Traditional Media Continues to Blog About, Dismiss Bloggers as “a bunch of pipsqueaks”

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I started this blog as a hobby. I don’t like to fish, can’t stand golf and have no interest in model railroads. This is what I enjoy. Along the way I continue to meet fascinating people, learn a lot and hopefully introduce some relevant, previously unknown issues to those reading along.

I’m not in the business of challenging the traditional media, but I am aware that I and other bloggers in the St. Louis community sometimes attend events or meetings and learn things that are important to our community and yet not covered by the Post-Dispatch or KWMU, The Beacon, RFT or anyone else. I think that in this case we, as bloggers, add something valuable to the community.

But on those occasions when we blog about a subject or event also covered by the traditional media it is sometimes unclear which coverage offers the best information. In general a writer for say, the Post-Dispatch, is much more professional, more concise and as a result more informative, but sometimes a blogger has sources very close to an event or project, has followed a development for considerable time and has specific knowledge about a topic. And although I have significant limits on my time with a full-time job, family and other interests, I’m sure that occasionally I have more time than a P-D beat writer to put together a post.

Anyway, this brings me to a story that I couldn’t pass up. It was compelling enough that this is my first post to not be about urbanism.

Ted Diadiun, Ombudsman for the Cleveland Plain Dealer felt compelled to dismiss bloggers. One concern is that bloggers quickly use and disseminate information from traditional press outlets. This rant from Diadiun has been perfectly labeled by one writer as a “Bonfire of the curmudgeons, inter-generational sneerfest from the Cleveland ombud. Painful, but revealing video.”

The money quote from the 15-minute video has got to be, “It’s really a bunch of pipsqueaks out there talking about what the real journalists do.” Can you not help but think of Donnybrook, Bill McClellan and the whole crew, when you read that?

What Diadiun and others ignore at their own, and their company’s expense, is the ever blurring line between a blogger such as myself (with a journalism degree and experience writing) and someone employed as a print journalist who writes a blog. Today, a blog (and the accompanying Twitter tweets, E-mail, etc.) is at times used as a resource by traditional media, a tip sheet, a way to fill in the blanks, a way to keep informed of the minutia that make a good story, a barometer of what’s happening ‘out there’. It has very quickly become a two-way street.

Wonder which way the journalistic wind is blowing? Look no further than our own Post-Dispatch. There are currently 55 blogs on the Post-Dispatch website. 55. News-16 blogs, Business-6 blogs, Sports-17 blogs, Entertainment-10 blogs, Life & Style-6 blogs.

King Kaufman at his blog The Future of Journalism has been covering the ridiculousness of the Plain Dealer rant:

JULY 8, 2009 2:54PM
Facts dog Cleveland newspaper defender
By King Kaufman: This blog is going to ask for your indulgence. It is frankly obsessed with the 15-minute video at Cleveland.com that both Katharine and I wrote about yesterday. We’re thinking of changing the name of this blog to the How Crazy Was That Cleveland Plain Dealer Video? Blog.…

JULY 7, 2009 5:19PM
Staggering idiocy in Cleveland
By King Kaufman The craziest moment in the insane Cleveland Plain Dealer “reader rep chat” video Katharine Mieszkowski just wrote about comes about halfway through.
I’ve seen a lot of commentary in Future-of-Journalism nerdland about this video, in which the P-D’s so-called reader representative, wh…

JULY 7, 2009 4:11PM
Newspaper to bloggers: Shut up pipsqueaks!
By Katharine Mieszkowski If you can get past the monotone delivery, there are some real zingers in the 15-minute video “chat wrap” with the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Reader Rep Ted Diadiun, in which he defends columnist Connie Schultz’s proposal to curtail the First Amendment to save newspap…

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