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For everyone complaining about no spoiler alerts, read this:

We have received complaints from some of you that we are spoiling the Olympics for you by reporting the results as they happen and not allowing you to enjoy NBC's delayed coverage of the Games. The following was posted today on our Readers' Representative blog:

    The Times’ Matea Gold reports on the Show Tracker blog about an uproar over Twitter users sending out Olympic “spoilers,” reporting the results of events as they happen, often hours before they’re broadcast on TV.

   Olyblog_500 This is especially true on the West Coast, where NBC is tape-delaying its already delayed telecast.

   The Times has been receiving the same type of criticism over its coverage of the Olympics, which is being reported on latimes.com, in breaking news alert e-mails and via Twitter.

   The Olympics Blog has received comments such as these:

   From LA Woman: “Dear LA Times: There are some of us who like to be surprised while watching the tape-delayed Olympics broadcast. Can't you just post a headline that says "For Olympics Results, Click Here" instead of spoiling it for everyone on your homepage? I'm pretty sure you don't want to alienate any more readers than you already have....”

   From CTNM: “I've decided to remove LA Times as my homepage since they spoil the results of EVERY Olympic event.”

   Managing Editor Sean Gallagher, who oversees latimes.com, said The Times is simply doing its job:

   “The Times has also been receiving complaints about the tweets we are sharing -- and not just about the Olympics. In most cases our policy is simple: We report news as it happens.

   “To do otherwise would clearly damage our credibility as impartial observers of events. Worse, it would make us an agent of the NBC Olympics marketing machine.

   “Direct your ire at NBC. That firm made the decision to repackage marquee events in prime time. The Times reports news.”

   As the debate over spoilers raged on Twitter, Robert Niles, technical editor of the American Statistical Assn., tweeted:

   “Posting the results of a public event seen by millions around the world isn't a ‘spoiler.’ It's ‘news.’ You know, what journalists post.”

You can read the entire post at our Reders' Representative blog, here.

-- Houston Mitchell in Vancouver, Canada

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Comments (3)

No one's criticizing the paper for its timely coverage of the olympic events. But I don't see why the LAT (or other news outlets) can't adapt to the reality of the situation and opt for generic "live score updates" type of bylines or links on the front pages that protect readers from inadverdant spoilers.

Of course, for any major events at Vancouver unrelated to the results (such as the passing of the Georgian Olympian), its business as usual.

For crying out loud. I watch Olympic events to see the skill, talent, obvious dedication, etc. etc. which each athlete shows. So what if I know who wins ahead of time - I watch to see the athletes. Even if I know ahead of time who wins - I want to see how they win - I want to see the show. Knowing that a particular person or team wins only makes me watch closer - WHY did he/she/they win? What makes them better? Sheesh.

I just sent an email to NBC to complain about the obnoxious number of commercials they are airing during their 'delayed' Prime Time Olympics coverage. It's so distracting. I would prefer that they reported the coverage in Real Time, like the television coverage of the Games used to be. That would eliminate any 'spoilers' and we, as observers, would certainly feel more "in the spirit' of things.


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