Jemele Hill was recently interviewed as part of OZYFest, a yearly gathering sponsored by OZY.com of personalities from across the media, culture, politics, and more. Hill appeared on the event’s main stage to talk about the past, present, and future directions of her career. She revealed to the crowd that while she doesn’t have any current plans to leave ESPN, she doesn’t see herself covering sports for her entire career.
Peter Bukowski wrote about the exchange for OZY.com using the headline “Jemele Hill Plans to Leave ESPN, Won’t Kiss Political Ass”. The super-clickbait-y headline doesn’t quite matchup with Hill’s actual quote in the article.
I haven’t made a bad career decision yet, and I’ll know when the right opportunity comes my way because it’ll really have to be special to really leave the sweet spot I’m at now at ESPN.
Hill herself took to Twitter to clarify that she isn’t looking to break her contract, which will keep her at ESPN for at least two more years.
Headline might be a little sexier than what I actually said. Plotting the next 10-to-15 years of my career is kind of the way you have to think in this business. There are other things I want to do besides sports, but plenty I still want to do/will do at ESPN https://t.co/jrQU0QjVLa
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) July 23, 2018
Jemele Hill was at the center of a firestorm after she called President Trump a white supremacist on Twitter earlier this year. She told the OZYFest crowd that she was already thinking about what her next 10-15 years would look like before the controversy and subsequent suspension, but those events, which lead to her leaving the 6pm SportsCenter to focus on writing for The Undefeated, did speed up the process.
As for what she might want to do outside of the sports realm, Hill says she doesn’t have a lot of experience to fall back on. “I’ve only had two jobs outside of sports media. I ran a snack counter for the YMCA … and I delivered phone books in college.” Bukowski’s article says that Hill could be laying the groundwork for a move into documentary filmmaking.
Hill and her college roommate recently started a production company last August. The next iteration of her career? Creating content behind the camera. “As much as I’d like to tell you about Golden State’s latest game or tell you about why Jacksonville can win the Super Bowl, some days I just didn’t give a shit because of everything else that was happening in this country.”
Hill says she has been asked about making a political run. She says that while she briefly considered it, she realized that running for office involves kissing “a little too much ass. That’s not my strong suit”
Sports Illustrated Accused of Attributing AI-Generated Stories to Fake Human Authors
Futurism reports that “Sports Illustrated” and other publications from The Arena Group have been attributing AI-generated articles to fabricated human authors.
As the prevalence of artificial intelligence continues to grow within the evolving media marketplace, there have been discussions regarding the ethics of the practice. A report from Futurism asserts that Sports Illustrated has been using the technology to publish articles written by the software, purchasing automatically generated profile photos from an online marketplace in order to give the author a human identity.
Within the report, it was averred that the publication routinely alters the AI personas on the website by changing the faux name and author photo, with there being no explanation towards the move. When Futurism reached out to The Arena Group – the publisher of Sports Illustrated – with questions about the practice, the AI personalities were hastily removed from the website.
Several industry professionals have commented on the matter through social media, expressing their dismay and concerns about the purported revelation. Outside of Sports Illustrated, Futurism discovered that many other publications have engaged in the practice, including CNET, Gizmodo and BuzzFeed. When the authors were changed on Sports Illustrated, there was no editorial note describing the rationale behind the decision. An anonymous source told Futurism that the content is “absolutely AI-generated no matter how much they say it’s not,” leading to dismay and interest in how the company will respond.
“Our staff works so hard to carry on Sports Illustrated’s tradition of great journalism,” senior writer Michael Rosenberg said in a post on X. “It’s so disappointing when people* in our own company undermine our work.”
After some time, the magazine eventually added a disclaimer that outlined the content being created by a third party and that Sports Illustrated editorial staff were not involved in its creation. There was no explicit mention, however, of the third party being AI technology, which is ostensibly being used across different publications throughout The Arena Group’s portfolio such as theStreet and Men’s Journal.
“Along with basic principles of honesty, trust, journalistic ethics, etc., I take seriously the weight of a Sports Illustrated byline,” magazine staff writer Emma Baccellieri said in a post on X. “It meant something to me long before I ever dreamed of working here. This report was horrifying to read.”
In a statement from a spokesperson for The Arena Group, the company disclosed that it is not accurate based on an initial investigation. These articles in question were product reviews supplied by AdVon Commerce, whose e-commerce articles ran on certain websites under the ownership of the company.
“We continually monitor our partners and were in the midst of a review when these allegations were raised,” the statement read. “AdVon has assured us that all of the articles in questions were written and edited by humans.”
AdVon’s writers, editors and researchers create and curate content while following a policy that utilizes counter-plagiarism and counter-AI software. The Arena Group has ended the partnership after discovering that the company had its writers use contrived identities to protect the privacy of the authors, actions it claims to “strongly condemn.” An internal investigation is continuing looking into the matter.
Shannon Sharpe: Charles Barkley and Michael Strahan Showed Me I Can Do Media
“When I saw Charles Barkley could be himself, could talk with the dialect that he had, was unapologetically not afraid to make fun of himself, I said, ‘I could do that.’”
Shannon Sharpe has built a successful sports media career after his Hall of Fame NFL career. He said seeing Charles Barkley and Michael Strahan work on television gave him the green light.
“When I saw Charles Barkley could be himself, could talk with the dialect that he had, was unapologetically not afraid to make fun of himself, I said, ‘I could do that.’ I’ve got just as good as sense of humor, I could tell stories, I can do that,” Shannon Sharpe said.
“I see Michael Strahan on Good Morning America, I see Stephen A. doing what he’s doing, I said, ‘I could do that’ … I just wanted someone to give me the opportunity,” Sharpe continued. “Be prepared when the opportunity presents itself.”
Sharpe turned working for The NFL Today into a role with Skip Bayless on FS1’s Undisputed. He now appears frequently on First Take in addition to his podcast with Johnson for The Volume.
Nick Wright: Thanksgiving Food Hot Takes ‘The Worst Thing We in Sports Media Do’
“I think it is the most cliche, terrible content imaginable, so I won’t engage in it.”
Every year at Thanksgiving, sports talk radio shows discuss food selections around the holiday. It is safe to say FS1’s Nick Wright despises the discussions.
While appearing on The Mine Kimes Show featuring Lenny, Wright was asked by Kimes about for his opinions on the food.
“Do you have any takes about Thanksgiving food?,” Kimes asked.
“It would be a rude answer, but since you have asked it, I will give it. My hottest take about Thanksgiving foods is it is the worst thing we in sports media do,” retorted Wright. “It’s like ‘Hey, are you stuffing or dressing? Pumpkin or sweet potato? Are you more of the sides? You know what is an overrated meat? Turkey. Nobody wants turkey!’
“I think it is the most cliche, terrible content imaginable, so I won’t engage in it, Mina Kimes.”
“Wow. Your hottest take is that my question sucks,” Kimes replied. “From the LeBron guy? Really? Coming at me over topic selection.”
The video of the pair’s interaction was posted to X, formerly Twitter, after Wright specifically asked Kimes to release the clip. The discussion has garnered more than 400,000 as of this publication.