Newsflash: Reporter hates bloggers

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Chris McCosky, the Detroit News writer covering the Pistons beat has decided to trot out the old “bloggers in the basement” bit. Normally I don’t respond to this type of drivel, and I don’t partake in mainstream media bashing because I generally respect the job that they do. It’s much easier for me to opine behind my laptop while the beat writers are out getting quotes. But this article is a complete joke.

Let’s step through McCosky’s assertions point by point:

But people, let’s not confuse what random fans and wanna-be pundits are tossing out there with legitimate reporting. The line is getting way too blurry now between Internet noise and actual journalism. It’s actually getting to the point now where some (too many) of the bloggers are using cyberspace to discredit the legitimate media.

Actually this a slam on everyone because McCosky feels that the general public with their dinosaur sized brains aren’t able to distinguish between what is reported by a major news gathering source and a blog. I take everything from a message board or blog with skepticism and I hope my readers would view the few times that I’m “reporting” news as the same. At the same time if you’ve been following my site for a while you know that I don’t report stuff that isn’t solid information. I’m wrong on my opinions and analysis all the time, but stuff I report as fact is fact.

Journalism employs trained professionals. We actually have to go to school for this stuff. We take our jobs seriously. There are rules and standards that we are beholden to. There are ethics involved. We actually talk to, in person, the people we write about. If we rip somebody in an article, you best be sure most of us will confront that person the next day and take whatever medicine we need to take.

With blogging and Web sites, it seems the hard work, standards, accountability, courage all of that is bypassed. Who needs to study this stuff, or attend games, or conduct interviews when you can just sit in your basement and clack out whatever comes through your head, right? If I rip somebody, or if I get something wrong, who cares? Nobody will see me.

I don’t doubt for a second that reporters take their jobs seriously, but many bloggers also take their sites seriously and do have ethics. But bloggers don’t have to confront the players/coaches/managers the next day. I’m sure that makes the job much more difficult and it compromises what gets reported and what doesn’t. It’s a tenuous relationship and one I wouldn’t be eager to pursue so I’m thankful for the beat writers who gather the info. An outsiders perspective isn’t clouded by having to maintain a working relationship with a player so the assessments can be more honest. So discrediting an analysis of a situation or being critical of a player because someone doesn’t encounter them the next day is garbage.

And why do I need to do an interview to analyze a strategy or a play or a performance? Sometimes the background is helpful and necessary, other times it isn’t.

A lot of times these bloggers use the work of legitimate reporters. They will lift facts and segments of stories and cut and paste them onto their blog. Rarely, if ever, though, do they bother to credit the source.

They will write something like, “I am hearing the Pistons are going to start Antonio McDyess this year.” Well, wonder where you “heard” that. It was reported in the darn newspaper. Yet, the same blogger will go out of their way to ridicule the source they stole from.

I can speak for myself and other Tigers bloggers when I say that this doesn’t happen. When I’m taking specific information from an article, I link to the article and that seems to be true of all the Tigers blogs that I frequent. At the same time, I can read a press release and I can listen in on a conference call like legitimate reporters and I don’t need to wait for a legitimate reporter to write the article so I can link to it.

Bloggers are having a field day speculating on how Joel Zumaya really injured his shoulder. Nobody believes a heavy box fell on him. So the Internet is rife with stories about how he fell off his dirt bike.

Yes, glad it is only the bloggers who are speculating. It’s not like another writer in McCosky’s own newspaper was also casting doubt on the situation. (hey look Chris, I’m citing my sources)

And what bloggers are having a field day speculating anyways? Now might be one of those times where a real reporter would cite his sources? Right Chris? The Tigers bloggers have been very careful not to report the dirt bike rumor. I didn’t mention it at all in my story. When a commenter brought it up, I provided a link to where the report originated (the comments section of legitimate news gathering agency and cautioned the source. That actually seems to be considerably more responsible than what McCosky did in his piece today. Instead McCosky practices no journalistic principles when he incorrectly assigns the rumor to bloggers.

If I had to pick my biggest beef with this whole article is that it is hypocritical. McCosky slams blogging as a whole, only cushioning it with the this isn’t true of everyone crap. And yet he doesn’t bother to provide any sort of guidance to the reader in terms of the good blogs, or the bad blogs. Or which bloggers were running rampant with the motorbike rumor. Instead he assigns that crap to all of us. Which is why I want to make it clear I’m not slamming the mainstream media. I’m slamming this piece of drivel written by McCosky.

McCosky talks about how a real journalist would go out and gather facts and talk to the subjects – but he didn’t bother to do that in this case. I would have been happy to talk to him about my coverage of the Zumaya injury. I’m easy to get ahold of via email and the News has interviewed me in the past so I know they have my number. McCosky, practice what you preach.

I know, this isn’t reporting. It’s an opinion piece so do the rules apply? It’s hard to tell because it reads an awful lot like

what the clever dude in his pajamas is doing on his computer, down in his basement.

Bloggers just aren’t journalists

UPDATE: Thanks to all those who have sent emails, left comments, or opined on your own blogs. Below is a listing of sites with commentary or discussion about McCosky’s article:


  1. Kyle J

    November 3, 2007 at 10:00 am

    Well said, Bilfer. It’s like anything else. Some people are good at what they do; some people aren’t so good. Some times academic credentials and professional training improve a person’s work product; some times they don’t. (And it seems like the main thing they teach you at sports writing school is how to paraphrase press releases and game notes.)

    There are only two Tigers writers I read regularly: Lynn Henning and you.

  2. Kyle J

    November 3, 2007 at 10:02 am

    Did my comment get lost in the spam filter?

    If so, I’ll paraphrase: Well said, Bilfer.

  3. Atomicrod

    November 3, 2007 at 10:09 am

    Great comments Bilfer !

    I think you are dead on that beat writers may have difficulity really writing tough articles on a player because they will have to be in the locker room with that person the next day. This aspect is where blogs and opinion columns have a huge advantage. It is also where Chris’s logic breaks down. If a beat writer holds things back because he’s afraid he’ll lose access, then they are not giving the public the whole picture. I always thought that was their number one purpose.

    I have a feeling that journalists are starting to feel their readers are fading away and they are trying to justify the reasons why. It really bothers me when they start talking about their education, ethics and objectivity. There are people in ever profession that share those traits. They are not uniquie to news reporting. People that point out they have them come accross as extremely pompus. It also attempts to justify those who don’t have them. Chris’ own collegue at the News, Rob Parker, has carried a vendetta against Dave Dombrowski since the day he was announced as the Tigers G.M.

    Thanks for pointing out that Chris’s argument is old and tired.

  4. Potthole

    November 3, 2007 at 11:11 am

    Very well spoken, Bilfer! I couldn’t agree more! Although our Whitecaps blog is pretty small-time, we do our upmost to give credit where credit is due and to report things in an unbiased, professional manner.

    I’d also like to point out that this blogger HAS taken journalism classes in college, too! Not only journalism courses for my writing, but photojournalism courses for the photography I add to my blog. How about that McCosky?!

  5. ron

    November 3, 2007 at 11:26 am

    Journalism has been on the skids for years, especially in sports reporting.This blog makes for much more interesting reading.I’ll bet he’s frustrated because he himself reads blogs and finds them a better read than his own column. He just has’nt come out of the closet yet.

  6. PConns

    November 3, 2007 at 11:41 am

    McCosky seems real worried about his job. If he is such an expert than the content of his articles should rise above the traditional blog. It is a shame when someone takes a punch at the general public. I read everything on Detroit sports that I can on the internet because I live in Western New York. I can’t get enough. So I appreciate the work of loyal fans with unique perspectives.

    The more I read this article the more pissed off I get. I know his work many times takes a lot of research. So what, I get the same box scores as he does. I watch the same games on TV he does.

    I think I am done with McCosky because he cries like a baby.

  7. Big Al

    November 3, 2007 at 12:20 pm

    McCoskey seems to be purposely lumping blogs with message boards over the Zumaya story to make his point. That’s just lazy writing. Bill, you’re correct when you say that NONE of the Tigers bloggers did any rumermongering over how it may have happened. NONE. But that didn’t stop both sports talk radio stations from doing so. Where’s his beef with them?

    Columnists/beat writers like McCoskey are upset that they are actually being called out on their writing/opions by the blogs, let alone he knows he’s working in a dying medium. Bloggers are more than willing to share credit and info compared to the MSM. It’s an outright lie when McCoskey says bloggers don’t attribute what they “Hear.” I know I always link to the fish wrap or website where I get my info, and the vast majority of bloggers do also.

    Ask McCoskey, ir any other MSM writer, where they get their info for “Around the League” style notes and rumor columns. They don’t get it on their own, trust me. Where’s the attribution? I don’t see it. Pot meet kettle.

    The only advantage he has over bloggers is access, and that’s often a detriment, as he can’t say what he really thinks if he wants to keep that Holy Grail called “Access.” Between you and me, I wouldn’t want that so-called Holy Grail, as I’d have to censor myself.

    I find the writing on many blogs is infinitely more entertaining than what you’ll find in the fish wraps on a daily basis. Let aloine much more timely…

    It comes down to this…If I want the gist of what happened in a game, and to find out the thoughts of the team, I’ll go to the paper. Hell, I can get that from the AP wire copy. But if I want entertaining and thoughtful opinion, I’ll go to the blogs. That more and ore sports fans are doing the same thing scares the Hell out of MSM writers.

    If McCoskey wants to rip blogs, he can go right ahead. Just don’t expect us to take it lying down.

  8. Sam

    November 3, 2007 at 12:36 pm

    Oh no, people who didn’t major in journalism using words to form complete sentences on the internet! WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO??

  9. Matt in Toledo

    November 3, 2007 at 12:39 pm

    The logical disconnect between his complaints and his column are stunning. He says bloggers “steal” information from the traditional media, but doesn’t mention a single blog or quote. Great journalism.

    The funny thing about this is just about any blog is laden with links to the traditional media, but when the traditional media snags an idea from blogs they usually say something like, “from the internet” or “a blogger”, with no actual credit. Take, for example, when the Mariners’ pitching coach showed King Felix the posts from USS Mariner. When that was reported in the national media, the excellent work of that blog was usually just written up as something along the lines of coming from the internet.

    It cracks me up that this is the first time I’ve read anything of McCoskey’s since I don’t even know when, so I think he should send a thank you to the bloggers who are sure to increase his exposure. Even if it is just to call him a tool.

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  11. Scott

    November 3, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    Having been a working journalist (both news and sports), I can see both sides of the argument – although I think McCosky should spend his time reporting on the Pistons instead of bitching about bloggers.

    I think Chris misses the point about what most blogs are about, frankly. Most blogs that I’ve seen don’t make any pretentions about being professional news sources. I think of blogs like Billfer’s (which is the best sports blog I’ve seen, by the way) as more of a resource. Bill offers plenty of interesting analysis and opinions, but what he does so well here is pull all of the available information about the Tigers together in one comprehensive site. I think I speak for most of us when I say, we are really, really appreciative. While the Detroit News and the rest of the newspaper world is shrinking and providing less content – becasuse ad revenue is drying up… fewer ads mean fewer news pages and less news “hole” to fill- sites like Billfers are picking up the slack.

    As someone else said, there are plenty of hacks out there -both in professional journalism and in the blog world. It’s up to the reader to decide who and what is credible. And Bill, you’re right, Chris assumes that the general public is too stupid to figure what is credible and what’s not. That’s insulting.

    I, for one, am really happy that blogs are around.

  12. BobS.

    November 3, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    McCoskey isn’t the first ‘real’ journalist to take a shot at bloggers in pajamas.However,this is the first time I’ve seen it from a sportswriter.
    ron,while I agree that what passes for journalism in this country is an increasingly inferior product(a predictable outcome of legislation that allows a concentration of ownership of news providers),I’d submit that sports reporting is of a generally higher standard than what we accept from the news desk,where the consequences of misinformation are somewhat more serious. I’d offer as exhibit one the stenographic performance of the news media prior to the invasion of Iraq,where it was unquestionably reported that the US was to be welcomed with candy and flowers and that oil would pay the tab,and which still has a considerable portion of the American public believing there’s a link between WMD wielding Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 hijackers.

  13. Tbone

    November 3, 2007 at 12:59 pm

    Ahh yes, the old pajamas slam. This is just one in a continuing series of panicky rants by the “professional” media bemoaning the fact that they routinely and consistently get beat out on stories and lose readership to those pesky, pajama-clad bloggers.

    The cream rises to the top the same way on the internet as it does in the newspaper business, Mr. McCoskey. Readers will flock to sites that provide consistent, quality content and know the difference between a rumor and a sourced report.

    Sites like this are extremely threatening to beat writers like McCoskey because their owners are not beholden to collecting a paycheck for their work. It is done for the love of the game, something that is sadly lacking in so much of the coverage we get from the mainstream dailies.

    Billfer, this site is one of the best. Intelligent commentary, well written, with mature and informed commenters who love Tigers baseball. McCoskey and Co. are losing the battle as the media landscape continues to change and rants like these are more and more commom as their livelihood gets threatened.

    Memo to McCoskey – start your own independent blog. Give us some new, unique Pistons coverage that doesn’t need to get filtered by a band of editors and you’ll have all kinds of new readers. Right now you just sound bitter and angry. Who wants to read that?

  14. Kathy

    November 3, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    Sounds like somebody ruffled his feathers. He does make some valid points but they don’t pertain to this blog. Then he goes and mentions the Zoom rumor himself. I wouldn’t take it personally, Billfer. BTW, you look very nice in a blue suit!

  15. Ryan

    November 3, 2007 at 1:08 pm

    See, he’s right! How dare you respond to an unmerited slur with a rational, well thought out point-for-point argument? What kind of journalism is that? Geraldo is very, very disappointed in you. And so is his moustache. Plus you keep using ‘4’ and ‘u’ as words, you darn kid with your internet and your makeout parties.

  16. Eric W. Kent

    November 3, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    As a sportcaster with a degree in broadcast journalism, I understand where media professionals are dismayed at the erosion of journalism.

    However, With the exception of beat writers, most sports “journalists” are actually only sports “reporters”. Papers don’t always send journalists on the road to cover teams. Stories are filed based off of Associated Press reports and press conference transcripts. There’s no journalism going on. There’s no digging deep to find the true story.

    Going out to Zumaya’s house and seeing if he even HAS an attic that was in fact full of boxes…THAT would be journalism.

    Bilfer, your site has become a must read for me on a daily basis because – over time – your information has proven to be accurate. Furthermore, you offer more support for your assertions that most journalists do. Batting Average and ERA are not the only two stats that matter in the world.

    I am extrememly proud of my background and training, and I am saddened by what sports “journalism” has become. But it’s not bloggers that are killing the profession. It’s self-important journalists who cannot come to grips with the fact that they are no longer the sole source for sports information.

  17. Scott

    November 3, 2007 at 1:41 pm

    Ryan: Understand that what McCosky wrote was an opinion column, not a news story. There are very different standards involved. His column would have been better with some facts and quotes to back it up.

    Eric: I don’t agree with you about the state of sports journalism. I don’t think the reporting is any better or worse than its ever been. You mention that there are more AP accounts of games because newspapers aren’t sending reporters out as much, and that’s true. AP reporters, by the way, are some of the best around. But their job is different than the local beat reporter. Their job is to leave opinion out of things … it’s more generic, but it’s meant to be that way.

    Newspapers are dying a slow death because they’re hemoraging ad dollars and have been since the mid to late 1990s. Newspapers simply have fewer resources, and fewer reporters doing the job. Newspapers, as a result, have suffered in terms of quality and quantity.

    The Detroit News is a prime example. In the 1980s and early 1990s, the News had excellent columnists like Jerry Green, Joe Falls, Shelby Strother and even Jay Mariotti. There was more sports news, more opinion columns and bigger sports sections. Now there is less of everything. And because newspapers can’t afford bigger salaries more experienced journalists command, they higher young reporters. This is especially true among “beat” reporters. When Tom Gage and Mike O’Hara decide to hang em up, they’ll higher 25-year olds that have mainly covered high school sports or college sports briefly.

    The Ann Arbor News is another example. Earlier this year, the company that owns the paper (Newhouse, which owns a host of other papers around the country and many magazines), bought out many journalists that had 20 years or more. Some were replaced, some were not. As reporters and editors have left, they haven’t been replaced. You have fewer people doing more work. Guess what has happened to the product?

    As I said before, bloggers have picked up some of the slack and that’s a good thing.

  18. TigerFanMiller

    November 3, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    I found your blog this past season and enjoyed reading it a lot. This McCosky article hits me from the, “hey simple minded reader, let me judge the value or validity of the information you personally seek out”. Thanks, but I’ve got it covered man.

  19. Dave

    November 3, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    Translation: This is MY sandbox and I don’t want your stupid toys messing it up.

  20. Scott

    November 3, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    I think McCosky probably wrote this column because of his dealings with players and coaches. Both groups tend to lump all journalists together as well as bloggers. They are probably bitching at him because of some of the rumors or other stuff that sometimes get into certain blogs.

  21. Eric W. Kent

    November 3, 2007 at 2:41 pm

    Scott – I agree with you completely. I did not mean to slight AP writers at all. But I really don’t consider what they do “journalism”. (Although that’s an argument more suited to a J-School classroom than anywhere else).

    They serve a valuable need, and they serve it well. All the game recaps I run to immediately following a contest are filed by AP writers. I know they’re accurate because I know they were there. I’m not certain that a staff writer from the Grand Rapids Press, for instance, knows anything more about today’s Tigers game than I do…because I don’t know for certain that they sent anyone to the game. (Or the Rockford Squire, or the Kalamazoo Gazette…etc)

    In my opinion, print journalists in particular have this antiquated notion about the 4th estate being some bastion of light in an otherwise dark world. They still want to be the gatekeepers of information, and retain the sole right to choose what information gets disseminated to the public.

    To be fair – this is a somewhat biased opinion stemming from me being a broadcaster, and not a print journalist. And it is an egregious over-generalitzation in the least. I still read the newspaper…I still enjoy the newspaper. But they are no longer my sole source of legitimate, reliable information.

    I my limited scope of involvement – I think that is leading to some disgruntled journalists and reporters.

    I wonder what McCosky thinks of TV reporters and anchors. They aren’t always at the games…and they don’t get post-game interviews everyday; yet they provide highlights and analysis.

    (Sorry if I am taking this in a direction that no one really cares about..I love these kinds of discussions!)

  22. David

    November 3, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    Well in my opinion, more of the educated/involved Tiger/Piston/Lions/Wings/Umich/MSU or really any hobby/interest are reading at least one blog on their team/interest, if not writing thier own…

    So in his “piece” his audience – bloggers and the community – are the people he is slamming… That seems smart…

    Oh and doesn’t Jason Beck have a blog? doesn’t Mario Impemba have a blog? Curtis Granderson? Nate Robertson? Mike Maroth? Curt Schilling? etc. heck even has a blog based site

    Seems like he enjoys shooting himself in the foot.

    Sometimes it is nice to read the paper in the AM over a blog, but I find that your blog makes for a much better read and infinitely more interactive…as do most.

    I wouldn’t worry about it though, he can get fired… you can’t.

    But I do understand where he is comming from – he doesn’t like the competition – it makes him have to work harder to come up with more of his thought and make a semi-decent article.

  23. Joey the K

    November 3, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    Me never took journilism classes, but I’m hooked on phonics!

    So hopefully I’m qualified to post my opinions!

  24. Hueytaxi (Roger DeWitt)

    November 3, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    Best article I’ve read recently concerning a player or the media. Regardless of my personal feeling, you displayed a very pointed arguement and I share your feeling on the piece of trash that sparked your reply.

  25. Stephen

    November 3, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    Well, I think this is a collision of McCoskey tarring everyone with the same brush and you guys taking this a little too personally. There are plenty of blogs that print unsubstantiated slander without doing any research that gets repeated and does irrevocable damage to people’s lives. It happens to jocks, politicians, and regular people.
    In today’s climate, some bloggers report awful things about other people based on anonymous emails they receive from people with axes to grind. It is reported as fact. There are no safeguards–letters to the editor, ombudsman, etc..–like there is with traditional media outlets.
    That doesn’t happen at this blog. If it did, I wouldn’t participate in it. This blog has created a wonderful community of fans and fellow travelers. It’s literally the best the blog world can offer. Billfer should be proud of that.
    McCosky makes some decent points, but his presentation makes him come across as a crank. (The pajama thing is so t-i-r-e-d.) But dismissing all of his points seems almost as cranky.

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  27. Matt in Toledo

    November 3, 2007 at 5:33 pm

    Stephen – That’s exactly the problem with painting with a broad stroke; everybody gets hit with same brush. It’s why this column is such a piece of crap.

    Almost this exact same article could have been written about his fellow reporters and columnists, but instead of ranting about accountability he could have ranted about the newspapers letting so much garbage through their filters. And you know what? If it were done in the same way, that column would have been a piece of crap, too, because it wouldn’t have been contributing anything of use to any conversation, either.

  28. billfer

    November 3, 2007 at 8:45 pm

    First of all, thanks to every one for the kind words and support.

    I don’t really know McCosky’s motivations for writing the article, and I’m not going to speculate. I did send him an email and since he is courageous enough to face the music after ripping someone I do expect a reply.

    Thanks to the comments from those who are in sports journalism. Your perspective is greatly appreciated.

    And Stephen – I probably am overly sensitive about this. But at the same time I’m sick and tired of those with the loudest voices being such purveyors of ignorance. And McCosky was singling out sports blogs. And I am damn proud of the Tigers blogosphere because as a collective group we don’t dabble in the crap that McCosky was complaining about.

    The fact he used 5 paragraphs deriding the internet coverage of the rumors around Zumaya’s injury does reflect on Tigers blogs, and it is grossly inaccurate. Those who read the blogs know better, but to those who don’t it was just another shot at our credibility. And that’s my motivation for writing what I did. If I come across as cranky, it’s because I am.

  29. Deaner

    November 3, 2007 at 10:05 pm

    I’d like to know what Joe Posnanski thinks of McCosky’s article. Posnanski is an avid blogger and sports columnist for the Kansas City Star.

  30. Sam

    November 3, 2007 at 10:30 pm

    Exactly the reason I don’t subscribe to the Detroit News.


  31. ron

    November 4, 2007 at 3:59 am

    What’s wrong with guys and girls in their pjs pecking away on the keyboard in a dark secluded corner of their abode, pouring out feelings, observations, criticisms or whatever for a team most have them have been in love with since the first or second grade. You get the sports page and the opinion page wrapped up and playing off each other over and over. This is the new journalism.

  32. ron

    November 4, 2007 at 4:19 am

    Hugh Hefner did all right writing in his pajamas.

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  35. Rings

    November 4, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    Many beat writers, mainstream media, etc. are obviously frightened for their livlihood as newspaper circulations continue to fall with the rise of blogging and alternative media.

    These alternative sources, such as blogging, also serves a valuable purpose: “elites,” like McCosky are rightfully questioned. They don’t like it, because, as he mentioned, he has a “degree” and “ethics” and, therefore, is beyond reproach.

    This kind of junk is exactly the reason that many people seek alternative sources for their news and comment.

  36. Stoeten

    November 4, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    Well done, dude. Everybody has pretty much covered everything there is to say here, but I still wanted to chime in and agree wholeheartedly that a) “legitimate” media types are integral to blogs and completely need to be credited as such. And b) when these kinds of guys lose their minds over blogs it seems completely self-interested and ignorant.

    What really kills me, though, is the “trained professionals” line, as though it takes some sort of special training and understanding to know how journalism works. What a joke. Journalism school is basically for networking. Anything they have to teach can be picked up on by anyone with the slightest amount of perception– which are the kind of people who make for better journalists in the first place. To point to that as a reason the “legitimate” media are somehow more creditable and worth listening to than bloggers– who write for free and entirely out of passion– is pathetic.

  37. Walewander

    November 4, 2007 at 9:59 pm

    Excellent points Billfer.
    In my own little blog, which features heavy MSM bashing, I don’t think we ever go after beat writers, for the same reasons you point out. But columnists? Hell yes, considering the scapegoating, hate campaigns, and lame attempts to be ‘edgy’ or ‘controversial’ that passes for so much analysis. Where are the columnists who are fun, or who can analyze what’s going on the field, or make you see the game a different way? (besides Poz).

  38. Joey C.

    November 4, 2007 at 10:15 pm

    Stephen you beat me to the punch. That whole “trained professional” crap is beyond ridiculous.

    What exactly does that special j-school training entail? Is there a class on how to avoid taking a critical look at official policy and relying solely on information from insiders who have an interest in portraying the facts in a certain light? Is there a required class entitled, “How not to ask critical questions while your country is being led to war?” Or “how to write a news piece using press releases and PR statements as primary sources?”

    Yeah. That journalism school training has really done wonders for our news media.

    And before someone gets all up in arms, none of this is to say that I don’t gather information from traditional sources, because I most certainly do. I just don’t accept that information as the absolute truth without turning to other trusted sources that help ME put it all into critical perspective.

    Rejecting other, non-traditional sources of information because the people behind them don’t have a particular degree is simply moronic and, when we’re talking about something other than sports, potentially dangerous.

  39. Jimmy Chowda

    November 4, 2007 at 10:48 pm

    The reason why he doesn’t seriously report on the blog scene is he doesn’t want to put the good ones on equal footing with what he does. He probably makes around six figure (just a rough guess) and he can ill afford to let his employers know there could be cheaper alternatives in the future.

  40. Kurt

    November 4, 2007 at 11:30 pm

    No offense Jimmy, but no way is he making 6 figures. Not in this industry. Half that, maybe. But you don’t go into journalism to get rich. It’s a crappy paying industry, and they’d buy him out or lay him off for something inexpensive if he had that kind of salary.

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  44. Tim D

    November 6, 2007 at 12:30 am

    Sportswriters just aren’t journalists. (I went to college too, and I can write a topic sentence even though I didn’t study journalism.)

    McCosky, come down from your pedestal. You cover the Pistons, not exactly a beat that will get you a Pulitzer.

    And read the First Amendment when you get a chance. Bloggers can do whatever they darn well please and if you don’t like it don’t read it and don’t respond to it.

    I am a certifiably insane Tiger fan, even when they are 43-119. I get more insightful and more reliable Tiger news from this blog than anywhere else. Period. And more detailed information too. Who says the Detroit News is “legitimate” and that DTW is, well…. “illegitimate?” Face it, the internet has made your “legitimate” (i.e. paying) job an anachronism. Anybody can publish anything, and all your precious rules no longer exist. I guess the buggy manufacturers felt the same way about Henry Ford.

    Some bloggers are idiots. Yes, McCosky, you are a master of the obvious. Some sportswriters are idiots as well. You may have earned the coveted Rob Parker Award.

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