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Monday, October 20, 2008

Perceptions of Legitimacy in the MSM

(Update 2:37) For the record:

I don't read live-blogs.

My response to Robin Browlee's conjecture that MSM guys don't get preferential treatment:
Part 1

Antony Ta
October 20th, 2008 at 1:00 am

I think blogs should expect to be held to the same standard as the MSM in terms of content by the team involved if they are relying on that team for credentials and access.

You’re ignoring the fact that blogs and the so-called “MSM” have different goals in mind.

The MSM have exclusivity agreements on for-profit ventures, whereas the illegitimate bastard-child (or so-called “live-blog”) of internet hockey coverage is non-profit, volunteer work that Oilers fans do to promote the team they love.

Why do rights holders feel they need to go to such an exaggerated extent to protect something that’s not at risk. Would you choose to read a live-blog over watching Hockey Night in Canada? That would be plain stupid. The live-blog is designed to allow one to view the game from another person’s perspective and point-of-view. They may notice something that you do not and that’s the whole essence of communication via the internet: getting a message across that would be swallowed by the “legitimized” MSM.

Why is it considered so legitimate? That’s because MSM journalism taught in the schools are necessarily unbiased, objective, and as politically correct and safe as not to harm the hair off the head of any man not named Mike Keenan. This is not what blogs are for. The Oilers are not accountable to bloggers as much as bloggers are not accountable to the Oilers.

Sure, the majority of bloggers get bad rap for being anonymous, but Dave and others are obviously not anonymous and are identifiable figures in the community, as are you, Mr. Brownlee.

This is not the issue of Dave vs. the Oilers, the bloggers vs. the MSM, or round pegs in square holes. These are the issues of applying double-standards, miscommunicating club policies (or lack thereof), and harassing those who are only trying to help.

That is what bloggers do after all: spread love and cheer for the Oilers for free. They don’t want the money - they just want the respect and freedom to keep doing what they do.

Part 2

Antony Ta Says:

October 20th, 2008 at 1:16 am

Also, isn’t it ironic that the man calling for higher blogging standards named his blog “double-you tee eff?”

If Robin Brownlee really wanted more rigid impositions placed on internet-based writing he wouldn’t be writing for OilersNation.

Do you agree or disagree, Mr. B?

I'm awaiting his response.

In the meantime, have a look at this video (pt1 and pt2) about DeadSpin's creator and the internet sports blog (thanks to the ever reliable Grease Trap of Oilblobosphere).

Update, 1:59 PM

His response:
Disagree. I don’t WANT more rigid impositions placed on internet writing, I’m simply recognizing that they exist in cases where credentials are involved.
But earlier he said:
RobinB Says:
October 19th, 2008 at 11:41 pm

I think blogs should expect to be held to the same standard as the MSM in terms of content by the team involved if they are relying on that team for credentials and access.

Really Robin?

The blog Covered-In-Oil was not connected to whatever other work Dave Berry was doing. Nobody here expects blogs to overtake true journalism, the 630 CHED radio network, or mainstream live hockey. Thus, it is silly to say that if a press media guy uses formal language in the regular MSM he can't use informal language on a personal blog. It would be foolish to suggest that professional journalists use the same language in emails as they do in articles, and the same story goes for blogs.

Updated 2:59 PM

Robin continues with:
I don’t know how the blogger was treated by Oilers PR staff that night because I didn’t see it first-hand. Both sides, obviously, have their versions of what went down.

As has been pointed out, members of the media have issues with the Oilers PR staff from time to time, and that’s the case with every NHL team. It’s part of the job and the interaction that takes place. They have rules and expectations. We have jobs to do.

As chapter chairman of the PHWA in Edmonton in past seasons, I’ve been in the middle of those scrapes many times on behalf of writers over access to players, making sure the dressing room is open after the game within the prescribed time, etc etc.

While I’m not all that familiar with Berry’s work, I’d hate to think a disagreement with a member of the media relations staff would lead him to quit blogging. That seems like an over-reaction and very thin-skinned coming from someone who, from what little I’ve read on CIO, writes with a robust, in-your-face edge to his work.

Well I get Robin's point, but since David didn't quit doing what he was doing before (it was a short hiatus, at its furthest extent) it's not really valid to question his ability to man-up to the situation. Not that I want to defend it either (since he needs to defend himself) but I don't think he's done anything excessively whiney as some people have suggested. The majority of the outcry has been from other bloggers, and not from David himself. Some may have taken it too far (calling for heads to roll) whereas some have taken it too lightly (quote, "I don't give a flying ****") but nonetheless, I think it's still a pertinent issue.

Wanye Gretz of OilersNation does have a good point though... the Oilers are 4-0-0 to start the season, and the last time that happened I wasn't eveen alive!

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