Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Following Up: Hockey Blogs

Since my blog about the Hockey Night In Canada piece about blogging generated so much traffic and controversy, I thought I would follow up.

First off, for those of you that don't read the additional comments, I was called out by a fellow blogger for blasting the piece, saying "It sounds like a case of sour grapes. You were not chosen for the story so it must be bad." Its a valid conclusion but one totally offbase as I have had opportunities to be on television and have turned them down (face for radio, voice for the deaf ... thus I blog). But said blogger, from The Puck Stops Here, is also defending the CBC piece because he was in it. Some blogs, like his, regurgitate every hockey story and add their $0.02 and that's fine - I read plenty of them on a daily basis - but my point was the omission of team fan blogs from the piece. It spoke up the blogs that have MainStream Media (MSM) connections while tossing a few negative connotations towards the sites of diehard fans.

Rather than go over my individual responses, you can click on the first link at the top and reread them for yourself. Then head over to Tom Benjamin's page for his response to CBC's work. To cut to the chase, he sums things up so: "At best, we add to the existing coverage. At worst we keep the real media on their toes." And to add to that, I think that fan blogs like this one and this one and this one and even this one deserve mention when talking about the hockey blogosphere, and not with a negative connotation.

Why? Because basically we do the job of columnists better than the columnists themselves. Those MSM writers are beholden to their editors and the credentials they are given where we can call it as we see it. We help jumpstart those bar-room discussions and will call things how we see it. Does it mean that we have no journalistic integrity? Absolutely not. We still have to be correct, or we are called on it. Just look at the comments on my original piece where Taste_of_Flames pointed out that Heatley drove a Ferrari when he killed Dan Snyder, rather than a Porche. I was wrong, and owned up to my mistake. Henceforth I will be more cautious. When was the last time that you saw a MSM writer retract something incorrect? The only case I can think of recently is the one going on right now in Toronto, and that is only under duress of possible legal ramifications.

I think that blogging and the different forms that weblogs come in will certainly be a ongoing topic so I will just close this entry with this - CBC did a decent piece, but it looked like they suddenly discovered the internet despite it being 2007 and they didn't do a comprehensive news package. It omitted a major part of the story and then tossed negative opinions out there without allowing for rebuttal. If they are supposed to be an objective member of the MSM then that is simply not good journalism.

I hope they do better next time.


James Mirtle said...

Scotty, bloggers like Jon Press and Tom Benjamin are not MSM blogs. They're fan bloggers, of the Capitals and Canucks respectively.

I met many of the bloggers in Washington, and the majority would be described as fans moreso than journalists. That's the story; that's where the tension is.

Ron MacLean and Elliotte Friedman then named some blogs they read to keep up on news and issues they may have missed. Given this was the first, widespread coverage for hockey blogs on a forum like this, I think it was a terrific introduction to the blogosphere, and something that benefits all kinds of blogs.

As far as most are concerned, there's little difference between TPSH and your own.

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