As you probably know by now, Hockey Night in Canada did an eight minute segment on hockey blogging during Saturday night’s telecast. All in all, it was a pretty unbiased report and gave great information. They presented both sides and didn’t appear to take one. That’s some damn good journalism. Actually it was so encouraging, there’s a lot of good news. You can read the good word here, over here or if you still need another link, here.
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It’s all heart warming that a large media outlet such as the CBC had a nice segment on blogging. And then Kevin Allen, President of the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) makes a pretty ridiculous statement, a statement that I’ll get to an a minute.
Allen started out with a negative, calling blogs the “wild, wild, west.” There’s some truth to that. I wouldn’t go so far as to say all bloggers do is drink, shoot each other and kill Native Americans, but I understand his analogy. Unless he was comparing this all to a bad Will Smith movie. In that case, I’m just confused. I guess if it’s fair, but I’m going to make a comparison of my own — just to get you thinking. Today’s mainstream media is like 19th century England. You know, the ship is sinking but everyone’s too snobby to admit it.
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To Allen’s credit, he then described bloggers very well; some are closer to being actual journalists, while some are plain fans and don’t claim to be anything else, and there others at other points. Now that’s an accurate description of the blogosphere-zone-world… Then we moved on to the ol’ bloggers wearing jerseys in locker rooms argument. Please, people. I’m with Allen on this one. Now I know that we’re more fan than journalist, but when a rich friend invites you over, you don’t go there wearing a sweatshirt and socks with sandals. I won’t go any further on this point to keep from beating a dead horse.
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OK, so finally we get to the ridiculous statement I was hinting at before. At the 3:20 mark of the video, Allen says that bloggers have no accountability. Sure, some of us don’t. If you post anonymously, then you have no accountability, but the sacrifice is that people will take you with a grain of salt (cough, Eklund, cough). For the rest of us, there sure as hell is accountability. There’s lots of it, in fact.
For one, there’s every other blogger in the world holding you accountable. As much as we all seem to get along, this isn’t a utopia. Bloggers take shots at other bloggers. Bloggers debate with other bloggers. If you get your facts wrong, and boy do I have a nasty habit of doing that, your commenters will let you know you messed up if other bloggers don’t. We don’t all eat our young, but I’m not going to act like it doesn’t happen — bloggers do, believe it or not, go after other bloggers on occasion.
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Then, of course, there’s the fact that just like journalists, we’re putting our personal reputations on the line with every word we say. Let’s take, for example, a blogger who has a day job that doesn’t have the least bit to do with journalism. We will pretend that our imaginary blogger works as a manager of a large and somewhat prestigious hotel. Now, let’s pretend that blogger makes racially insensitive comments on their blog, while not using a fake alias. Do you see where I’m going with this? You don’t have to be named Don Imus to hurt your reputation if you say something dumb. And don’t think that bloggers can’t get fired, either. Those of us who are blogging self-employed can’t, but if you write for DeadSpin, FanHouse, etc, then you’ve certainly got a job interest to hold onto.
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All in all, is there less accountability in the blogo-zone-o-matic? If anyone knows your real identity, absolutely not. You had better believe that there is accountability, for those who choose to take the responsibility of it… Oh, and the clips HNIC used for cut scenes, those were not the least bit annoying… As long as you think randomly loud and obnoxious mouse clicks are not annoying. Cause they’re not. Definitely not annoying. _uacct = “UA-1868762-1”; urchinTracker();
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