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Response to "Access and Accountability" - One Fans Point of View

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In response to Nick Nelson's post:


I'm not a journalist. Journalism was not my college major. Heck, I barely read my high school paper. I am just a Twins fan that reads too many articles and posts trying to learn as much about my team as possible. I will read ESPN and FOX, to the Strib, to blogs, even comments. I am interested to see what the news is on my team and what the general perception is on that news.

While the media has typically unfettered access to the teams they cover, they are bound by that access and the responsibilities that come with it. Media writers will temper their responses in order to keep the players talking to them or to stay in the good graces of the team. It's not always a complete sell out, but it does come with the territory. Bloggers, on the other hand, are not usually bound by these constrictions. The write and say exactly what they want, bound by very little. But the truth is that a majority of your more popular sports bloggers are journalists. They have the degrees and most have actual team coverage experience. While they do not have these same constraints as the media, they will typically write using the same ethical standards as your main stream writers. I believe this is a major reason why they do become popular. They can evoke trust in their readers

Nick is partially right. Many sports bloggers do write from a fan's point of view. But they are generally not perceived that way. Sports bloggers are half-fan, half-media. I have been reading Gleeman and Strohs for a long time. They both bring insight that your average, every-day fan will not have. They maintain their readership by providing information that is in-depth and accurate, with well formed opinions. They also throw out information that could be considered "inside information" along the way. I also have no problem with this, as I enjoy different points of views and like to see how these items are discussed outside of television, radio, or the newspaper. But to classify them as "just" fans is not entirely accurate.

I continue to be amazed at how the mainstream media attempts to knock down the bloggers. An analogy:
Do I believe that the best 500+ players in the world play in the NBA? No. I believe I could field a team of non-NBA guys that could easily hold their own in the NBA. Multiple teams actually. Guys make it to the NBA due to skill, politics, and luck. Some in the NBA do not belong there. Many that don't make it to the NBA can be as good or better, but are not in for any number of reasons. Does that mean they stop playing? Heck no. They play 5-6 times per week. Don't believe me, go watch a Summer League game downtown sometime.

Can you guess who is who?

Mainstream media only has to fear the bloggers if they themselves are not performing their job. If the Strib is worried about losing readership, hire better writers and churn out better content. Same with ESPN. People will follow the stories and personalities that they like. If newspapers and other mainstream outlets are truly doomed, I would advise the Mackey's and Reusse's of world to lay off the bloggers because blogging will be the only only option left to them.

Keep up the good work guys.
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  1. Nick Nelson's Avatar
    Great post, I'm glad I inspired you to write it. And thanks.
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