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shaneo69
08-05-2008, 12:37 PM
Beware Of The Blog
Aug 05, 2008, 6:12:57 AM by Rufus Dawes

The differences between amateurs who dabble in the blog world and those who hold down full-time jobs in the mainstream media appear to be fading. By my latest count, there are more than a dozen reporters representing our local Kansas City daily newspaper, television and radio community who now have blogs up and running about the Chiefs. Even Bob Gretz, whose columns appear on this site, operates his own personal site that has blog undertones (www.bobgretz.com).

This eradication of the lines between what was once considered legitimate media and what it is becoming is part of the evolutionary process of media everywhere in the United States. It appears it is no longer the case that bloggers are attempting to mimic the traditional media, although that has happened to some extent. Instead, traditional media outlets employing blogs, interested in retaining their audiences, have adopted most aspects of the blog world.

Most of the major dailies in this country have been forced into the blog world to transform themselves in the wake of the new forms of media competition to meet the average reader’s cultural preference. They employ the Internet and blogs as busier readers have less tolerance for traditional-style newspaper coverage than in the past. They value their leisure time and prefer that the news be delivered to them quickly and manageably, when and where they want it. In the case of newspapers and in an effort to meet those needs, their presentation has become faster paced, fragmented and more opinioned following a larger cultural trend that is evident in entertainment programming.

The word blog first appeared in 1994 and is short for weblog. The Web site technoratio.com tracks nearly 30 million blogs. Blogs are conventionally and somewhat confusingly defined as online diaries; a more apt description is to say that it is the simplest and cheapest way to publish a type of website whose structure encourages frequent diary-like postings. There is minimal and no external editing for the most part and on some of the radio and TV blogs the spelling is laughable and the prose not worthy of a junior high school newspaper.

In the glory days of sports journalism, the concepts of objectivity and the identification of sources defined the work of the serious-minded reporter. But today the reportorial rules that are supposed to govern the world of traditional media have been put aside or dismissed altogether on blogs. For instance, in one recent Kansas City area TV blog, a reporter claimed without sourcing of any kind that the Dorsey deal “wasn’t far off the deal he and his agent had already laid out on the table the week before,” a claim that is impossible to fathom and that appears nowhere else in anyone’s reporting including those media who cut their teeth in the agent world. More to the point, very little has appeared under this reporter’s byline that would give the reader the notion that here was someone who regularly breaks news.

Mainstream reporters try to play it straight in their traditional presentation of news but opinion is the heart of the blog-world and reveals the form’s greatest weakness – the preference to say anything without having to offer any proof of what you say. Most bloggers share this weakness, and the preference has proved wildly attractive to those in the mainstream media who have been dying to say what they believe without having to follow any rules or citing any sources to prove it.

In the wake of injuries to Dorsey and Branden Albert, a newspaper blogger was well within the rules of the blog game to report on how serious an impact that would have on a young team’s development. Clearly, any information we can learn of the nature of injuries to first round picks is timely, and comes on the heels of what many draft experts called an excellent Chiefs draft. To state that “Albert will return this season” would seem to imply that it might be lengthy and one could jump to the conclusion that it could be months. To say that “Dorsey’s return is less certain” gives the appearance that it is more serious and could extend well into the season and, well, who knows. To call it “devastating,” on the other hand, as the reporter did in the blog, is a bit over the top. The truth is we don’t know and Edwards noted in comments available on this site (Edwards Q&A, August 4, 2008) that “they’re not done for the season,” but one could make the case that it’s the media’s job to worry or promote a sense of worry. What these kinds of posts lack in any definitive way is made up for in provocative analysis.

This change in the journalists’ view of their role has been accompanied by a veritable explosion in interpretive reporting laced with unsubstantiated opinion. The notion that author Daniel Boorstin introduced in his seminal work, The Image, in 1961, in which he wrote what was true was becoming less important than what one could make seem true, has thoroughly saturated today’s sports culture. With more mainstream media outlets like the Kansas City Star engaging in blogging the lines are blurred further between what is fact and what is opinion.

“The hard-news lead and story have been replaced by the analytical story,” believes former presidential press secretary Mike McCurry. Because newspaper editors are aware that by morning their readers will have already learned from television and radio what happened the day before they demand more context, which can often be a synonym for attitude and opinion. As a consequence, while some will publish only what they know is true others, like their new brethren from the radio and TV world who blog, will publish rumor and innuendo to have the most startling account. Some separate fact from fiction. But many blend them into a kind of infotainment. “Anyone can provide information,” notes one reporter of this new era. “You get paid only if you stand out, and the quickest way to do so is by being an ass” and “the practitioners of assrey have never been in such high demand as they are now.” Every conceivable belief is on the scene adding a tone of careless informality. In the end, too many of these people traffic more in pronouncement than persuasion as did one blogger who predicted the Chiefs were one of the three candidates to finish 0-16.

The number of blogs continues to grow at a dizzying pace. In 1999, the total number was estimated to be around 50; five years later, the estimates ranged from 2.4 million to 4.1 million. The Pew Internet and American Life Project reveals that there are 8 million personal Web logs today and the number of newspaper, radio and TV station blogs are growing at an even faster rate. There are estimates that in the near future over 10 million blogs will have been created.

As Richard A. Posner observed, “the public consumption of news and opinion used to be like sucking on a straw, now it’s like being sprayed by a fire hose.”

http://www.kcchiefs.com/news/2008/08/05/beware_of_the_blog/

Demonpenz
08-05-2008, 12:47 PM
Blogs are shorter than this

Reaper16
08-05-2008, 12:52 PM
Even Bob Gretz, whose columns appear on this site, operates his own personal site that has blog undertones (www.bobgretz.com (http://www.bobgretz.com)).

ROFL

gblowfish
08-05-2008, 12:57 PM
"Blog Undertones"....
Is that a good band name or what?

OnTheWarpath58
08-05-2008, 12:59 PM
Rufus, your article has retard undertones...

Rausch
08-05-2008, 01:01 PM
Does anyone bother to read his "I'm better than you in every way, and here's why" bull$#it anymore?...

BigChiefFan
08-05-2008, 01:01 PM
I guess carl is back from his vacation.

Count Alex's Losses
08-05-2008, 01:06 PM
This reads like a shot across Gretz's bow. Maybe the Chiefs were pissed at him. That's what I heard anyway.

And yes, Carl WAS back at practice today.

the Talking Can
08-05-2008, 01:06 PM
jesus christ kill this blithering a-hole

BigRedChief
08-05-2008, 01:08 PM
This reads like a shot across Gretz's bow. Maybe the Chiefs were pissed at him. That's what I heard anyway.

And yes, Carl WAS back at practice today.
He didn't ask King Carl before he opened up bobgretz.com. They thought he was going to do it on their site.

At least thats the rumor I heard.

Count Alex's Losses
08-05-2008, 01:09 PM
Rufus has been gone for a LONG TIME, BTW. He was previously only appearing in round tables.

markk
08-05-2008, 01:11 PM
rufus is still better than that crap from scout

Count Alex's Losses
08-05-2008, 01:13 PM
rufus is still better than that crap from scout

You really think so?

markk
08-05-2008, 01:15 PM
You really think so?

he didn't spend paragraphs on the Rangers so far, so yep

Count Alex's Losses
08-05-2008, 01:16 PM
he didn't spend paragraphs on the Rangers so far, so yep

That's rather unfair.

HemiEd
08-05-2008, 01:45 PM
I am starting to wonder about shane's obsession with Rufus. It may not be healthy. :eek:

JimNasium
08-05-2008, 01:47 PM
Blogs are shorter than this

I agree. Could someone please write a blog that discusses the content of this article in brief?

RustShack
08-05-2008, 01:47 PM
I guess carl is back from his vacation.

Did he bring Favre with him?

Rausch
08-05-2008, 01:47 PM
That's rather unfair.

No it's not.

And you knew it the moment after you hit send...

SNR
08-05-2008, 02:21 PM
For every dumbass, there's a Maddox article

http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=banish

BigRedChief
08-05-2008, 02:31 PM
The dude is ragging on blogs for not being credible but yet he writes under a BS name. Pot meet kettle.

Iowanian
08-05-2008, 02:49 PM
wtf does Dufus consider this "column", written under a pen name.