A Few Angry Reporters…and Bloggers

I finally had a chance to view last night’s Costas NOW telecast on the state of sports media. My reaction is that, overall, the program did a good job in trying to explore the evolution the media has undertaken in our sports lives.

Costas and crew were spot on when it comes to the negativity on sports radio. Jay Mariotti is right that much of sports radio is “low brow” and “mindless” and caters to the lowest common denominator. And when it comes to “guy radio”, I could not agree more that it has no place in sports. WSCR’s Mike North is correct that guys at a bar talk about more than just sports…But Mike, you’re not in a bar! Stick to sports please. The use of T&A just shows a level of childishness and points to the possibility that some talk show hosts lack the capability to talk sports for an extended period of time.

Now on to Buzz vs. Will. I agree with so much both had to say it’s scary. Will, and others who responded today, are correct in saying bloggers are offering an alternative to typical sports news. Unlike the opinion of Michael Wilbon, it doesn’t matter that one has training in journalism to express his or her opinion on a game. Keep those thoughts coming! Yea First Amendment!

I do also agree with Buzz that if some of those bloggers are the future of sports journalism, there is cause for concern. Too much of what is being written by some bloggers is being accepted as fact. As much as we want to give our readers the benefit of the doubt that they understand what they’re reading, many do take some of what we write as gospel. The level of mean spiritedness and vulgarity in some writing does nothing in raising the level of discourse in sports discussion. It’s more dumbing down of the audience. It’s not needed.

There is no doubt Buzz and others in the mainstream media appear jealous or threatened by bloggers. I have no idea why. Their level of professionalism will always win out when fans are seeking hardcore information. Some bloggers say they don’t want access to the press box and athletes. That’s fine. Then don’t come off as being more than what you are, just guys and gals with an opinion. If you treat yourselves as journalists, then I fear for the future of the profession.

Buzz and his ilk need to embrace the changing sports media landscape. There soon will be no more newspapers, just media organizations sharing information over multiple platforms. The sooner these reporters get that, the sooner they will realize their craft has a future.

A couple of last points on the show…I agree with the TV guys that the perception that they are afraid to delve into delicate topics because of the business relationships their networks have with sports leagues is just that…perception. Not reality.

I also agree with the athletes who say they don’t trust the media that cover them. You can blame sports radio negativity and the “gotcha” of some sports bloggers for that way of thinking.

The reaction to the Costas NOW program has been telling indeed. I want bloggers to answer this question…Why do you care what the mainstream media says about you? You pride yourself on being independent thinkers and trail blazers. You have no need for those who work in the press box. So why do you get your underwear is such a bunch when they criticize you?

I think I know why. Because some bloggers, especially those who are successful today, are still kids. They have not grown-up. They do not have the real life experiences that many of us face in the professional world. Some of them probably grew up with little responsibility and had many of their needs met with the help of others. You can read this in some their posts every day.

If you read the responses on the Costas NOW show from some in the blogsphere you can hear that they can’t handle the criticism. A few of these guys I like…but they come off as spoiled brats. I will link a few…but a word of caution… some of these posts are not suitable for all eyes.

Awuful Announcing
Kissing Suzy Kolber
Every Day Should be Saturday
The Sporting Blog

Unfortunately what you read above fuels the fire of perception that some bloggers do not deserve the level of credibility they seek.  And you know what, I agree.

To sum up…both mainstream reporters and bloggers need to chill out. And we as customers of sports media need to practice caveat lector…let the reader beware.


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