My Take On Bloggers Vs Journos
In my previous post, I stated I would return to my normal high volume of posts starting today. To begin September, I decided I would tackle this whole firestorm revolving around bloggers vs journos. What a topic to kick off the month with, eh?
The whole battle between hockey bloggers and traditional sports journalists has been going on for a while as the hockey blogosphere grew exponentially, but the incident involving the Toronto Sun plagiarizing the excellent Leafs blog Pension Plan Puppets and the fallout of said incident has really brought the conflict to a head. It’s more of the same really (bloggers acting superior making grievous spelling and grammar errors; journalists sticking their noses in the air and saying we all post from the couch in mom’s basement), but the sound and the fury is louder than ever before. Some teams have implemented a “blogger’s row” addition to their press box to accommodate new media, while others have outright demanded that they have total control over the media in their home arenas.
Me? I’m sitting here, biding my time so that one day I’ll be a reputable source for opinions and news. But first, I gotta put the effort in.
See, some bloggers want to be recognized as independent media persons and feel entitled to it just because they publish “LOL KESSEL IS TEH SUCK!!1!” and get 12 guys to comment on it. Others are perfectly content to play the role of mouse potato (Drew Stafford, come back to Twitter!). I’m totally okay with the latter happening, but these bloggers that make up the former need to hunker down and be patient.
Take myself for example. I’m a dude that started out with nothing but opinions, predictions, and theories. Then I covered a low-tier soccer team during their inaugural season. Now I’ll be covering some tier II junior A hockey in Jamestown when I can. In the future, maybe I’ll be getting some very limited press access to higher-caliber sports in Buffalo. I’m doing this the hard way by making connections, letting my reputation build, and asking instead of demanding.
If there’s one thing I’m not, it’s viewing myself as a mainstream journalist. As a blogger, I rely on traditional media like newspapers and sports networks to get the stories I blog about. I have no delusions of grandeur about breaking a big trade or leaking something onto the Internet. Instead, I want to be the guy who is a source for alternative news stories about Buffalo’s sports scene. What band is Drew Stafford into these days? How is the roomate life going for Tyler Myers and Tyler Ennis? What’s so special about The Men’s Room that Paul Posluszny always goes there for his haircuts (hint: it’s gotta be my cousin – she does his hair all the time)? What’s it like for John Tavares to no longer be the John Tavares now that his nephew is a burgeoning NHL star? I want to be the guy that covers the Blitzers and Jets and Queen City Roller Girls that provides quality content for lower-level entertainment not featured anywhere else.
There’s no reason that the mainstream media can’t peacefully co-exist with the new media, but in order for that to happen there need to be some guidelines in place. Bloggers are going to have to start holding themselves to a higher standard if they want to be taken seriously – no more boneheaded spelling or grammatical errors, ladies and gentlemen. And for the love of Lord Stanley’s Cup, don’t ever spell a player’s name wrong. No more absurd sense of entitlement, either – regular journos had to bust their humps to get where they are today, and so should you. It’s why I’m doing things the way I am. On the flipside, the mainstream media need to understand that we’re not vying for a piece of their pie, but rather expounding on the facts they put forth. We need you guys that work for print media or TSN or whatever because without the news stories you provide, we’d have nothing to work with.
The bottom line is that there’s no reason the two media spheres have to be in conflict, and the bloggers out there who want to be considered reputable media members need to put the work in before they’re given the respect they demand.
Besides, can’t we all just get along?