Going through my nightly list of must-read blogs, I came across a great post on Ken Rosenblatt’s site Islander Outsider. Ken was commenting on a video he found on James Mirtle’s blog put together by Hockey Night in Canada regarding the influx of bloggers covering NHL teams. Having watched the video on Youtube, and the reactions of both of these bloggers – I felt I needed to chime in with my two pennies.
I agree with both gentlemen, the video was very well organized and seemed to touch on some of the key issues many have spoken about previously. Are the bloggers writing to break into a career in sports journalism? Are they a fan first and will this get in the way of responsible journalism? And of course – the issue of allowing bloggers to wear team colors in the locker room.
The last point, in my opinion is only an issue because of attention to the practice in Richard Deitsh’s article in Sports Illustrated. Several of us in the blog box decided to wear our jersey to the game. We did not sit in the press box, we didn’t even get to go into the locker room opening night. Having now realized the importance of both remaining neutral in appearance and as professional as possible – I do not wear a jersey any longer, which is tough on me as a season ticket holder. However, it is a sacrifice I am willing to make.
One aspect that I am extremely proud of, is the fact that I am a fan who writes about the team that I follow. Mirtle defends this idea in his post:
It’s a distinction that needs to be included here, as many bloggers are, and will always be, fans of certain teams, and I don’t think that precludes them from providing coverage of their team.
No cheering in the press box is a fine axiom, but “no cheering for bloggers” doesn’t have to be the only way to go. It works in Washington, and would elsewhere, but what the Islanders have introduced doesn’t deserve to be dismissed out of hand.
As I’ve said before, honesty is paramount if you’re going to provide quality coverage on a personal medium like a blog, and wearing the home colours is as honest as it gets.
I think anyone that follows my blog with any bit of regularity knows I don’t sugarcoat anything. If I see something that needs to be fixed, I post about it as much as I would something that deserves praise. This is something only someone in my position can get away with, because a journalist would really begin to hear about it from the PR guy if he was constantly harping on the negatives.
This is one of those subjects that I could go on and on about – and maybe it’s fitting that I chose to write about it at 2 A.M. when I should clearly be sleeping. The point is made by both bloggers – the media really needs to come to terms with the fact that we are not going to simply disappear. Our blogs are hard work, much like any other form of journalism. The line between traditional media and the blogosphere is beginning to fade, which could be great for all parties if handled properly.
Based on the ending of the video, I would say that bloggers are already being viewed as a valuable source of information. Respect is beginning to come in from all corners of the media, even if that respect comes in the form of an offer to hold my voice recorder, you need to start somewhere I guess.