Blogger vs Press – Who’s Who?Posted: May 5, 2010
What determines a professional and what determines the right to freedom of
speech and the right to freedom of the press.
Why do I ask?
A "blogger", someone regularly showing intent to provide an
element of news and/or information to the public via any legal means available
to them and allowing the public access to that information for a reasonable
length of time.
A "Member of the Press", someone paid to obtain and report
information or someone paid to report information previously obtained, by any
legal method that is provided by the company for which they are paid, or if
freelance, by any legal means available to them.
In my happy world or "Idiots Guide To Things" you know the big
yellow books without phone number lists, this is how I see the difference
between a reporter and someone, say, like myself. With this in mind there are a
multitude of questions, but here are the ones I am interested in for now.
1 – If I get unknown information from a source within a company or government
and I choose to disclose this information via the means I have to the public, or
in plain terms, if I write about it in a blog post, am I allowed to claim the
same privilege as a reporter and not have to disclose my source if compelled,
since at the time I was acting as reporter?
2 – If a "Member of the Press" writes a blog is that still
classed as reporting, are they still bound by the same rules of verification of
information as they would be if it was written for a newspaper column?
3 – As a "blogger" are you bound by those same rules of
verification, or do you truly just have to ‘in all good faith believe what you
are writing is the truth’?
4 – or can both parties write what ever they like with the appropriate
Still the question – Why Do I Ask?
Some of you may or may not have seen recently a reporters column, John
Gonzalez, for the ‘Sports’ section of the ‘Philadelphia Inquirer‘
which is found online at Philly.com,
columnist handled the mailbag on April 28th, 2010 the day in question
and received a question from someone named ‘Alex’, you can read the
question and answer here
remember this was mail bag day so all questions are sent in by readers. (image
of John Gonzalez linked from his column on Philly.com)
May 1st, 2010 another reporter, Mike
Goldstein, (not the ex-scientologist, or at least I don’t think it is) who writes a blog for ESPN760
and also broadcasts the Saturday morning ‘Sports
Page Show’ chose to target John
Gonzalez and his mail bag post, notably the question from ‘Alex’ and
in doing so he not only questioned the abilities of John
Gonzalez he also questioned his livelihood as a reporter in a post on his
blog titled "This
isn’t journalism, but it’s still not ethical" , if you take the
time to read this great, if you skim over it and get the general census, that’s
okay too, if you do neither, then here’s the key points, Mike accuses John of plagiarism
while fabricating a question to suit his own means.
May 2nd, 2010 the same reporter, Mike
Goldstein, wrote another post in his blog titled "The
Joke’s On Me" where he is supposedly making a retraction of his
previous claims about the ethics of John
Gonzalez, but in my opinion he doesn’t, he just excuses himself as a radio
show host and not a reporter. Claiming he just writes a blog and it is not meant
as journalism. (image of Mike Goldstein linked from his column on
I also understand that exchanges via ‘Twitter’ took place as well as other
possible communications and they have to some extent resolved the issue at hand.
We get back to the question, can people of the media
pick and choose when they are covered by the ‘Freedom of the Press’ and when
they are just trying to make a name for themselves.
I as a blogger, who at times wants to believe I can be a member of the press
would like nothing more than for some big media company to pick up on one of my
stories and start paying me for something I enjoy, or anyone to start paying me for
something would be nice, but again I digress, back to the real question.
With the creation of blogs can members of the press pick and choose when they
are press, and can you and I pick and choose when we are reporters.
I say to you big media sports companies, how about a reality show that
represents the amateur blogger, and less of the ‘so called’ professional sports
reporter playing at being an amateur blogger.
All this and I have to ask, does anyone really care unless it effects them in
someway shape or form, probably not!
The Phillies managed to sneak a win last night in extras from a walk
off by Ruiz, Cole Hamels pitched an outstanding game as did Wainwright
for the Cardinals, the series all tied up tonight will be a good night
to prove to Manuel that keeping him in the rotation is the right thing to
The Howard contract has caused a stir around the bloggers, mostly
those whose team has a 1st baseman due to renew a contract in the next year or
so, they question the value of Howard and say the Phillies paid to
much, I say, someone has to be first and if anyone thinks that it has set the
bar high for others then they are wrong the bar was already high, Pujols
was due to get around $30M a year and anyone who thinks he would have
settled for less is mistaken, just because he gave the Redbirds a cheap
deal last time, doesn’t mean he would have done it again. Suck it up Cardinal
whiners you can’t keep expecting to pay Walmart prices for the very best
UPDATE:(6am May 6th, 2010)
In another pitcher duel last night the Phillies over came Brad
Penny and the Cardinals bullpen to win the 3rd game of the series in
a shut out win 4-0. Well done to Kyle Kendrick for pulling out an
extraordinary night of pitching. Halladay is up today in a day game, the Cardinals
have Lohse on the mound.