As the world probably knows by now, your Chronicle and a few other Thrashers blogs are featured in today's edition of Bill "Rawhide" Tiller's AJC blog. The article concerns the possibility of NHL teams like the Thrashers issuing press credentials to blog-makers like yours truly. Do read.
Everyone interviewed for Rawhide's article---Laura of Thrashing the Blues, the legendary Falconer, and our dear friend Smoothie/Mr. Speaker---has more or less the correct response: Of course bloggers should have press passes if they're worthy of it, but team organizations need to be selective about who they choose to admit to the press box.
My own criteria for granting press passes is "a record of decent writing and reporting," which sounds somewhat vague and subjective because it is, but the Thrashers PR folks have minds and reading abilities; surely they can use them. I'd hesitate to use more mechanical criteria...though don't get us wrong, we are very proud of the many times we've been mentioned in Puck Daddy and the Hockey News and the AJC (in the writings of both Mr. Tiller and Mark Bradley).
Also: I have a problem with the current (and pretty much exclusively American) fetishization of "Journalism school" and degrees in something called Journalism. The greatest journalists in history never went to J-school, and the best ones working today (both in the US and abroad) have never taken journalism classes. William Cobbett, Tom Paine, William Hazlitt, Walter Bagehot, Alexander Herzen, Mark Twain, H.L. Mencken, James Gibbon Huneker, Rebecca West, Alan Moorehead, Martha Gellhorn, George Orwell, Joseph Roth, Joseph Mitchell, A.J. Liebling, I.F. Stone, Murray Kempton, Mike Royko, Jimmy Breslin, Hunter S. Thompson, Ryzard Kapuzcinski, Bruce Chatwin, Robert Fisk, James Fenton, David Remnick, Seymour Hersh, Christopher Hitchens (he was once a journalist, and a great one), Neal Ascherson, Lawrence Weschler, Timothy Garton Ash...none of them ever went to ever went to Journalism school, much less had any concern for mind-numbing J-school "ethics." But they all wrote vivid, incisive prose without which we'd be much poorer, much dumber, and very lost.
The whole idea of "journalism classes" is a bit weird to begin with, and contrary to the spirit of inquiry, risk, and hard experience so necessary to journalism. Not that anyone ever notices that journalism requires such a spirit, now that most journalists are dull yuppies often too lazy to chase politicians and general managers through a guarded parking lot or to make the necessary phone calls, on or off the goddamned record.
So, yeah...what does this mean for Thrash-blogging? More Ten Gallon Dick, probably.
Anyway, back to the World Cup.