So yesterday I was in a coffee shop and they were giving away free copies of the Calgary Sun. Now I'm not a big fan of that paper but free is free and paged through the paper, not finding all that much of interest until I got to the sports section and found a column by Eric Francis. Take a look at this title:
Shut down rumour mill
Hold bloggers and online pretenders accountable for starting baseless scuttlebutt
Ok. Because, of course, only bloggers get rumors wrong.
So his idea is someone else, not him of course, should start a web site to follow which of us bloggers can be blamed for making up rumors.
The website host could simply research the originator of every rumour and keep a scorecard on just how inaccurate each "reporter" is.
Note the quotation marks around reporter. Like guys that write for the papers never get one wrong.
Maybe then players, fans, general managers and legitimate journalists wouldn't be subjected to the sort of fabricated storylines that needlessly dominate the headlines and, thus, water cooler talk.
'Legitimate journalists'. I don't know, do you think that his point could have been made better if he could have, you know, included one of these rumors that was started by a blogger. Just to illustrate his point. I mean if I were going to write that journalists get things wrong, I'd include a few examples.
Even writers I like, like Bob Elliot gets one wrong now and then. Jon Heyman is wrong so often you wonder if he's doing it on purpose. Even Peter Gammons, well loved reporter, comes off as a Red Sox PR man half the time.
I know, bloggers are supposed to hate journalists and journalists are supposed to hate bloggers. For Christmas I got a book about blogging called 'Say Everything' which was my holiday read. It didn't touch much on sports blogging but was an interesting history of the activity. There was a chapter on journalists vs. bloggers. It pointed out that many newspapers are going out of business and journalists are losing jobs so they lash out at various things, including bloggers. There is a line a really like:
A passionate amateur almost always beats a bored professional.
Me, I don't dislike writers. Canwest newspaper chain has filed for bankruptcy protection and I can understand that people would be worried about losing their jobs.
Reporters do a different job than we do. They can be insiders and get to know the players and front office people. I don't want that. I don't want to have personal contact with the players because I'd like to keep personalities out of the opinions I have. I'm glad the writers are there but that's not what I'd like to do.
For example, last year, we were told over and over what a great guy Kevin Millar was. We were told idiot things like 'he would make the team 10 games better because of his clubhouse presence', which is just stupid. Games are won on the field. I'm sure Millar is a great guy, but the only way he makes a 10 game difference in the clubhouse is if he is replacing a player that goes around knifing his teammates in the shower. But it is hard to say a player isn't any good if you like him.
The other thing we can do that the writers can't is talk as much as we want to about the Jays. The newspapers are only going to give the writer so many words a day. SB let's us write as much as we like. In fact they would be happier if we wrote more. And here it is a conversation. Readers can comment back, where as newspapers are pretty much a one way conversation.
Anyway, Eric Francis, us bloggers aren't perfect but we aren't the only ones that make mistakes. I get you don't like us, but bloggers aren't going to go away.