Saturday, October 15, 2005

MSM vs. Blogging Is Giving Me A Headache

OK, let's revisit the issue of blogging vs. MSM (Main Stream ) -- one more freakin' time. Blogging, currently, is armchair journalism at best. MSM kicked Internet ass after Katrina. They just did. Shut up and let me finish. The world wasn't exactly gathered around the laptop in the living room or the cafe to get the story. The World, W and Brownie being the exceptions, was watching TV. And admit it, you bloggers were too.

MSM had the balls and the bucks to get what it took to cover a story that outrageous: satellite trucks, sat. time and a place for reporters to sleep and eat, chiefly rented RVs. Oh yeah, they had an audience too. Now, bloggers don't need no stinking sat. trucks, nor do they need to be fed or watered much. Most can survive on coffee and cigarettes for weeks. And some may even have an audience.

Of course bloggers played a role in the Katrina story, and I won't get in to the particulars of that role here. The American Journalism Review says it a lot better than I can, so be sure to click on the link.

Let me just talk for a moment about what role bloggers can play in the future of journalism. First, they will need to get off their asses, cute or otherwise, and actually show up at a breaking news situation if they want to pursue that gold ring of credibility. If you want to be a journalist, then you gotta start acting like one. And believe me, most MSM broadcast "journalists" are just that - actors at best, particularly the ones who need poofy hairdos and lots of makeup to do their work. Once you get there, then you "act" as you see fit. Get yourself up in lots of poofy hair for chrissake if you're a vblogger!

For instance, I was working for GMA, yes I occasionally whore for MSM, during all the RunawayBrideAshleySmithInc.AbductionsTerryShiavoVisitsthe11th Circuit nonsense here in Atlanta a while back. It was all happening so fast, one thing right after the other, that it's all still a groggy blur of dumb news on top of dumb news. GMA actually cuts a check though, so there. Blogging don't pay shit, for the time being.

Every flavor of local and national sat. truck and personnel, big ones and small ones, was all over the ATL, for days. The media herd was massing downtown, in the 'burbs, all up and down Peachtree St. Everywhere you looked, MSM was destroying public and private property, eager to "get" the hot story de jour, like it was something only they were privy to.

Now just pretend the RunawayBrideAshleySmithInc.AbductionsTerryShiavoVisitsthe11th Circuit stuff was really worth covering. Would there have been bloggers present? Hard to say, since there were NO bloggers covering any of the seriously dumb shit going down during those many dark days.

Where were they? Heck, I don't know. I do know I was right there, sans laptop and sans credentials, for a good long while. Not blogging at the time though. All anyone had to do to "cover" this cycle of breaking news was just...SHOW UP. There wasn't even Mother Nature messing with the coverage logistics then either, meaning there were plenty of landlines and cell services and Wi-Fi all over the place, all functioning quite well.

The only "citizens" I saw taking advantage of the situation were a bunch of really strange religion groupies standing around with packing tape all over themselves while someone took digital pictures of 'em, which the little freaks then took over to the nearest Starbucks and uploaded on out to wherever their particular brand of Kool Aid was coming from. They also dropped by a host of local MSM sites to gaze adoringly at themselves online.

I actually wrote up an account of this Wi-Fi weirdness for a hideous local rag with a name not worth mentioning. That rag has no archive feature on their site, or I'd provide a link. Maybe I can warm up a PDF for ya later in the day.

So the lesson in all this longwinded tale is this... there has to be some kind of a Blogger News Network, with bloggers interested in getting out there in the field to actually report on things the way THEY want to report them. I mean, come on folks! The MSM was treating religious wackos with packing tape all over their faces like they were some kind of news iconography. Moreorless how they treat the White House. What if a blogger had been there with a friend and a camera following those freaks around? Now wouldn't that have been a blast to blog?

If you want to move blogging to the next level, you gotta go to the party - whether you are invited or not.

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