Monday, January 08, 2007

To the blogroll!
(msm edition)

The blogroll has been silently undergoing all kinds of permutations the past few weeks, but I added a few new blogs last night that I wanted to point out: D.C. Sports Bog and On Frozen Pond.

Both blogs are by newspaper staffers like myself, and in the case of D.C. Sports Bog, the blogger is Dan Steinberg from the Washington Post, who covers just about everything in the D.C. sports scene (but seems to hang around the Capitals more than you'd expect). Offbeat is probably a decent way to describe Dan's work so far.

On Frozen Pond meanwhile contains the thoughts of the Miami Herald's Florida Panthers beat writer George Richards and is also, well, offbeat. (See here a post on the return of Juraj Kolnik that somehow ends up with a picture of a giant gorilla beside it.)

I like what's going on here, as we're getting a more personal voice from a few youngish writers in the sports media, which is a decent direction for newspapers and other media organizations to take the medium. They're experiments, in other words, and it's anyone's guess if this (part of?) the future of what sportswriting will be — but at least the experiments are taking place.

With JABS having kicked the bucket retired gracefully last month, probably the best example of this kind of blogging is what the Montreal Gazette has been doing with Habs Inside/Out — and given the number of comments they're beginning to generate, it looks like the blog has turned out to be a successful venture. (One of the things I like that they've begun to do is a photo gallery from Canadiens games, which allows the staff photographer to make all of his best shots — as opposed to just the best one as in the print edition — available to readers. That limitless nature of blogs is something I've really taken a liking to, and something I think a good beat reporter could really use to supplement his print coverage.)

The Inside/Out crew have also done a reasonable job of engaging with and reading other blogs out there, something JABS did particularly well before prematurely kicking the bucket. (When you're in the media and can get Tom Benjamin to admit he likes what you're writing, you're doing something right. Either that or he was on freaky fungi that day.)

I guess what I'm curious to know is what other bloggers and readers think of this trend. Where is this taking us? Is it, in general, a positive step for newspapers and the media? And who are some of the sports media bloggers getting it right so far (or are any of them)?


At 7:34 a.m., January 08, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Habs Inside Out has probably become my favourite Habs blog in the sense of just telling it like it is. It links up the latest articles and quotes. It as well brings in what fans will never get to have. But that's just me. I remember the guy who helped set up the site gave some promotion to it in some forums

At 9:03 a.m., January 08, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what i appreciate about inside/out and a lot of the other journalist-run blogs is that they strike a nice balance between the formalism of newspapers and the more casual style of blogging. most of what they post is 'news' of some sort or another, rather than blogger-style ranting & raving (not that ranting & raving is necessarily bad), but because it's a blog they can post a wider variety of information than could ever get published in the papers. so it really is very satisfying for the fans- you do feel as though it offers a more inside look at the team then we generally get, but with all those reassuring 'standards' that professional writers have.

At 2:20 p.m., January 08, 2007, Anonymous Mogen_david said...

Not a blog but worth noting is the ref. review:

At 2:32 p.m., January 08, 2007, Blogger Jes Gőlbez said...

I don't frequent any MSM blogs other than Mirtle's and Spector's (and formerly JABS).
If I can't stand MSM writers (like Stan Fischler), why would I want to subject myself to more of their crap? That is why some turn away from MSM writers and onto blogs and forums.

It's a mixed blessing. IT's great if a writer can give extra information/news that they can't get into a print/online edition, correspond with fans, and give some opinions that they otherwise couldn't give. The problem that I see is that some MSM blogs (like Damien Cox) don't really treat them as blogs and more like the typical 'closed' website

What is nice is that the 'other' media is being embraced to a degree. MSM baseball writers refused to include any of those 'internet' writers, even for sites like ESPN, into their fold as those who can vote on who goes into their HoF. Hockey would be well-advised to leap into any form of media it can get, and the dinosaurs will be left further behind if they don't embrace it.


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