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Article: Threatening The Media

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#1 John Bonnes

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 07:40 AM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...ening-The-Media

#2 Thrylos

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 07:56 AM

Seems like I missed a good one last night :/ Good points. But another major difference is that the Journalists have to be team mouthpieces to have that Access. Only time they are critical of people are after they are no longer with the team... or unless the team tell them to be critical. So that Access is kinda fake. Mouth fed news by the team.
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#3 Shane Wahl

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 08:00 AM

Very good article. I wish I had paid attention to it last night. One of my jobs is with a sports department at a middle-sized newspaper in Indiana. Some of these sportswriters at said paper are quite lucky no such "Purdue Daily" or an AG type covering Purdue exists as independent bloggers. Like so many things in our society (gay marriage, marijuana laws, etc.--haha-insert joke if you want) the (corporate--your very correct term) mainstream sportsmedia vs. the blogging/independent sportsmedia division highlights a generation gap. And old people . . . die. It is the old guard that has to adapt or fail.

#4 mike wants wins

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 08:01 AM

It's reading stuff like that that almost makes me want to pay attn to twitter....It's 2012, it's a wiki world. Until the media realizes that, they are stuck in a past that is going to hurt them. As for accountability and accuracy, come on. The media often parrots what they are told by teams, without checking any fact. Like "he's a ground ball machine", or any of the comments about Slowey after they wanted him gone. None of that happened before he was gone. I love reading LaVelle, but does anyone think that how he writes is not affected by the fact that he needs access?

#5 Shane Wahl

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 08:03 AM

To clarify, I mean the generation gap primarily in terms of readership. Of course there are younger beat reporters and oldster bloggers.

#6 wagwan

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 08:23 AM

yes everything you are saying is spot on. I am a fan, not a blogger. And I am checking Twins Daily at least as often as the Star Tribune. I think the old model does not have to go away, they just need to do better with the access they have. Rhett is doing great new stuff with video and pics....I was intrigued by the pic of the lineup card today for example. And the vids that he and Mackey are posting is good use of the new technology. But these guys are working full time down there with complete access and they are producing less than Seth Strohs. Although to be fair, when you include Twitter Mackey and Bollinger are very active. But they need to respond to the new competition. We want more. As for the other point that there is no accountability, again you are too right. If its bad and wrong, I don't read it. There are far more Twins blogs I skip than read. That's just business. If its good it "sells" . I read Gleeman cause I know it will be good, based on years of experience. Same with Geek and although he IS too positive for me sometimes, you just can't ignore the sheer volume of good information Seth brings EVERY DAY.

#7 gunnarthor

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 08:26 AM

I have no idea what happened to cause this and I don't particularly care. I like this site (and Twinkie Town) because I like reading about baseball and, specifically, the Twins. However, I don't really come here for "news," I come for opinions and forums. As fun as Parker, John and Nick are, I have no trust whatsoever into their front office insights. I hate reading bloggers who say that the Twins didn't play player X because Gardy hates him or some such nonsense based on their own dislike of Gardy. I'll trust the professional journalists for real Twins news. They might not always be right but they're right a lot more often.

#8 birdwatcher

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 08:44 AM

There is validity to the argument that "access" forces journalists, especially beat writers, to measure their content carefully. There are also valid complaints about how weak the beat writers are at "probing", or asking searing questions. But the access still provides insight and texture that no blogger can match. I'm a huge fan of the blogs, and find many of you to be smart, resourceful, honest, and accomplished at writing. Most of the local bloggers, however, provide little more than their own type of "parrotting", and a few are ignorant, mean-spirited hacks. This town is fortunate to have several really good bloggers such as you, John, but don't take yourselves too seriously. Beat writers and columnists produce a different product than you do, and it has absolutely nothing to do with "corporate". You have an economic component to your motivation too, don't you?

#9 SirLoin

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 08:51 AM

Wasn't it Mackey that started this whole twitter war? Talk about pot calling the kettle black. And isn't it funny that the flames were fanned by other people who also happen to have gigs on the flagship station of the Twins Radio Network?

#10 jimbo92107

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 08:55 AM

I have never, ever talked to a professional baseball player, yet by careful observation of their behavior on television during games, interviews, etc, often I can get a pretty good idea what's going on. I've played casual sports all my life, so I know what it feels like to be hit by a baseball, to be tackled, etc. Same with lots of sports fans. We're fans because at a lower level many of us have experienced what we see on television. A few years ago (2009), I noticed that Liriano was tipping his pitches. I wrote about it because I was able to predict his pitches with about 80 percent accuracy. He was lowering his front shoulder before throwing a slider. Pretty obvious to me, so I mentioned "Liriano is tipping his pitches." Over and over and over again. Never did anybody acknowledge it until after the season, when they mentioned "mechanical issues." It looked like this: O-/--|== <-- here comes a slider. If I could read him, don't you think professional hitters could, too? Now, I haven't played competitive baseball since about fifth grade, and back then I had no idea how to read a pitcher. Forty years later, I've seen and heard a lot of baseball, including discussions among experts, and now I look for stuff like that, because I'm a fan. I've heard Bert discuss pitching techniques for years, and I've seen how so many young pitchers don't do what Bert recommends, like coming to the balance point. I've heard Gladden talk about the proper way to lead off first base. I've seen how Tim Lincecum incorporates the mechanics of throwing a modified cartwheel into every pitch, and how other pitchers hurt their arms because they do not use their legs, torsos and scapulae to generate cartwheel power. I'm a fan, not a paid journalist, so I'm free to observe without conditions attached. I do not fear hurting the feelings of a manager, player or corporation, thus getting myself shunned or fired. My comments are mostly prompted by the old, 'hey, look at that' feeling that you get when you notice something interesting. One of the reasons I like watching baseball is because it's chock full of interesting things to notice, like how a pitcher like Maddox can win 20+ games without a big fastball, or how a player like Nick Punto helps teams win by knowledge and guile. Like other bloggers, I am not paid to write this stuff, and I never will be. I do other things for a living, and sports writing is not part of it. If I'm not honest, ignore me or call me a liar. If I'm full of ****, say so. It's a real democracy out here in blogostan. A good observation is valued more than grammatically correct bull****, or Sid Hartman's corporate pandering. On the other hand, in a way bloggers do get paid. If we write something well and true, sometimes people pay us attention. Further, some bloggers may have it in the back of their heads that someday, maybe they will get a paid job with a newspaper or some other media. I suppose it can happen, but I would hope the anticipation of such a career would not affect the honesty and openness of their writing. The moving finger writes, and if you're not honest, it writes that, too.

#11 davidjcampbell

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 09:00 AM

Any future of getting Mackey on the podcast ala Sinker?

#12 JB_Iowa

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 09:15 AM

I missed the Twiter debate but for me, part of the problem with mainstream journalists is that many of them aren't doing their jobs very well. Articles from paid reporters should not only have better content (and more access) than blogs but there should be better writing, editing and spelling. I know that there is a premium on getting information out quickly but the lack of editing has become ridiculous. I want -- and will pay for -- well-written articles that offer me insight that I can't get elsewhere. Unfortunately, as the mainstream media tries to keep up with the bloggers, the well-written pieces become fewer and farther between.

#13 Gernzy

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 09:16 AM

I saw most of this last night, it got intense. I really don't think there needs to be a war between us. We are all in the same boat.
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#14 ben

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 09:28 AM

To be fair to the beat writers on the access thing, how many blog posts rely on the work of beat writers? The NBC blog, for example, is mostly commenting on stories written by journalists. The Gleeman & the Geek podcasts use information from beat writers' work quite a bit. A lot of what is written here comes from information gathered by the beat writers. So from their perspective, I can see where it would get frustrating when people denigrate their work and praise the work that bloggers can do thanks to their lack of access. On the other hand, Mackey invited this on himself, and he was pretty hypocritical with the whole thing.

#15 mike wants wins

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 09:30 AM

btw, I agree with a point above, bloggers and newspapers/journalists provide different products. I buy** both, actually, because I like both products. If the mainstream media did what Aaron, John, Nick, Parker, and Seth* do, then I'd only need to buy one....but they don't.... *sorry if I missed a name there **I do pay for the Strib, and have donated money to many blogs/sites in the past, though not this one, is there a way to help fund this site?
Lighten up Francis....

#16 BeefMaster

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 09:35 AM

Is there really a big problem in the Twins blogosphere with unaccountable bloggers? It's not like you guys are throwing rumors around or anything - about the biggest issue I can remember along those lines was when Parker claimed (based on a source, mind you, not rumor-mongering) that Morneau was injured in a rage-punching incident, and he made no attempt to continue that claim after it was explicitly denied by Morneau and the team. Do Twins blogs (and their commenters) say things that are occasionally inflammatory or make unsolicited recommendations to the team? Of course. I just don't see how it's some plague that should result in people complaining on Twitter, and I don't see any evidence that it reaches into the realm of "irresponsibility" somehow. By the way, John, do you have more details on what exactly started this kerfuffle? All I really saw was a screenshot Gleeman posted on Twitter of an exchange between Mackey and Souhan (neither of whom I follow)... did it go much beyond that?
"There are only two things that are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." - Albert Einstein

#17 Kirsten Brown

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 11:03 AM

As an avid reader of both mainstream media articles (Mackey among them) and fan blogs (TwinsCentric writers among them), I do so with differing expectations of each. And that's not a bad thing. I choose wisely and stop reading anything I don't like. I expect the mainstream media to do what they do -- game recaps, quotes, and maybe some rumors or speculation. The ones I read do a good job, but they also have their limitations (usually restricted by a deadline, can't rock the boat too much, can neither be fan nor hater, etc.). If they were to begin pretending to be the GM (the tweet that started this whole brouhaha), I would lose respect quickly because they'd be breaking their own rules. I expect the bloggers to do what they do -- opinions, shared fandom, and some independent research. The ones I read do a good job, but they also have their limitations (usually the facts come from secondary sources, don't really know what goes on behind the scenes, a little bit harder to be truly objective, etc.). I actually want them to pretend to be GM if they want so that I can decide whether I agree or disagree and cement my own feelings about whatever's happening. True, some of the lines are becoming less clear: some blogs are doing interviews with players, and some mainstream media folks are writing opinion pieces. But good writing is still good writing, and it all lends to a great pool of information I can pull from and enjoy. So, to me, all of this is like arguing the merits of listening to Patsy Cline or Aerosmith. I enjoy them both very much, but expect completely different things out them. It would be silly if either would feel threatened by the other. It is the readers' responsibility to understand the difference and to take away what's intended.

#18 WYTwinsFan

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 11:28 AM

They keep saying "large platform"...are they specifically upset with TwinsDaily?

#19 Highabove

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 11:31 AM

Below is a direct twitter quote from Phil Mackey. I find this amusing coming from someone with limited objectivity.

Non Cooperate views need to be put in their place.

"I appreciate the work of some sports bloggers. But at times I think some of their platforms are too large in 2012. No
accountability."

Edited by Highabove, 30 March 2012 - 07:22 PM.


#20 TiberTwins

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 11:47 AM

I've stopped going to the StarTrib for Twins info for the exact bias you state. I tired of the information coming late. If they have access, you would think they could get out the story faster and more accurately. I did not see that happening and stopped reading.

#21 roger

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 11:59 AM

To clarify, I mean the generation gap primarily in terms of readership. Of course there are younger beat reporters and oldster bloggers.


Yes there are

#22 Highabove

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 12:07 PM

The beat reporters such as LaVelle have been supportive of these guys.
Its the commentary guys such as Phil Mackey and Jim Souhan who feel that their private domain is being invaded.

Souhan has been the Cheap Shot Artist. Below are some of his comments.

"Wow, I make fun of Bloggers and lose three followers. Existential question:
Did they get off couch in Mom's basement to unfollow me?"

"They're also afraid of players, and think the Moneyball A's won bc of Chad Bradford, not Chavez-Mulder-Hudson-Zito-Tejada"

You show a lot of class Souhan

Edited by Highabove, 28 March 2012 - 12:54 PM.


#23 Ultima Ratio

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 12:14 PM

I'm a Twins fan in Pittsburgh, PA so -- When the Strib was "free" (not the 15 articles a month then needing a paid subscription) and clean (before the horrible ad layout, especially the rollover ads), I'd go there to get the majority of my Twins news (along with mlb.com). I always enjoyed the Twinscentric articles/blogs published/linked on the Strib. With the combination of TWINS DAILY's existence, the annoying Strib issues mentioned above, and the quality of writing and information from all available Twins sites, I'm not at all surprised with the popularity of this site and the jealousy of the Strib. But you make the bed you sleep in. For the last couple weeks I've been hoping that the Twins Daily would get economic independence and sustainability --enough anyway-- to get a "beat" writer for this site with access to the club and following at least some games. Looks like this won't be happening because they won't be granted access though, which is really too bad. I think the Club execs would be surprised to find that open and more transparent coverage of their team would create more buzz and excitement -- increased dollars. Until then, I hope the Strib doesn't become any more of a propaganda tool for the Twins, and I don't use that world lightly.
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#24 mike wants wins

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 12:31 PM

I found it fascinating when the STrib changed the way they handle comments, and when Howard actually said they don't want the site used for game commentary during a game. The Strib had a great opportunity to keep eyes and minds on their site, yet they told us they didn't want that. Since people want that, it is only logical that someone would take up that space. Since people want detailed analysis of the Twins' minor league system, and the STrib and ESPN1500 won't give us that, it is only logical that someone else will provide that. Since people want opinions and analysis that are more in depth than a paper will allow, it is only logical that someone else will provide that. If Mackey or anyone else thinks that the masses should not go to where the product is, I'm not sure what Mackey really knows about economic theory....It's clear that there is an appetite for what this site and others provide. As long as that appetite is not met through the mainstream media, sites like this will exist, thankfully.
Lighten up Francis....

#25 Alex

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 12:34 PM

The beat reporters such as LaVelle have been supportive of these guys.

Its the commentary guys such as Phil Mackey and Jim Souhan who feel that their private domain is being invaded.


And those kind of writers should, because they're essentially paid bloggers who don't write as frequently and confuse the idea of access with facts. (I like Mackey, btw, but there are others I've stopped reading).

I remember a Star Trib writer speculating that Joe Mauer was "depressed" based on his access, though that access didn't include Mauer. I also remember another Strib commentator criticizing Twins for not playing hurt and praising those that did. However, I took 10 minutes, unpaid out of my day, to fact check his article with statistics. player for player those that he praised as playing hurt were horrible when they played hurt (worse than replacement value). Finally, and more recently, take a look at what access gained with regard to Jason Marquis. Ryan told the reporters he was a guy who throws strikes (paraphrasing). I didn't see anyone but bloggers fact-checking this statement, which can be done literally in one minute, to find out he in fact has the same career walk-rate as Liriano.

In the end, I really like Nick's take on the whole thing, too, that there really shouldn't be an argument as both are valuable. I can't expect paid sportswriters, who are covering many different avenues, to go as in-depth as the bloggers. However, those bloggers do require the initial access and reporting that comes from the paid outlets.

Edited by Alex, 28 March 2012 - 12:36 PM.


#26 East Coast Twin

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 01:01 PM

Below is a direct twitter quote from Phil Mackey. I find this amusing coming from someone with limited objectivity.

Non Cooperate views need to be put in their place.

"I appreciate the work of some sports bloggers. But at times I think some of their platforms are too large in 2012. No
accountability."


The irony for me is that as a person following the Twins from a thousand miles away, I know who guys like John Bonnes, Seth Stohs and Aaron Gleeman are. I have no idea who Phil Mackey is.

#27 tsteff36

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 01:15 PM

The biggest concern I have with blogging comes in the way bloggers and posters like us police ourselves. The people who do most of the writing for this site I'm sure have standards and integrity...no one really wants to look dumb. If indeed factual information is posted by a writer on this site, I would like to believe they have checked those facts to the best of their ability. If opinion is offered, I would like to believe that those who read it and respond to it do so with decorum and in a responsible way. As for the regular press and media, it's a new age, and the sense of ownership and distribution of the information they feel privileged to seems threatened. I get that. There is room for all of us to write and enjoy the inner journalist within ourselves.

#28 Shane Wahl

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 02:56 PM

So I would like to know more details about this spat.

#29 Twins Daily Admin

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 03:26 PM

So I would like to know more details about this spat.


Here's a pretty good synopsis, though there is more to the story.

http://blogs.citypag...ets_blasted.php

#30 gunnarthor

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 04:02 PM

I think one point that Mackey may have been trying to make and that John seems to have missed is the accountability factor. John seems to think that if a blogger didn't supply "reliable information," no one would read them. I think that is a fantasy. The internet is full of very successful websites that cater to viewpoints based on crazy opinions, with no accountability. If a blogger wanted to write that Valencia is in Gardy's doghouse, or Punto is starting at short b/c he has pictures of Gardy, he'd find a audience regardless of the truth of that statement. Generally, I think the Twins bloggers and professional writers are pretty good, I enjoy reading most of them. But simply b/c a number of people read a free blog doesn't mean that the blog is giving reliable information.