Enough! A Détente for Journalists and Bloggers
By: Suzanne McGee, Director, Fusion PR
The last line of a New York Times piece by Tim Arango jolted me – “I think we’re hitting the ridiculous button here,” said John Cherwa, chair of the legal affairs committee for the Associated Press Sports Editors and the sports projects editor at The Orlando Sentinel. “We’re getting tired of everyone trying to tell us how to do our business.”
Entitled “Tension Over Sports Blogging,” the article reports on the blurring of lines between journalists and bloggers who cover sports. While this battle is disputed, it is indicative of the power that the Internet gives individuals – consumer and reporter. As this relatively new in-equality seems to exist, many professionals are struggling with the competition posed by fans with a passionate drive that lends itself to prolific commentary online. This, along with an attitude of “if he can do it, so can I,” leads many people to conclude that they too can be a reporter, as well as a critic.
While I don’t agree that one of my relatives can blog today and be just as insightful as some of the leading SI reporters, there is a medium for this group of fledgling writers – the blogosphere. The media is already enduring this onslaught, but needs to find a way to better coexist. I do think that Cherwa’s complaint seems trite in an Internet era that is not going away. A natural reciprocity was born with the advent of blogging that should be explored between the many different generators of “coverage.” All of which will only make the profession better.
AnonymousApril 24, 2008 at 8:56 am
Give me a break.
After what can only be described as a near-traitorous betrayal of the American and World’s people in the almost complete lack of coverage leading up to the Iraq war, the Lewinski scandal being broken by the Drudge Report, the Global SARS warning coming from a text message out of China and the present fixation on whether small town Americans are bitter, the fourth estate should be praising the blogosphere as the saviors of journalism.
Does anyone here see the irony in John Cherwa’s quote, “We’re getting tired of everyone trying to tell us how to do our business.” Ah, excuse me John but that is exactly what journalists do, you tell other people how to do their jobs and remind us all when someone is not properly doing their job.
And now you’re upset because the very masses you profess to serve have had the temerity to rise up and find their own voices by way of an information democratizing technology allowing them to speak out and circumvent the priestly intersession of a “real” journalist. Perhaps you are right to fear the bloggers, as Luther was once feared.
Sorry but you seem to be failing in the free-market of ideas.
Steve Andrews, VP Fusion
Bennett BaruchApril 24, 2008 at 9:35 am
While I do not share the same level of dissatisfaction as Steve, I can understand his displeasure. As blogs continue to populate the Internet there is a need for this ‘reciprocity,’ as without – there will only be friction. I agree that coexistence/collaboration will spur ingenuity among professional journalists.