ON THE DL
The Official Blogs With Balls Review:
What Was Answered and What Questions Came Out Of A Fantastic Event
Nick was also there, so we’re able to talk about the event from both sides of the stage lights. We appreciate everyone who was there who listens to the show and hope that more of you have come on board after this weekend. In other words, I hope I didn’t embarrass myself too much.
Print’s Not Dead:
There were a lot of underlying themes -- and I’m sure some overlying themes as well -- on Saturday, but the one that stood out the most to me was the line between new media and old media. In fact, I think on the last panel of the day which I was fortunate enough to moderate, the unanswerable question was posed...what is the media? Is everyone media? Does a credential hanging around your neck make you a member of the media? It was discussed throughout the day in many different forms including access, responsibility, dedication to your work, training and experience and audience and influence.
I hope that you listen to our discussion because it’s very difficult to go over seven hours worth of conversations and debate in a few graphs, let alone 20 or so minutes. We will continue this discussion in the future because the line between new and old media is gone. When ESPN is filming a panel I’m on as ‘experts’ on social media (I did make one dollar this weekend by reading a website out on stage that was sent to me via Twitter!) it’s pretty evident there is no line.
One thing that can be said, this Raul Ibanez situation from last week was discussed at length and I think that more changes will come out of that situation from a media standpoint than from a baseball one. A guy wrote a column about a baseball player. What happened next had nothing to do with baseball, and everything to do with where our industry is headed.
Inside the Press Box:
The perils of doing this show and being out there for scrutiny is that it’s hard to separate that from being a critic of the media. Which is really what we all are, and specifically what many of the topics and themes of this show are about. We are watching the watchers. All blogs are if you think about it, so what we do on this podcast isn’t different from that. I understand the fact that there are fewer podcasts and that what Simmons does is very similar to what we do, so that’s why I try and pick the appropriate spots to comment. This was one.
We do not care if Erin Andrews has a boyfriend. And frankly, that question is always asked of her. Do reporters ask handsome male sportscasters they interview if they have girlfriends? How does that impact her job and do you think for one freaking second that EA would give that information out? That line of questioning delved into the ridiculous in asking about the chances for EA to do a reality show where cameras follow her around, comparing the merits of following around a sideline celebrity -- in the kind of anti-chauvinism chauvinism male sports reporters always fall into when interviewing attractive women -- to the reality show of Playboy playmate Kenda Wilkinson. Simmons tries to explain that her show would be different because Andrews is a real person, not just a vapid pin-up. I’m sure ESPN loves the fact that their foremost voice of the fan is comparing the reality show merits of their ‘sideline princess’ to, lets face it, someone who makes a living by taking off her clothes.
Steinberg mentioned Simmons on the ‘what is media’ panel at Blogs With Balls to illustrate the fact that he’s the most popular sports columnist in the country and can do his job without going to sporting events. But it seems that Simmons can do his job without doing research either. At least ESPN doesn’t seem to mind because he gets ratings. There is no way he could have missed that Andrews story. Even if he was in under a rock that fell into a hole the day the story broke during the Spelling Bee, a simple Google search would probably come up with 50 different sites talking about the story.
How then, is the proclaimed voice of the fan, not reading sports blogs, written by and for fans? If Sports Media Challenge uses a formula with 3,400 sports blogs every day to calculate the Blog Buzz, that means there are a lot of different voices out there. It’s impossible to read them all. But when all of them are taking about the same thing, you’d think the man who has been their official voice for years would be listening.
You may disagree, and I’m not surprised if you do. And like Nick has said, this might be some tinge of jealousy and it may be pathetic. After my rant he disagrees in part with my assessment of the situation, so please do not just read this and take it as the opinion of this show. Listen to hear the full, and at times, awkward debate.
Also, email us if you were at BwB to let us know what else you want to discuss, as we’re really trying to continue that discuss for a while. What guests do you want us to book? Do our jobs for us, please. And if you missed the back and forth between and Dan Steinberg, you’ll have a chance to hear it tomorrow.
Thanks and I’m so happy to have met some of you in person this weekend.
Monday, June 15, 2009
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Hey look, that’s me staring into space. For more photos of BwB, check out Ken Vanderveer’s shots by clicking my face.