From the category archives:

Mainstream Media

Alex Belth, who is a blogger at Bronx Banter, and a MSM member for CNNSI, interviews Curt Schilling who is a baseball player, about Schilling’s blog, and they talk about the impact of blogs and mainstream media. It’s a great interview with a couple individuals who bring some great perspectives.

On another note, Schilling’s blog has been a treat to read in that he really seems to “get” blogging. Another player blog I’ve been enjoying is Curtis Granderson’s. While it hasn’t had as much baseball centric content so far, he is using it as a mechanism to let his fans get to know him better.

SI.com – Writers – Alex Belth: Schilling sounds off on blogs, baseball, media – Thursday March 22, 2007 2:25PM

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Love for Seth

by Bill Ferris on March 11, 2007 · 0 comments

in Mainstream Media

Friend of this site, and basically a friend of everyone, Seth Stohs got some love from the Star Tribune this week. Seth’s blog Seth Speaks was featured on the StarTribune.com.

The Minneapolis mainstream media continues to recognize the great work of the area bloggers.

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Local TV channel embraces bloggers

by Bill Ferris on February 25, 2007 · 1 comment

in Mainstream Media

Here in Detroit, WXYZ Channel 7 recently launched a new website to track the Detroit Tigers. The site, called The Dugout, compiles a variety of stuff, like information off the wire, as well as a pretty comprehensive collection of video obtained at spring training. What really sets it apart though, or at least the reason I’m writing about it, is that there is a section called Tigers Chatter. That section is a manually edited listing of recent stories that come not only from the columnists and beat writers in the local dailies, but from Tiger bloggers as well.

The stories from the MSM and bloggers are intermingled and the groups aren’t explicitly identified other than a mention of the author. As a blogger I think it is great that a mainstream outlet is using blogger generated content. Typically when the MSM turns to blogging, they turn their own authors loose with blogs. And like the blogosphere itself the results are typically mixed.

It really is a unique concept, at least in this market, and being “first-to-market” should definitely give them a leg up on the competition.

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NBA blog True Hoop has been bought by ESPN. This is of course very exciting news for author Henry Abbott. Will this spur a buying frenzy of top blogs my top mainstream media providers? Perhaps, but even so it probably won’t effect more than a handful of blogs.

In the last year I can think of 3 bloggers off the top of my head who were recruited by MSM dot com arms (Weisman, Belth, and Gleeman). While this differs in that ESPN bought the blog, it is an extension of the big boys looking to the ranks of bloggers.

In any case though, congratulations to Henry!

True Hoop: Major Announcement: TrueHoop is Becoming Part of ESPN
true hoop, espn

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The Washington Nationals get it

by Bill Ferris on February 10, 2007 · 0 comments

in Mainstream Media

There was a very encouraging article in the Washington Post about Nationals bloggers.

“It’s part of the world, as it has been for the past few years, and it’s becoming part of our world,” Kasten said. “It’s one of the wonders of the Internet. You listen to [Washington Capitals owner and AOL executive] Ted Leonsis talk about it. It’s the community you create. So anyone who is a fan, a customer, who finds additional ways to engage in your product, that’s a good thing, even on those days that what they’re saying isn’t completely positive or, in some cases, accurate.”

It’s nice to hear team executives who embrace the value, or at least the impact, of the blogging community. Fans wouldn’t be doing this if they weren’t passionate about their teams. The blogs at their most basic level are a manifestation of that passion.

The recognition of their work is also probably a nice ego kick (and all bloggers have ego, no matter what they say).

Hat tip Sweaty Men Endeavors

washington nationals,stan kasten, blogging

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While many bloggers are trying to get press credentials, Wil Leitch warns that it really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be
No Cheering In The Press Box – Deadspin

You don’t want to be in a press box; it’s depressing and reeks of back sweat and pit stains. The freedom that’s unique to blogging is diametrically opposed, in our view, to the typical paradigm of Apply For Press Pass / Mingle With Public Relations Drones / Eat Free Buffet / Slowly Realize That Sports Isn’t Fun Anymore. MLB doesn’t want to credential bloggers because they think they can’t control them, which, ironically, is the exact opposite of the truth. Credentialing them is the best way to control them. It’s only a matter of time until they realize that’s true, at which time bloggers will enter the press box and immediately become the most hated people there, derided by reporters, flacks and players alike. Once you’re in the press box, you’re just a beat reporter, subject to the same organizational whims everyone else in there is. Trust us: It’s not worth it. The view’s better from the couch.

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Profiling Batgirl

by Bill Ferris on April 4, 2006 · 5 comments

in Blogger Profiles,Mainstream Media

The Star Tribune has a very nice write up on sassy Twins junkie Batgirl.

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Blog Thievery

by Bill Ferris on March 23, 2006 · 1 comment

in Blog News,Mainstream Media

It appears that the M Zone is receiving some national attention for something they wrote, only it’s not happening the way they would hope. Apparently ESPN radio host Colin Cowherd read significant parts of an M Zone Wonderlic parody, pretty much verbatim. The problem is Mr Cowherd failed to acknoweldge his source. It’s pretty easy to see why the M Zone is a little peeved.

Now you know why we’re so pissed. We bust our ass on something only to have Mr. ESPN come in and steal our material. Do you know how cool it would have been for a little blog like ours to get a mention on a nationally syndicated sports radio show? Instead, Goliath decides to rip off David.

Fortunately, for the M Zone the story is definitely gaining momentum.

If this whole thing played out the way the M Zone describes, Cowherd’s actions are pretty much craptacular. I’d be interested in hearing from anybody with legal knowledge what bloggers can do when these things happen, as well as what they can do prior to these situations to protect themselves.

Hat Tip: Bleacher Guy

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For many sports bloggers, it’s been a struggle to gain acceptance, or at least the acknowledgement of the mainstream media. Some have gotten there, but many of us are still struggling. Through ignorance sports blogs are either associated with yahoos on message boards, or personal diaries that mention sports. That’s why it is somewhat surprising to see the prevalence of blogs int he mainstream media now.

We know that ESPN.com has recently started their most prominent writers blogging, but it appears to be happening on a local level as well. Here in the Detroit market, 3 of the 5 Tiger beat writers are now maintaining blogs. Danny Knobler of Booth Newspapers and Jason Beck of MLB.com are now keeping blogs, and they join Tom Gage of the Detroit News who began blogging last year.

So it seems that blogs are generally accepted now, but it remains to be seen if bloggers will be accepted. Also, I don’t know how much of the move towards blogging is the idea of the mainstream media writers, or of their employers. In each of the cases I’ve mentioned, the writers are blogging under the umbrella of their parent organizations. Also, only time will tell if any of these MSM blogs will link out to independent blogs. In the case of Gage’s blog, there has never been a single link of any sort. Knobler’s blog has yet to link, but so far he’s been posting updates from spring training. On Jason Beck’s blog, he has the other MSM blogs in his sidebar, but none of the independents.

What are your thoughts on this trend? Are you seeing it in other markets? Do you think your site will benefit or be hurt by the presence of MSM blogs?

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ESPN.com has added two of their most prominent baseball writers the their list of bloggers. Peter Gammons and Jayson Stark are now blogging. Unfortunately I just don’t see this as being significant. After reading their initial posts, they don’t read that much different than regular articles. And, like their regular articles both blogs are part of the Insider package. If it means more frequently updated, shorter posts, containing rumors and rumblings I guess that will be a positive.

My main problem with the ESPN.com blogs is their non-linking policy. As Aaron Gleeman pointed out today,

I’m glad ESPN.com sees the value in that as well, and I’m glad they’re willing to take what is a pretty large leap for a major media outlet. Of course, I do have a major criticism, which is that as far as I can tell none of the dozen or so blogs ESPN.com hosts actually link to other blogs. For instance, Olney’s blog is made up primarily of links to outside stories and his brief comments on them, but in nearly a year I can’t remember a single link that wasn’t to a mainstream newspaper.

I know from personal experience that ESPN.com has always had a somewhat stringent policy against linking to outside sites, but embracing the blogosphere is an essential step if they’re going to call what Gammons, Stark, and Olney are doing “blogs.” The value of blogs is in not always having to be like everything else, and while ESPN.com is going along with some of that concept they are still holding back on a crucial element.

That crucial element is becoming part of the conversation instead of just the topic. When Gammons mentions something Pinto is doing, as he does in his first post, there should be a link to it. I don’t fault Gammons for this who very recently has been very supportive of the new online media. But if ESPN is going to go the blog route, then go all the way.

I guess the biggest positive for bloggers is that it is yet another acceptance of blogging as a form of journalism. It is possible that as more major media adopt blogs, it could pave the way for increased access and exposure for the independent blogs. Whether that happens or not remains to be seen.

UPDATE: Stark links out to Aaron and becomes one of us. Now the blogs are just missing identifiable permalinks.

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