Monday, May 5, 2008

On Karma and Good Deeds

Disclaimer: I posted this story on Babes Love Baseball also. Just saving you from reading it twice.

So, Thursday night I headed to Nationals Park for the game and thanks to the glory of corporate seats, I had six tickets. Because of changing schedules (and the fact that they were playing the lowly Pirates, I ended up with three extra tickets.

On the way to the game on the Metro, we ran into three baseball fans decked out in Red Sox gear - hats, sweatshirts, the whole nine. As a Yankees fan I was obliged to give them a friendly hard time. We started chatting and it turned out that this was their first time going to the new Nationals Park and they hadn't bought tickets yet. So in a moment of good nature, I handed over my three extra tickets for free and told them to enjoy the game.

Fast forward a few days to Sunday. I was in the car on the way to the Yankees game (I'm a two city girl) and was sitting in a bit of traffic heading into the garage. While we were stopped, the woman in the car in front of mine jumped out and ran back to my window. I rolled down the window, thinking she had a question or was lost, and instead she handed me an extra parking pass she happened to have, saving me the $20 it would have cost me to park in the garage.

Moral of the story...karma exists and Yankees fans aren't all douchbags.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A Blogger's Perspective

UPDATE: The Huffington Post link, as promised.

So, I wrote this piece for the Huffington Post. It'll be on the site at some point today, but apparently Miley Cyrus's shoulder and American Idol are taking priority.

I wanted to pass it along in the aftermath of the Bob Costas debacle. As the smoke clears (sort of) and I'm less emotional (had I written this yesterday, it would have read like a Bissinger tirade), it's becoming clear that bloggers are more relevant than ever, and that scares the shit out of people.

Here it is...I'll update with the HuffPo link later today.

Costas Just Doesn't Get It

On Tuesday evening, Bob Costas hosted a segment on his HBO show Costas Now focusing on the internet and the impact of sports bloggers. The segment featured prominent media types, including Pulitzer Prize winning writer Buzz Bissinger and editor and author Will Leitch. The fight that ensued was the live version of the slap fight that has been happening between mainstream media and bloggers.

There has been constant and unfair criticism of sports bloggers. ESPN's Michael Wilbon has spoken of his distaste for blogs, while many others have questioned the credibility of bloggers. Costas himself has even called bloggers "pathetic, get-a-life losers". But it's quite clear that these old school media guys are afraid of what they don't understand. And even worse, they don't put forth the effort to understand.

During the Costas Now live panel discussion of blogger impact, Bissinger accused bloggers of sloppy journalism while he himself misquoted and incorrectly referenced various bloggers' work. Costas read statements that he attributed to a blogger when, in fact, they were made by a blog's commenter. They generalized blogs as irrelevant gossip without acknowledging the blogs that provide accurate and well written content. Both of these respected and decorated members of the media represented examples of the reckless journalism they claim bloggers bring to reporting. Neither one bothered to understand the very medium they were criticizing.

What they, and most blog critics, fail to understand is that both mainstream media and blogs can co-exist peacefully. Bloggers aren't set out to replace print journalists. They exist to add commentary and color to the news that is reported in print and online every day. Readers don't use blogs to replace the news they get from the main stream. They use it to add substance.

Blogs aren't going to kill print journalism, print journalism is killing itself. Readers can more information on than they can in the paper's print edition. As technology changes, so must the media; bloggers saw it coming and created a new medium.

Consider it media Darwinism. The best writers will survive, regardless of whether their words appear in print or online. What is going to happen is that the poor journalism that existed previously due to a lack of choices is going to fade away. Blogs aren't destroying journalism, they are forcing it to improve.