Sunday, May 25, 2008

Quick thoughts on the Bob Costas "sitdown" about the blogosphere

Here's a link for reference. I think it originally aired sometime in late April. Here's a link to the show if you have a few minutes to spare.

The show that day was about blogs and how it affects today's sports coverage. Costas had Deadspin's Will Leitch and Buzz Bissinger (I still have no idea who he is) talking about how blogs have changed the way sports is reported (amongst other things). It got real heated between the "blog king" Leitch and "old school" Bissinger. It got me to thinking...

Is the "old" media terrified of the emergence of blogs? Do blogs scoop them for infomation? Do blogs cross the line in what is news and what is... privacy invasion?

To answer the 1st question I have... I say for now no, but I do see the print media adjusting their methods to compete with blogs. I found that people like to read blogs because it's written from (in sports) a fan's perspective. Many times I find blogs have more detailed infomation than what you can find anywhere else. Why is that... it's because some blogs are topic specific... meaning that's all they worry about.

Do blogs sometimes scoop the print media on breaking news? This one I say yes to. Blogs and messageboards are often the places where you'll hear breaking news first. That being said, most messageboards (and some blogs) are more rumor mills than places to find real info. As a reader you have to sift through the bullsheet to find the gems... IMO that's no different than the print media.

Do blogs cross the line? Absolutely. I can think of 2 NFL examples where IMO the blogosphere perpetuated a non-story to the point it became a story. The first one was pictures taken at Matt Leinart's house party. They get out and all of sudden people are questioning his dedication to the NFL? The second one was of Vince Young at a club. I have to admit a couple of those pictures made me say "What," but it's not my or anyone else's business what he does in his off time.

My biggest gripe with some blogs is the personal shots taken at people on their "sheetlist." If someone in the print media resorts to that, their name and face are attached to the story. Most blogs don't have that deterrent and with that allows extra vemon to be hurled. That's where things need to be reigned in.


Hville said...

FYI, Buzz Bissinger writes sports novels, like Friday Night Lights.

As for opinions, I think we have kept our feelings about CMG to ourselves until it couldn't be controlled anymore. I remember you sending an email to Alias, DJC, and myself to make sure we were all on the same page before you posted your unfavorable opinion piece about CMG. I think you were being responsible in doing so, which is what I like about this BLOG...

bobbyjack said...

I guess I still carry my Telecommunications and Film degree in memory even though I never used it. I guess that makes me "old school." :)

Criticism of how a person does his job is fine... taking the next step and making comments about his family (in the case of CMG the vitriol his wife took as a result of the Finebaum incident) is over the line. I think we all do a good job of keeping the criticism of CMG to his coaching moves and abilities.

Anonymous said...

excellent "blog". here's the thing. people are turning to blogs and the blogosphere for something they're not getting in the newspaper. let's go back to the final season of mike shula.

no one with half a brain can deny that there were writers in the tank for shula. why? because if shula survived they needed access to him the next season. ditto mark gottfried. as things have gone bad for our basketball program, the criticism has mounted. and those who have leveled that criticism have felt the wrath. the finebaum incident is well known. do i believe mark sent elizabeth out there after him? no. but you cannot deny she was out there representing his interests. bill ellis stated on his blog that after he started calling for gotffried to be replaced, coaches stopped talking to him.

the point here is writers, journalists and their subjects use each other. one needs a story. the other needs to get their story out. the lines blur and the truth suffers.

yeah, bissinger is mad. but for every perceived transgression he comes up with on blogs, one can counter in print and electronic media. it's not hard to do.

just ask the new york times and jason blair.