Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Kudos to Ms. Schreiber for responding to my email inquiry so quickly and allowing me to post it in this space. Here is her response to the AA posting that I sent to her regarding Blogs, ESPN, and her interview in The Pilot........
On 10/2/07, Le Anne Schreiber wrote:And there you have it. Maybe there is some credence to the fact that bloggers get a bit too defensive about the credibility issue with blogs. The thing that everyone has to understand is that it's taken a ton of work to gain the credibility that this site has, and for anyone (I'm not accusing Ms. Schreiber of this btw) to say that blogs are full of rumors and non-truths just rubs me the wrong way. There's room for both mediums and hopefully one day MSM and everyone will learn that's the way it is.
Thanks, AA. I was not misquoted, but I garbled my own thoughts by speaking too casually toward the end of a long interview with a former Times colleague. I don't in fact blame ESPN's mistakes on blogs. I do believe the internet and blogsosphere has had a large impact on how mainstream journalism is conducted. Rule of thumb in mainstream journalism used to be, you did not print rumors, period, even if they were labeled rumors, even if you were a columnist. You didn't put it out there, label it rumor, then wait to see if it was true or not. Idea of writing columns citing "rumor mill" as source of information would have been inconceivable. Idea of building opinion on top of rumor, speculation or unverified information was inconceivable. But pressure to fill 24/7 cable and online news, and pressure to satisfy curiosity stirred by rumors from blogs and other non-mainstream sources of info, who need not and often do not follow mainstream guidelines re rumors, has gradually led to mainstream journalism getting lax about how it handles unverified information. How many times have you heard or read mainstream commentators deliver opinions preceded by, "If this is true, then...." ? By the time something is proved untrue, the damage has already been done. What bothers me is that the lines between sourced reported information, opinion, speculation and rumor are getting very blurry, and my position is that rather than succumb to pressures to compete with non-mainstream approach to information, mainstream journalism needs to hold the line.
PS. I should never have said 90%, way too offhand and subjective.
PPS. If this makes sense to you, go ahead and post it as reply to your direct email.
----- Original Message ----- From: Awful Announcing To: Le Anne Schreiber Sent: Tuesday, October 02, 2007 1:55 PM Subject: Re: Pilot Interview
Very well put. That makes much more sense to me than what I gathered from the interview. Not being from that school of thought it's easy for me to gloss over the integrity that you speak of. The only issue I have is that ESPN (and others) started the "rumor" trend you mention. The trades they speculate at deadlines of any sport never come to fruition and for all we know they could be making them up just for viewers/internet clicks.
It is a strange and ever-evolving environment and I think there's room for both mediums, but that doesn't seem to sit well with Mainstream Media.
Thanks for your response and I look forward to the next article.
Brian Powell- Awful Announcing
As always, I'm interested in your thoughts good, bad, or indifferent.