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Posted by Iannucci | 4/12/2008 | 24 comments »
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Forgive me for moment while I devote more than a few words to you and me instead of IndyCars, because we just got called out.

There are lots of people who cover open-wheel racing as a career, people we respect (although that group may not necessarily include the same individuals) who can write so eloquently as to better express a shared enthusiasm for the sport. People like Jeff Olson, who recently suffered a momentary lapse of reason in publishing an incredibly ironic piece of writing.

His article is called “Us vs Them”, and it starts off talking about how “we” need to stop this “us vs them” mentality with regard to IndyCar drivers who have raced in different series last year. Naturally I was totally in agreement with that idea, because goodness knows I’ve done my part to try to get everyone excited about all of the participants in this newly-born unification.

But then somewhere in the middle of the article Olson decides a different kind of “Us vs Them” is completely acceptable.

Sportswriters are people who couldn’t play sports but want to write about it, yet they aren’t worth a damm at that, either. Ask anyone who’s ever been in the newsroom of a daily newspaper: Sports is the Toy Department. It’s where the worst of the talentless hacks in the newsroom are sent to live out their careers. It’s where bad journalists go to die. And, yes, “bad journalists” is redundant.

Add the growing number of untrained and unprofessional word butchers to the clutter, and objectivity goes the way of the front-engine roadster. Apparently this occupation is now open to anyone who can type with his or her knuckles, no education or experience required. No need for a degree or employment, just crown yourself a bloggist, start typing and apply for that credential.

Amazing how that works. If I tried to be a plumber with no experience or training, I’d get stomped by guys with pipe wrenches and exposed butt cracks. But any fool with a computer and a MySpace page can play journalist, and the rules of the business are no longer acknowledged (or even known). So much for those endless semesters of libel law. Anybody can do this, and anybody does. No training or aptitude required.
And so it is that a big bucket of digital ice water has been dumped upon you and me and our little thing here. Oh, I realize he’s probably speaking about bloggers who were at that race in Florida, but the distinction is not clearly expressed. Now you’re probably expecting me to vivisect the above with snarky comments like another blogger has, but just this once I’d rather instead take this as an opportunity to educate. This very same issue was addressed recently by Ken Arneson, a tremendously gifted guy who covers the Oakland A’s for his own Catfish Stew blog, so I’m going to try to summarize (read: plagiarize) the point that he so eloquently made elsewhere in the comments section of yet another site.

The problem here isn’t that “journalists” are hating “bloggers” because we’re lazy or partisan or doing for free that on which they stake their careers. No, the real problem here is that blogging is a new medium and as such people tend to look at it and evaluate it using the same measures as the old one. And given the tenets of journalism people like yours truly are most certainly lazy and partisan, and we produce an incredible amount of garbage compared to the works of Olson or Gordon Kirby or John Oreovicz.

But as you and I know this equivalency is completely wrong, because even though Olson and your humble host are in the same business of spreading the word about the happenings of open-wheel racing he and I aren’t doing anywhere near the same thing.

Published articles are intended to be snapshots in time that you can hang on the wall and gaze upon but never touch. Conversely, blog entries are a chain of shared thoughts that are passionate and emotive and yes, even factually inaccurate because above all other rules they invite participation. Arneson’s key point was this: “The unit of measurement in blogging is not the article, the unit of measurement is the conversation.”

That’s the real beauty of this medium that facilitates something other than a one-way transfer of ideas. The truth is this post and pretty much every other one only take on any semblance of meaning when they get shared. The comments start coming in, another site links the post, the authors elsewhere add their thoughts, then they start getting comments, and before you know it there’s a lively discussion happening in real time that engages any number of people all over the world.

(As an aside, this proves that Robin Miller is in fact a blogger and not a journalist – he just doesn’t know it yet.)

So while Olson and Olson alone is responsible for creating every last letter of his articles, I as a blogger have all of you here to help fill in the blanks. This isn’t about me – it’s about WE. As a consequence necessary evils like fact checking get taken to an entirely new level because not only will all of you add your own information that you ascertain but you’ll also definitely let me know if I’ve got something wrong. I’m accountable for what I write, but in the process we’re all accountable to each other for what we contribute to the discussion, factual or otherwise. Together we have the power to not just to record an event but to register the impact more accurately than any single article can.

Even though this new medium of sharing may seem to be applying pressure on the old newspaper model, the reality is probably the opposite. Now more than ever we NEED writers like Olson to produce well-written articles to help facilitate our discussions. The ironic “Exhibit A” in this case would be Olson’s most recent work.

I wanted to put this all down in a single post as a point of reference for guys like Olson who think I or anyone else with a blog is “playing journalist”. Hopefully everyone can now clearly see this isn’t the case, that we aren’t trying to run them out of business, and that we are in effect all in the same proverbial boat by serving as unofficial promoters of the Indy Racing League. And of course, there are going to be good bloggers and bad ones just as there are good and bad journalists, so please refrain from painting the entire bunch of us “unprofessional word butchers”.

And because we all care so much about IndyCars, rest assured this is the first and last post I ever want to write about blogging.

24 comments

  1. John in Speedway // April 12, 2008 10:42 PM  

    Well Jeff, I'll tell you what. I visit your website several times daily (and a couple others), and I love reading it and posting comments of my own. In my opinion, the reading is much much better than than the occasional articles posted on various motorsports websites. It's funny, because an article will be posted on one of those websites, and when I read it, I say to myself "I already knew about this 3 days ago" and essentially there is absolutely no knowledge gained. Websites such as yours are so much better, because I can actually post my own comment, and other people including yourself actually respond. The beauty of it is the fact that there's no politics involved....no deadlines....no guidelines........it is what it is. And that's what's real. Anytime there is press release, or a media leak, I'm always checking the blogs to see what everyone's opinion is, and what other information other people have gathered. I really like Curt Cavin, because although he writes "official" articles for the Star, he does everything he can to stay in touch with the fans through his Q&A. I'll never forget the multiple updates released during the "stakeout" of the official unification activities. "TG and KK have officially proceeded from the parking garage to the Eagle's Nest, and it appears as if KK chose the scallops, which is an excellent sign." :) Classic stuff. OK I've lost all direction as to where I was going with this.

  2. John Edward // April 13, 2008 2:12 AM  

    I hope the brazen, condescending attitude written in Jeff Olsen’s article doesn’t keep you and others from doing what you're doing because, quite frankly, we not only get information from blogs, but they're a community of like-minded individuals, too.

    The critics need to realize is that blogging is, at least to my way of thinking, a new branch of journalism. The internet has changed EVERYTHING, including journalism, and even motorsports itself.

    I think Olsen’s missing the point…

    It's changed what it means to be a race fan. It's no secret that I've been an open-wheel fan for nearly 40 years (even if it does mark me as an old fart). As close as 10 years ago the closest I could get to a Foyt or an Unser or anyone else in the sport was behind a fence; usually a tall fence separating me and a track. Information flowed about as fast as a monthly racing magazine or a daily paper; if you could even get racing information in your daily paper outside of Indianapolis. Now the information flows in near real time. We, users of the internet, are much more connected to the sport than ever before. That’s good for the sport, and isn't that the whole idea?

  3. Dale Nixon // April 13, 2008 6:07 AM  

    Wow, Olson fires off the broadside.

    Is he afraid that someone at the Speedway might be letting the bloggers cut the buffet line?

    Was he really worried about the cozy relationship between Pressdog and Sarah Fisher?

    I'll be sure to submit my updated resume with Mr. Olson's HR staff before commenting further on this site...

  4. pressdog // April 13, 2008 6:51 AM  

    I think IndyCar sees the value of bloggers in stoking fan excitement and is trying to be more accommodating. To their credit, they realize the more people paying attention to the news from IndyCar world the better. I'm 100% in favor of anyone who doesn't behave properly in the media center being marched out, de-credentialed at the gate and placed on double-secret probation. Having said that, the press centers I've been aren't exactly monestaries or known for well mannered decorum.

  5. Doug // April 13, 2008 6:53 AM  

    People fear change. That's the true message coming out in Mr. Olsen's article. Most professions have pros and amateurs. Why should journalism be different? I'm an astronomer. I get paid for it and make my living from it. Am I diminished by the amateur who does work in a backyard shed built for their 12" telescope? Absolutely not! In fact, I'm enriched by it! So is the rest of the community. One of the best variable star astronomers I ever new was a retired airline pilot who enjoyed his hobby as an astronomer.

    How are bloggers not similar? When a person has a passion for writing, but doesn't want to give up their day job, blogging is the perfect form of amateur journalism. As with astronomers (pros and am alike) some are good, some are not so good. The not so good bloggers don't get read as often. Sites like your's that is well written, open, thoughtful, and timely thrive because is IS good journalism. Let Olsen keep his stuffy and stoic views of what a journalist is. I for one WANT my writers to be passionate enough about the sport to cheer for for such a momentous event as Graham's first win.

  6. Anonymous // April 13, 2008 7:29 AM  

    I guess we now know who else applied for the Fox Sports Indy racing gig

  7. Bash // April 13, 2008 8:03 AM  

    Props to Jeff and Pressdog for their posts on this matter. I read this blog, Pressdog's and Cavin's Q&A every day, and the reason is captured in this post. The commentary and opinions of the collective are enriching. ("My enjoyment is enhanced!") My amusement is engaged. My brain cells fire ("hmmm, that's an interesting point of view..."). Others occasionally comment with inside information, or report a rumor that we want to keep an eye on. It's a 360 degree experience that you don't get from a traditional news report (which is often the genesis of a post here). Blogs like this breathe life into that traditional news story. That's no knock on the journalist - it's just what the medium of the blog permits. ALL good, in my view.

  8. Anonymous // April 13, 2008 8:26 AM  

    Keep doing what you are doing. Was the behavior in the press center crap, probably? But to go on as he did misses the point perfectly.

    I first started reading the blogs to be updated on "everything" that is going on. I know I can go to mynameis... or isitmayyet and get witty sarcasm or insightful nuggets or direct links to the other guys, aka news, other blogs etc... I use it as news, entertainment and one stop shopping. You would think that the Star or Speed would have taken that on and reaped the rewards. Hell the star reports on entertainment gossip and I know Speed publishes as much gossip as news when it comes to the N-word. I guess its sour grapes as they got caught with their pants down. I am glad to see Indycar.com taking a more proactive approach, one being the daily show with Lauren Bohlander (she is hot, I wish she would replace no talent Pedigo)I have tried to reel Cavin in on this discussion many times but he wont take the bait. i.e. balancing his radio show with his Star duties while balancing the blog --

  9. erika // April 13, 2008 9:18 AM  

    Anyone who is passionate about a sport wants to share that passion with others and be a part of a fan community. Fans of a hometown football or baseball team can go to their local stadium and feel that sense of camaraderie, but race fans are in a different boat. We're spread out all over the place, and if we're lucky, we have one race a year that is within reasonable driving distance of our homes. Thus, online communities and blogs become an essential way for fans to connect and to feel a part of something. I live in Southern California, and the only race fan I know is a co-worker who is an F1 fan. If not for the blogs, my excitement would certainly be lessened - how fun is it to be excited about something by yourself? I am so appreciative of the bloggers who provide us a means to get together and really help create that sense of community.

  10. Mrs. IRL // April 13, 2008 9:31 AM  

    I sincerely hope that Jeff Olson was not referring to blogs such as this one with his recent Us vs. Them rant. To do so would show incredible ignorance on his part. He has no idea about what these blogs mean to the peole who write them and the people who read and contribute to them. I know that Mr. IRL does not like to draw attention to himself, but I want to set the record straight for all of the Jeff Olsons out there who think that they have the arena of sportwriting all to themselves.
    As a person who sees what goes into this blog on a daily basis, let me address some of Mr. Olson's "points."

    Point #1:"growing number of untrained and unprofessional word butchers:" The Jeff that I know and love, the force behind My Name is IRL, is hardly untrained or unprofessional. He majored in broadcasting; worked as an intern with ESPN when Indy cars were still at PIR, and has followed open wheen racing since he was a boy thirty years ago. (Sorry to out you on your age, dear.) Unprofessional? Sure, if you consider logging in several hours each week researching and verifying stories; refusing to become petty and produce anything that would appear substandard, as "unprofessional."

    Point #2: "can type with his or her knuckles:" actually, Jeff Iannucci has opposable thumbs and uses his fingertips to type, just like the rest of us.

    Point #3: "no education and no experience:" See Point number one.

    Point #4: " No employment:" well, no, technically, my husband is not employed as a staff writer for a newspaper or magazine. He is too busy working all week as a database administrator to support our family of six. That's the job he does to pay the bills. This blog is the job he does because he is passionate about the sport and loves sharing thoughts and debates with other fans.

    I hope that Mr. IRL will excuse my own public rant about an article that I found extremely offensive, not only to my husband, but to the many other bloggers he admires and who share his love of the sport. I am confident that many of these other bloggers also have resumes that would render Mr. Olson's comments as misinformed and downright ridiculous. Hopefully, Mr. Olson will revisit his comments and consider the fact that he may not know what he is talking about.

  11. Zappatista // April 13, 2008 9:45 AM  

    If "we, you, us" don't take a stake, then who will? "They" haven't exactly carried the sport, now have they....

    I am glad he gets paid to do it, but is he happy? hmmm Doesn't sound like it.

  12. SandWedge // April 13, 2008 9:48 AM  

    ditto to all comments, but I believe its just proof we need to fill the week between st. pete and motegi... just causes press to get so bored they start commenting on the press itself...if there were a race he'd have been too busy to go on his tangent...

    personally I think the value of blogs are nothing similar to that of the press and jeff hit every note, we serve usually as a unbiased/un-pre-focused point of view and for a of of people a news aggregate. I think the problem is Olson was mad about what happened and while attempting to be professional (his not naming names) in the process caused something more entierly more unprofessional, a sweeping generalization...

  13. llilly // April 13, 2008 9:49 AM  

    Sounds like sour grapes to me. Everyone learns to write in some form, but not everyone learns to be a plumber. Whether or not one can earn a living writing is another matter.

    However, to make your living at writing must be daunting when you see the wit and intelligence of the bloggers that are doing it primarily because they enjoy it.

  14. meeshbeer // April 13, 2008 9:55 AM  

    Embrace the snark my friend! (btw Jeff... that wasn't even close to being snarky ;) )

    I see it like this: bloggers are essentially non-affiliated editorialists. We talk about the current issues, giving our opinions without the obligatory legal disclaimer which lets our employer off the hook ("the opinions expressed... yada yada yada") And then, unlike they "big boys" who tend to fire the biggest, loudest shots across the bow, we aren't afraid of and actually welcome comments from our readers and peers, who provide shared or opposing opinions, or additional information.

    As others have said here and elsewhere, at this juncture IndyCar is really in no position to be turning away ANYONE who wishes to provide coverage to the series. (neither was Champ Car)
    I've been to many events where the first day or two is being covered solely by us "non-pros", the "real" journalists showing up only for the main event. That is not going to get bums in the seats.

    Fanbased/grassroots coverage, not the droll mainstream coverage (if there is any beyond the one AP article that is regurgitated nationwide) is what keeps fans interested and what gets the casual passersby to show interest and perhaps tune in or go to a race.

    and really, isn't that the whole point?

  15. Jennifer of Dog.Yarn.Knit. // April 13, 2008 11:16 AM  

    Amen!
    Amen!
    Amen!
    Because I’m one of those churchy Jesusy people who can help herself but to go through life comparing/contrasting things to The Church …
    This reminds me of the people who don’t understand why other the members of their church want to, say, start a contemporary worship service. “Why do we need that?” Some may even think that one style of worship is “right” and the other is “wrong”. When it’s really just different. And “Different” does not always equal “good/right” or “bad/wrong”. But sometimes it just is what it is -- different. I think a lot of times we (people) attack what we don’t understand or what we feel threatened by. But if what we’re already doing is truly honorable and time-worthy, *most of the time*, it will stand the test of time. And in the immortal words of the Muppets Take Manhattan, “peoples is peoples”.

    p.s. Jeff, I have never considered you a journalist.
    p.s.s. I would like to publicly THANK YOU, JEFF for all the hard work, the time, the effort, the energy, and the enthusiasm that you put into this blog. Thanks for being our facilitator in the conversation.

  16. Beth Merchant // April 13, 2008 12:31 PM  

    I just wanted to say thank you to you, Pressdog, Is It May Yet and the rest of the bloggers that help those of us who do not get a lot of IRL news because we live in Tintop territory stay connected to the sport we love ! I grew up in Indy and moved South. I miss all the news coverage ! You provide a service to people all over the U.S.

  17. Anonymous // April 13, 2008 7:11 PM  

    We all know and some should admit there is some bloggers AND Writers that have have always been negative towards the Indy Racing League and continue to be negative to this day. And it is very sad.

  18. SS Minnow // April 14, 2008 6:51 AM  

    I've read most of the takes on this and like the saying goes "opinions are like a**holes, everyone's got one". Being said, here's mine. I see Jeff O's point of view from the aspect of looking at the professional expectations and ettiquite required within the press box. Within those four walls, yes there should be some basic professional protocols followed and some restraint shown in any given situation- whether you're a blogger or a "toy department" stock boy. I'd love to ask Jeff O. what the pressbox was like last year at Chicago the moment Dixon ran out of fuel. No "us vs. them" bias at that point, but I could only imagine that someone (or several) had some sort of outburst. My house exploded and I can honestly say it would have been the same if Dario had run out of fuel. If indeed no "journalist" let out a squeal from just being caught up in the moment I'd say I would be shocked.

    Now to paint all bloggers in the same corner.... I find it laughable. Many great points have already been brought to the discussion and I agree it's a new age and definitley an on-demand society. That's the point and the beauty of it!! My grandfather used to have a subscription to Open Wheel Magazine when I was a child and would you care to guess what the first thing I did when I got to his house? You bet. That subscription WAS the internet for me and my grandfather was the "blogger" because we could talk racing and share our opinions on what was happening.

    Oh, before I forget. I'd also like to ask Jeff O., or really anyone for that matter, at the end of the day don't you want to know how people feel about your work? Why not open your articles up comments and discussions? Afraid of what might be said? Just curious.

  19. mmack // April 14, 2008 7:01 AM  

    Jeff,

    First off, don't ever denigrate yourself by saying this:

    "and we produce an incredible amount of garbage compared to the works of Olson or Gordon Kirby or John Oreovicz.",

    after reading such whining drivel from Mr. Kirby like this:

    So after all the anticipation and white heat surrounding the unification of Indy car racing we are faced with the realization that nothing much has changed. Ganassi, Andretti-Green and Penske clearly are on top of a spec-car series with little emotional appeal that is filled with largely faceless drivers. There are few names, no superstars, and the only notable blip the series might enjoy is if Marco Andretti were to win a string of races and challenge for the championship. And of course, the former Champ Car teams face an embarassing struggle which is not likely to improve their hopes of selling any serious sponsorship, nor encourage the long-suffering Champ Car fans from turning out to support them.

    that quickly turned to this:

    Meanwhile, in St Petersburg's Indy Car race on Sunday everyone was reminded that Newman/Haas/Lanigan is a great race team as Justin Wilson led strongly for many laps and Graham Rahal came through to score a convincing victory in very difficult conditions. The former Champ Car teams and drivers were much more competitive in St Pete than they had been on the Homestead oval the previous weekend with five ex-Champ Car drivers qualifying among the top ten and young Rahal coming through to score an excellent victory, his first in Indy or Champ cars. At 19 years and three months of age Bobby's son becomes the youngest driver in history to win an Indy car race and the first to do so as a teen-ager.

    It was impressive to see how quickly the better Champ Car teams and drivers were able to come to grips with their new cars--on a street circuit at least. And too, it's a great shot in the arm for the unified IRL series to have a young American with an established name emerge as one of the series leading stars. Graham is a remarkably mature young man with a big future ahead of him. My personal congratulations to Graham, his dad, his mother Debi, and to Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing for a tough job done extremely well.

    As we all know, Indy Car racing desperately needs a superstar, least of all an American. Maybe he's arrived at long last.


    after a driver Mr. Kirby wanted to win took the checkers at St. Pete.

    So if Mr. Olson wants to complain about "journalists" like that, I'll agree with him. But I'll even give Kirby a pass since his blog posts are opinion, and not supposed to be facutal coverage of a race.

    HOWEVER

    Mr. Olson is confusing the medium with the message. His rant comes off WAY too much like Dana Carvey's Grumpy Old Man skit ("Internet blogging, bah! Why in my day we didn't have the internet. If you wanted to follow a race it was on the radio and you had to hold a huge RCA set the size of a house next to your ear to hear it. And then the vacuum tubes would explode and send shards of glass into your ear and you'd drop the radio on your foot and hop around crying "Oh no, my foot's crushed and my ear is bleeding and on fire and I'll be a circus freak! And that's the way it was AND WE LIKED IT!), or the kind of ravings someone writes after their boss denies them a promotion or raise. You know, the kind of thing most rational people would type, take a deep breath, count to five, and then delete.

    If Olson's an actual reporter (what we used to call journalists before they got all self-important and stuff) trained to observe the world around him, he may notice that sports and political reporting are biased. People covering those subjects tend to wear their heart on their sleeves for an ideology or a team. I don't always agree with everything written across the political spectrum, and as a stick and ball sports fan I don't agree with every opinion written about my favorite teams either. But I wouldn't deny the writers (OK, I didn't cry too much when the Tribune gave Ed Hinton the old heave-ho) the opportunity to express themselves, even if I feel they are 100% wrong.

    I wonder if Mr. Olson is taking the e-mailed rants of the dead-enders at Champ Car Fanatics and other sites of their ilk that he's gotten as representative of former Champ Car fans and the press that covered that series as a whole. If so, he desperately needs to get a proper perspective on separating the wheat from the chaff. If you can't tell that there's a world, scratch that, a universe of difference between crapwagon.com and pressdog.com or mynameisirl.com, then you've got bigger problems that involve reading comprehension and anger management issues.

    One wonders if Mr. Olson would make himself available for a Q & A session about this column, ala Mr. Oreovicz. Or would he not lower himself to respond to a mere blogger and his/her posters?

  20. Jeff Iannucci // April 14, 2008 9:33 AM  

    One wonders if Mr. Olson would make himself available for a Q & A session about this column, ala Mr. Oreovicz. Or would he not lower himself to respond to a mere blogger and his/her posters?

    Well, I did send Mr Olson an email a few days ago but he hasn't yet replied. It wasn't a request for a interview though because I really don't see the value of such a debate. It's one thing to chat up Oreo about something he wrote about the state of racing, it's quite another for me and someone else to discuss each other.

    And to everyone (including "Mrs IRL", who actually printed out Olson's article to make notes), I'm really humbled and amazed at all of the responses.

  21. faniqeric // April 14, 2008 7:59 PM  

    Unfortunately, this "war" on bloggers has been going on pretty much everywhere in sports media. Are there bad bloggers? Yes, but there are also many bad journalists out there. I read blogs (and write for one, albeit poorly) for the outsider analysis, humor, and passion that for the most part, you can't get with traditional journalism. Jeff, pressdog, and everybody do a great job with this.

  22. Dale Nixon // April 14, 2008 8:05 PM  

    I see Jeff O's point of view from the aspect of looking at the professional expectations and ettiquite required within the press box. Within those four walls, yes there should be some basic professional protocols followed and some restraint shown in any given situation- whether you're a blogger or a "toy department" stock boy. I'd love to ask Jeff O. what the pressbox was like last year at Chicago the moment Dixon ran out of fuel.

    Good point Minnow.

    I'd like to remind everyone that the press box is hardly a magical place with complete views of the track (with the exception of a couple ISC tracks); it's a room with a couple TV's and people handing out printed sheets with quotes on them.

    The group is herded into a press conference where the drivers say pretty much the same thing, as their level of self-awareness at that point is pretty acute, and those who are likely to give colorful descriptions usually aren't finishing on the podium, but rather in the wall!

    So basically "beat writers"/"deadline media" (which can be counted as less than 10 for the full season) sit in a room, eat catered lunches, drink coffee, get spoonfed catered quotes and gossip with each other before regurgitating their own synopsis of the race that usually ends up being patently uninteresting...

    hardly an artform, and generally they are watching the same TV broadcasts feed as the bloggers, but without the benefits of TiVo or enthusiasm.

  23. 1972Indy500 // April 14, 2008 9:16 PM  

    I am not a journalist – I am a fan. But I believe my education has provided me some insight into this topic. What separates a Professional/Educated Journalist or Sports Journalist from other would be Journalist is not an ability to write grammatically correct, poetic discourse. Nor does it have anything to do with whether their writings are an accurate description of events or an embellished account or some of both. Although such traits may distinguish a great Sports Journalist from an adequate Sports Writer they do not define either.

    What truly separates a Sports Writer or a Blog/Talk Radio/Tabloid Writer from guys like Cavin, Olson and Oreovicz it is the level of integrity and objectivity and/or lack of intent they begin each story or report with before their fingers hit the keyboard. Is Robin Miller a Sports Journalist? I don’t think so. There are to many times he fails to put aside his own opinions before he starts to consider a story. Forget that he does not cross reference many of his stories.

    Are there exceptions? Yes of course. If a Sports Journalist or Writer has their own column allowing them to write personable accounts they still has an obligation to fairness and accuracy – at least while they're in the press box during the event itself. Should a Journalist decide to do an editorial piece or write and impressionistic story (W.C. Heinz) they do so within a format that is announced to the reader that what is being written should not be interpreted as raw Sports Journalism but as separate medium form.

    Blogging too stands alone as a separate, fluid medium form finding it’s genesis in the openness and accessibility of the internet - where it is ideally suited. It is hybrid of local Sports Writing, Talk Radio, the Editorial page and a Chat Room. It’s not Journalism. It’s not even sports writing. Accountability? Can a Blogger fire themselves?

    MynameisIRL – I like your stuff and I check your page everyday. It’s fun, entertaining, informative, often well written and it’s probably indicative of the future. It’s a wonderful Blog. But it doesn’t or shouldn’t have a chair on the top floors of the Pagoda during May.

  24. Bash // April 15, 2008 6:51 AM  

    Bloggers have their own official section at political conventions. They're being employed by businesses around the world to get their word out. Traditional newspapers that have an online presence are adding comments functionality to capture an aspect of the blog. The future is now, and I like it that the IRL seem to realize that.