Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
Now Available on Smashwords for Kindle and other ebook readers!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Are blogs journalism?

Sometimes. Not this one. This is my weblog, my totally gay online diary.

But for someone who wants to be the spokesmodel for reasoned, sound journalism, Buzz Bissinger spent a large portion of this segment of Costas looking like an uninformed Luddite who's just afraid of that newfangled technology because he's scared he's going to lose his job. I don't know his work as a sportswriter prior to that segment, but I was less than impressed with his preparation for the segment.

It seemed like he went online for fifteen minutes, saw a few things that pissed him off and printed them out without bothering to develop an understanding of the difference between the blog posters and the commenters. That was a huge issue that I had with Costas as well, and I've typically liked him in the past. But I could see Will Leitch of Deadspin getting frustrated almost to the point where it looked like he wanted to say "if you can't figure out the difference between the writers and the commenters, then what am I doing here?"

Holding a blog writer responsible for the statements left in comments is like holding The Sports Babe responsible for the drivel that people call into her show with. Commenters are the internet equivalent of the callers on sports radio (at least in the case of a big blog. Here, you're usually my friends, but like I said, this is not a journalism blog), and other than basic spam filtering you can't hold the blogger responsible for the shot that people write in comments.

Face it, blogs are the new journalism, and they're not even new anymore. Just like newspapers replaced the town criers, and TV news replaced radio, blogs are replacing newspapers. Time marches on, and it might just be that these old-fogey sportswriters will have to write for, gasp!, blogs themselves in the future.

1 comment:

Jim The Knife said...

You have "missed the boat" on this one my friend. I saw the piece and Costas remains the BEST sports broadcaster on the planet and Buzz later issued an apology for his rant. But more to the point: Bloggers are NOT journalists.
If you watch the highlites of an event on Sports Center and post a blog on the game, you probably don't know what you're talking about. You certainly have the right to your opinion and to post a blog, however, that does NOT make you a journalist.
I've been a few feet away from you while you were getting the highlites of a poker tourney on your computer and writing your blog
at the same time. But you weren't there! You couldn't see the faces of the players, get the mood of the table, smell the nervousness, or interview players after they were busted out!
Now I enjoy reading your blog and at the same time I understand Buzz's frustration. He went to journalism school; travels to games; interviews players & coaches; and has 30 years of journalistic experience and yet he sees his profession dwindling because this "now" generation rarely, if ever, reads a newspaper.
They get snippits on their computer and go on their merry way.
So I feel for Buzz and his fellow journalists, howwever, the dinosaurs are long gone and I'm afraid that the fate of the "true journalist" is heading in that direction.