Where’s the line between media and blogs?

Over the past few days, a pretty big deal has been made out of Jerod Morris, the previously undiscovered blogger from Midwest Sports Fans, and the post he wrote which linked Phillies’ outfielder Raul Ibanez to steroids.

Though Jerod never directly accused Ibanez of taking steroids, he only speculated about it, the mainstream media caught onto what Jerod wrote and how unprofessionally he approached it.  In Wednesday’s Philadelphia Inquirer columnist John Gonzalez published his account of Jerod’s piece.  And that’s how this national debate began.

Wednesday afternoon, Gonzalez and Jerod appeared on Outside the Lines along with FOX Sports Senior Writer Ken Rosenthal.  Rosenthal acted uncharacteristically childish and lectured Jerod on the guidelines media accountability.  But where does the real fault lie?  On Jerod’s post which would have likely faded away somewhere in the blogosphere without Gonzo’s attention or on Gonzalez, who validated the bloggers opinion?

Blogs provide a platform for anyone to write anything, which has a lot of pros and a lot of cons. That works out well because you get passionate fans, who care just as much as the readers, writing. On the flip side, anyone can post anything, and have no accountability for it… that’s a scary concept.

The line that separates the blogosphere from mainstream media is fading rapidly. What Gonzalez did was fade it even more, in an attempt to put the blogger in his place. When mainstream media points out what a blogger has said in the form of a newspaper article they give that blogger attention and validate his work.  Had the columnist not mentioned the story it would have been taken for what it’s worth– a blog post, which is unfortunately, for me or any other blogger, something close to the equivalent of a sports talk caller’s opinion.

Blogs are by the people for the people, but validity is key and once a legitimate news gathering organization picks up on what is said that person’s opinion becomes valid.

We certainly can’t ignore blogs or act like neanderthals and pretend or wish they don’t exist, but we have to take them for what they’re worth.  Hopefully I have earned your respect and trust, even though I’m not affiliated with an organization.  I strive to be the most fair,  responsible, and accurate blogger.

This has been an interesting week for us bloggers.  I just hope that all blogs aren’t lumped under the Jerod Morris umbrella.


Jerod will join me tomorrow in a podcast to discuss all of this tomorrow.  Check back for that, because it should be interesting to see his take on the whole thing.



Filed under Editorial

3 responses to “Where’s the line between media and blogs?

  1. Good stuff. I can’t wait to see the podcast.

  2. I wonder, in light of the Jerod Morris story, if finally, we have reached a pinnacle in the war between the bloggers and the mainstream media…

    Maybe, someone like I could spin this Jerod Morris’ way, an investigated look into the war between the professional media and the amateurs (and everyone knows how tough it is to break into the few jobs in professional media), so why not do it yourself?

    The Jerod Morris story just goes to prove that you have to do something incredibly brave to get that one piece of limelight you’ve always secretly been looking for as a sports blogger. Come on, don’t ever not believe Jerod Morris wasn’t looking for it. I’m sure he never envisioned that he would be on ESPN, but hey, traditional media might just have to bow down to the amateurs in the future as less and less people watch TV, less and less people respect the opinions of veteran newspaper writers, and finally, people tire of the same dude over and over.

    I know here, in the Toronto Blue Jays blogosphere, we’re not respected by mainstream media too much, and that’s got to change. The true and passionate fans are the ones who blog, and maybe, just maybe, we’ll also have the passion to revolutionize an industry.

  3. Shay Roddy

    Mainstream Media and blogs NEED to work together. Here in Philadelphia, I have a good relationship with many mainstream media members. Of course, as is the case anywhere, you run into the traditional neanderthal here and there.

    If anything, Jerod Morris made blogs noticed, but he also sparked Mainstream Media’s bashing of them.

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