are you, a groupie? No.

The journalists have a job to do, and it means that you must put any fandom aside for the time that you are writing a story.

For a journalist, cheering in the press box could potentially cost his or her job.

It’s like an unwritten rule that you just follow as a sports journalist. A news reporter wouldn’t cheer at a press conference, and the same should stand for sports reporters. Just because it’s a game doesn’t mean that it gives sports reporters a right to turn into a giggling, clapping fan.

It’s completely fine to want the team you are covering to win. But express it silently. In your own head.

Not cheering goes along with the no-autographs rule. It would be unprofessional to ask any players for their autograph while working, so what makes it fine to cheer? Nothing.

There is no excuse. Even if you are a blogger for a fansite for the team, when you are in the press box it is all business. As a credentialed member of the media, you forego your right to cheer. If you can’t abide by this rule, buy a ticket and garlic fries and sit in the stands where the fans belong.

Thomas Bowles, the journalist who cheered during the Daytona 500, was fired. If you can’t keep your cheering to a mild roar inside your head, then get out of the press box. You are in the wrong profession.


You can reach Cassie Kolias at [email protected]