This whole debate between the Mainstream Media (MSM) and the series of tubes that is the world wide interweb and blogging is raging these days. Highlighted by last night's Costas Now, which had Deadspin's Will Leitch, Pulitzer Prize winning Buzz Bissinger, and of course- Cleveland Browns WR Braylon Edwards. What I mean about "this whole debate" is the ongoing war on bloggers in general by an aging generation of journalists. The journalists contend that blogs are poorly researched, poorly written and well...just plain poor in general. Bloggers have, for the most part, been defending their medium and as we saw in the "discussion" on Costas Now, both parties played these very roles.
I haven't been able to watch the whole program, but have seen bits and pieces, and frankly, I'm left wondering what Buzz Bissinger is so angry about. Anyway, I think both sides have decent points, but inevitably I am inclined to agreed with the bloggers (surprise!). Again, it's not the the MSMers don't have their points, but it just seemed ironic to me that throughout the show Buzz Bissinger berated ALL bloggers by reading ONE line from ONE blog. And not only that, he cursed blogs out for being ill-researched, all opinion, and are poorly written. Now I know you're wondering, where is the irony in that? A lot of blogs suck for exactly those reasons. And right you are (both you and Buzz)! But the irony is that his point of view on blogs is ill-reasearched, all opinion, and in this case profanity laced (some may call that poorly spoken, however it's fine by me). It just amazes me how people in the MSM can unilaterally decree that blogs are bad for this reason or that, without doing their proper research. Apparently, some can't even tell the difference between commenters and the bloggers themselves. They don't take the time to realize that there are bloggers who are journalistic, and bloggers who write extremely well. Joe Posnanski- who writes for the KC Star- writes an incredibly smart and eloquent blog, and he is both journalistic and well written. But I suppose it's easier to paint with a broad stroke than a fine one, and this is just another example of that. I don't have an overarching point to all of this, mainly because I have neither the capacity nor the eloquence to do a point like that justice. However, I do plead that anyone who takes the time to read my sorry excuse for a blog takes the time to watch the Costas Now segment and develop their own educated opinion. The show is available, in pieces at a favorite blog of mine (www.awfulannouncing.com), and I encourage you as much as I can to view it; if possible.
I guess my problem with the whole discrepancy is that blogging is a still a new medium. Yes it has been around for years, but it's still on the new side, and like almost everything with the internet there is both good and bad that come with it. But to compare any random blog (like mine) to something like Deadspin or AwfulAnnouncing or MLBTradeRumors is like comparing tabloids to the NY Times. There will always be both good and bad in any medium, and to stereotype the way Bissinger did, and many other have (including people I admire such as Michael Wilbon) is just asinine. I understand that MSMers feel that credibility is lost with anyone being able to write a blog, but they have to understand that this is the future, and they should embrace it as so many of their brethren have (Peter Gammons, Buster Olney...). That's not to say that print media will die out and this is the future of journalism, but it's a bit like cable was/is to network programming...It's just more choice. And I don't think anyone is debating that the networks are doing just fine with all the choice available on cable television. Sure, the numbers have changed, what a great rating is now would have been crap in the 60's, but it's an evolving world that we live in, and this is just another evolution of the journalistic medium.
For specific footage of the Costas Now segments please go here: http://awfulannouncing.blogspot.com/2008/04/costas-intro-on-internet-media-segment.html
and find the "discussion" here:
One more thing- This is an example of writing by, as Buzz calls him "Big Daddy Balls": http://deadspin.com/372890/bob-mould-bagels-hot-sex-western-kentucky-and-other-passionate-pinnacles-of-the-human-experience
UPDATE: this is a link with the whole Costas Now piece from deadspin: http://deadspin.com/385770/bissinger-vs-leitch?autoplay=true