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Y’ever Notice That The Media And Those Who Hate The Media Play By Two Different Sets Of Rules?

For the past week, most of the folks in the mainstream media spent their time dismissing the talk of Florida State jumping to the Big 12.  That’s because folks who sign their names to their work — usually — try to actually speak to people in power or try to get real quotes to authenticate rumors they hear.

I know this first-hand because I spoke to two people inside the top levels of two ACC schools last week and they both told me all was well in their league.  The sources were off so we were off.  Ditto everybody else in the traditional media.  And though Dan Wetzel’s excellent column on ACC rage behind the scenes paints the picture as being obvious in hindsight, I don’t recall Wetzel writing any of this before Andy Haggard’s comments, either.  Perhaps a “we in the media” might’ve worked better in his column.

Now, on the other side of the fence you have the bloggers and Twitterers and messageboard posters.  Most are anonymous.  Most run with any rumor they hear.  Some are correct.  Most aren’t.

But here’s what’s interesting:

 

* Traditional media members get little credit when they get a story right (“It’s your job!), but they get eviscerated whenever there’s a mistake made or a “failed to see it in advance” type of issue.  Like the FSU story.

* The blogs and Twitter users and messageboarders pay no price whatsever for getting it wrong when they toss stuff against the wall to see what sticks, but when they hit on a story — or even just a portion of a story — they’re hailed as real, big-time newsbreakers.

 

We’re a website.  I hate the word “blog” because there are three writers on this site and still others provide outside, freelance type commentary as well.  But we’re closer to a blog than we are to the traditional media.  There aren’t 100 of us and we don’t have copy editors looking over our stuff (obbvyussly).  However, we try to carry ourselves like the traditional media because the three guy making up this site’s staff all have traditional media backgrounds.  So throwing out ideas to see what sticks or writing about “nip slips” isn’t tops on our agenda for gaining credibility.

Basically, we’ve got a foot in both camps.  So there’s no bitterness associated with the above observations.  We’ve been on both ends of the spectrum and enjoyed the rewards of both.  We’ve also been discredited as being too traditional and as being up-against-the-wall-stuff-tossers.

Trying to walk that line — hell, trying to find that line to walk — we just find it interesting that the two parties are held to two such totally different standards.

Then again, people in this day and age basically go to news sources that validate their own opinions anyway.  Whether it’s Fox News or MSNBC, many people view those right- and left-leaning networks as being “fair and balanced,” simply because they tell the listener/viewer what they want to hear.  Ditto NPR or Rush Limbaugh.

It’s the same with traditional media versus new media.  If you want buttoned-up facts, you turn to traditional sources and sometimes you’re going to be a day late.

If you want speculation and to hear what might happen next before anyone else hears it, you turn to folks who are more likely to run with a rumor without finding two corroborating sources first.  But you’ll have to live with a lot more false information.

To each his own.  As stated, we’re somewhere in the middle of those two groups.  Just trust us on this one — the two types of media are held to very different standards.

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