The sports blogsphere is all a flutter today in response to Jay Mariotti’s rant against bloggers in his latest post on Fanhouse.
Much of the criticism of Mariotti’s piece is nothing new; the MSM doesn’t understand bloggers…bloggers are not journalists…the MSM should focus on doing its job. And on and on.
Listen, I’m not a fan of Mariotti, but I do have some suggestions to all my blogging friends;
- Get over the criticism.
- You give Mariotti more attention by reacting to him.
- Mariotti’s contention that some bloggers need to act like journalists is right!
How can I say this you ask? Look what else is happening today that proves Mariotti’s point.
There is a list making it’s way across some blogs, many of them quite well regarded (I will not dignify them by listing them here) which, allegedly, is an UNCONFIRMED list of the 104 baseball players who tested positive as part of the 2003 drug testing conducted by Major League Baseball.
How irresponsible can these blogs be? You are publishing a list that is UNCOFIRMED! If a mainstream media reporter were to publish/blog this UNCONFIRMED list, they would be immediately taken to task by their editors. And rightly so. Why should bloggers be any different?
Ken Rosenthal was right when he appeared on ESPN’s Outside the Lines when a blogger speculated that the increased power numbers of a member of the Philadelphia Phillies may be the result of his taking performance enhancing drugs. Speculate all you want with your friends over drinks, but once you publish your thoughts and accusations for all to see, whether in print or online, that takes your accusations to another level, one where we all should take more responsibility.
The blogger mentality of hiding behind reporting the list as “UNCONFIRMED” or citing the original source of the list should not make it acceptable to spread the rumor or innuendo. It makes no difference whether the list is proven to be accurate at a later date.
I am not perfect when it comes to everything I write here at SMJ. But I view this site as a journalistic endeavor and if I get a tip on a story, I will never throw out the information before it is completely vetted. I will also never report that someone else is reporting the rumor. If that means I am not first to report a story, that’s fine by me. For me it’s accuracy over expediency.
Bloggers, stop complaining when someone in the MSM criticizes your work. Find out the facts before you publish them. Stop hiding behind your perceived security blanket called the blogsphere.