Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Few More Thoughts on Bloggers vs. "Journalists", Professionals vs. Amateurs, etc.

- Some blogs are like traditional reporting in newspapers and magazines. Some (and I would include the Chronicle in this category) are more like fanzines or alternative press. More Dazed & Confused than Newsweek. I'm not sure if our house style is terribly congenial to the press box, but if we were given press passes I think we could come up with questions at least as penetrating as the questions that, say, Creative Loafing asks state politicians when they're given access.

- To generalize about blogs and bloggers is as meaningless as generalizing about television, movies, or novels. It makes literally zero sense to say "All blogs are unprofessional and juvenile and horribly written." It makes as much sense to say "All television shows dumb you down, destroy your capacity for focused attention, and zap your imagination" in the age of The Wire and The Sopranos.

- Some people need a refresher course in the English language. The word "journalism" comes from the French word "jour," meaning "day." The first print journals in England and France called themselves journals for two reasons: 1) like people's private journals, they kept a record of the day , though in this context it was a record of public, rather than private, events; and 2) they came out every day. A liveblog is an example of journalism at its purest: it quite literally makes a record of the day. Blogs that are updated daily have at least some claim to calling themselves journals.

- Some people need a further refresher course in the English language. The opposite of "professional" in these people's minds is, presumably, "amateur," meaning "one who loves." I'll proudly assent to being called an amateur. I love hockey and I love the Thrashers. The question is whether a blogger allows his/her love of their team to get in the way of professional behavior in the press box (not giving Craig MacTavish or John Anderson a high five after a victory, etc.).

- There are a lot of blogs in the hockey blogosphere. There are as many levels of quality and types of writing. It's up to a team's organization to decide which blogs are good enough to merit a press pass. To ignore all blogs or to make grand pronouncements against blogs in general is a stunning example of blindness and willful ignorance.


Big Shooter said...

I agree Morty. Every blog is different. The Chronicle is a little more Don Cherry, and probably doesn't need to be in the press box and talking to players (Cherry is amongst the people and NEVER goes to the locker room).

Someone like the Falconer is a little more Ron Mclean and would do well in the press box.

Both blogs are needed... but it is pretty stupid to lump all blogs together.

FrenchCatalogues said...

I don't know, we can certainly wear our objective hats in the right situation. If the opportunity arises let's hope Morty doesn't spill beer in the press box.

Big Shooter said...

Morty will spill beer. It is who he is.