There is little doubt that traditional media can be insulated, arrogant and just a little too pleased with itself sometimes. I say this as someone that has shuffled around the outskirts of the discipline in the past and, provided someone is stupid enough to hire me, will do so again one day. This popularity of this whole blogging thing is a direct result to people feeling talked down to by those blessed to go to j-school at the right time.
I was slow to take to the blogosphere. Although I chuckled at Deadspin from time to time and I'm far from a prude, I just found that there was a little too much lets make fun of the drunk athlete with a 22-year-old-stripper photos, and not enough quality reporting/commenting out there. I appreciated the irreverence--it's needed--but I needed depth too.
And, I found it. I hope I contribute to it. But, no matter how much quality I find out there, I can't turn away from the traditional sports media. I'm not sure we, as bloggers, can exist without it.
Which is why I can't support efforts like this. It's not that I don't support the right of the bloggers to take issue with Berger's comments--send him nasty e-mail, write indignant replies, take him down with a pointed FJM-like post. Nor, do I agree with the thesis of the original column. It was mail it in journalism at its very worst. Yes, we get it, Leafs fans show up regardless and it doesn't offer any incentive to MLSE to put a winner on the ice. I've heard that before (I don't agree, but I've heard it before).
Deadspin famously claims that it provides sports news without "access, favor or discretion." I've never understood why we are supposed to be impressed about the lack of access. I, for one, would love to see a Deadspin reporter lobbing in questions at the next presser. It might shake things up a bit and help everyone--reporters and athletes--realize that we aren't talking about anything that's even remotely important. This is the future of sports journalism. Sports bloggers as reporters. It won't be for everyone--there should always be room for Joe or Jane Fan to put his or her opinions out there and, if they are good enough, find an audience--but access for the best bloggers benefits everyone.
But, for that to happen we have to move away from the us versus them mentality that seemingly defines the blogosphere--let's call it "bloup think." The traditional media is not the enemy, but when it's treated as such it makes sense that it responds in kind. The truth is bloggers need the traditional media and the traditional media benefits from bloggers. And both sides need to develop thicker skins.
Related: Neate's original post on the proposed boycott