Monday, August 06, 2007

Two Mainstream Editors Continue Their Private War on Bloggers, The Abridged Version

[Disclaimer: If you are quite justifiably bored by the tensions between the mainstream media and bloggers, stop reading here and move on to the next thing on your agenda. Otherwise, enjoy the foolishness].

Liz GARRIGAN (Scene Editor) and Clint Brewer (City Paper Editor), who fired a few rounds at me a couple of weeks ago, have now sparked a seeming conflagration that has pitted several bloggers and professional journalists against them. Rather than rehash the whole episode narratively, I'll just quote some of the highlights in the battle without any commentary.

I don’t remember bloggers writing stories or blog entries they reported themselves about the mayoral race field’s views on education, immigration, sewer infrastructure, municipal planning, a downtown convention center or half a dozen other “issues” we tracked for months in news stories.
Most bloggers wouldn’t last an hour under the journalistic quality control that a newspaper demands.
I mean no disrespect but Liz ain’t getting it ....
I work in news too.
She needs to get over herself.
We aren’t dead, but we are getting our asses handed to us.
Beyond [the Nashville Scene's printing of a fabricated story on Howard Gentry], if memory serves, it seems there have been a couple of interesting instances of journalistic irresponsibility from The New York Times recently (Jason Blair ring any bells) as well as some newspapers and magazines printing some Reuters photos that failed the journalistic integrity test (as I recall).
Having been in several radio, newspaper and tv news rooms, any ‘quality control’ varies depending on who is news director and who owns the broadcast or publishing company. there is no magic super secret quality control - though there are certainly books and college courses worldwide on the topic.
- - Joe P.

Y’all, I cannot resist a person with swagger. I just can’t. And to watch Liz Garrigan walking all over the internet like she’s packing ten thick inches about does me in .... And, shoot, Liz, I probably wouldn’t last an hour under your “quality control,” but I’m willing to try.
- - Aunt B.

For folks who seem so obsessivly interested in the world around them, I’d think they’d want to pick up the phone now and then. There’s only one blogger in Nashville who has ever written about the Scene (or me personally) who has actually reported.
This paper seems unable to generate phone calls to mayoral candidates (Howard Gentry) and PR personnel at major universities (Bill Hobbs). How likely are they to take a “reporting” phone call seriously when it comes from your average blogger?
The moment of blogging as some kind of citizen-based answer to newspapers has already passed. Newspapers caught up.
The editors will blog about it, but by their own disparaging of blogs, the work they do there lacks credibility compared with the work they do in print.
Me, personally, my gripe against the Scene begins and ends with their continued elitism, which strikes me as odd coming from an “alternative” paper.
To say that the bloggers wouldn’t last an hour under the strict regimen of Frau Garrigan’s House of Discipline and Secretarial College, well, who would want to?
I link to articles I think are good at the Scene, and I call out the crap. I’m not a certified media critic, but I am a media junkie with a journalism degree, so I think my opinions have some validity .... I don’t think blogs have ever had the capability of shutting down fine newspapers. But, there is more than a hint of “we can dish it out, but can’t take it” from some newspaper folks that really makes my skin crawl. The Scene is known for snark and sarcasm .... But, as soon as any of that snark is turned back on them they become humorless and broadly insulting.

I don’t blog to make friends, and I don’t think the Scene or the City Paper should get to shovel out snark (see every page of the Scene and Rex Noseworthy at CP) but take swats at bloggers who do the same.

1 comment:

  1. It's funny how newspapers, even free ones are threatened by bloggers. I blog, I can't write (told often) but I agree with Brittney that I have opinions that are valid. I don't compete with newspapers and don't pretend to either. I link to articles on sites that further explores the topic which I think helps the papers exposure. Can't we all just get along?

    I enjoy your site, keep it up!