April 6, 2009

Blogger: Print's death to dam river of news

Peel away the specifics of sports in this writing to discover a fear articulated for many as formal media organizations give way to blogging.

There's also a challenge here for sports teams, governments, organizations, businesses - what mechanism will each set up to determine how information will be available.

Do all audience members now get a copy of the meeting packets distributed to reporters and board members? Should an organization's president talk to me because I share news and opinions via a blog or distribute a newsletter? Does the lack of a printed newspaper obligate governement bodies to publish their minutes faster?

The process of news

"As much as we loathe the columnists that have colored our opinion of their employers, newspapers served a critical purpose. They facilitated the flow of information from people who had it to people who didn't."
Yes, it is possible for a sports blogger to get access to information because universities are increasing what they put online and through the blossoming of sports sites where coaches, players and fans input detailed statistics.

Three tiers of news

the current system is set up for three tiers (at least for college fooball):
1) The University (school, coaches and players) possess the information;

2) the credentialed press gets the first crack at it;

3) and the rest of us are left to sort through what reaches us.

The differences

The differences boil down to credentialed press not using cleaned up, message-on-target quotes from the official sources. Instead, tha press can give, as
"Perspective on what was said and how questions were answered. They asked tough questions on decisions and results. They could observe the reactions from coaches, gage responses first hand, and had the ability to ask the questions where we do not."
Some of the perspective that comes from access to the paper and electronic versions of stories published before. Some of the perspective that comes from ongoing observations of coaches and players, perspective grown from the luxury of paid-for time spent on the specific subject.

A blogger's role

He looks at the obligation and responsibility of bloggers to provide insights based on raw reporting rather then reactions to what others have gathered.

And then there's this:
"When people begin turning to your blog for new information, you can't let them down. If you do, you lose their trust and their readership. "

A blogger's burden

Wow. That alone is a huge burden as I learned when people began turning here for information about Advance Publications, or my take on AnnArbor.com and Advance Internet because of my interest in the corporation that is funding my pension (we hope).

It was almost too easy to slip back into workaholic hours, seeking pieces of information scattered in announcements and blogs, while knowing family beating cancer is my first priority. It is tempting to want to email or call people I've known to get the "real story" or at least more details to help my friends in the industry, while knowing how uncomfortable it can be learning that you confided in a media person, not a friend.

Just a kick

Jim Carty of Paper Tiger No More said in State of the Blog, after his coverage of the Ann Arbor Press shutting down and AnnArbor.com helped draw 12,000 unique visitors to his site over four days:
"But that's just sort of a kick. There's no point to it, no goal. Paper Tiger isn't ever going to be a commercial venture, it's not supposed to be, it's just me being me, for better or for worse."
Jim, who left sports reporting at the Ann Arbor News to go to law school, wrote:
"The constant updates were the product of an extraordinary situation that affected me, and many of my friends, very personally. It will be viewed as an aberration in the long run. For the most part, the day-to-day shtick around here much more resembles random snark on newspapers, politics and sports, some law school musings, and me promoting stuff written by my journalism cronies."

My fingers unveil thinking

Inside Out is a way for me continue thinking by writing, looking at change and changes and figuring out what I'm going to do today and tomorrow. How can journalism and community not be a part of it when I've been immersed in some form of it since at least 1966.

Inside Out is the place where I can write about posts like The Death of the Print Newspaper and the Birth of the New Blogsphere. as I decide which project gets my eyes next.

Thanks for visiting.


  1. And a darned good space it is. Keep up the good work.

  2. Good information.

    In the present economic situation if you are looking to get your message across to people and advertising your business without spending loads of money, then you can opt for traditional outlets like print advertising agencies. These agencies can offer you classified ad space at special discounts. This is also a great opportunity especially if you are setting up a new business or are tight on your advertising budget.

    When you use a professional ad agency, you tend to receive an early notice of the special offers and prices and also a considerable reduction in the advertising rate for national press. So help your business grow by promoting it in the low priced publications. Use print media to cut your costs and boost your advertising efforts in this growing economic recession.

  3. > Do all audience members now get a copy of the meeting packets distributed to reporters and board members?

    Board packets are public records; at worst, you'd resort to FOIA to get them, but since they are distributed regularly it's generally easy to talk to the board secretary to get yourself on the distribution or notification list. At least that has been my experience in Ann Arbor - though at times board secretaries are surprised that anyone would care (that's a different problem).

  4. In my neck of the woods, FOIA it is.

    I'm not sure some elected officials want us to care.