Whoa ... what a trip. OMIGOD - I'm ThirtyWHAT was actually referenced in Dave Baake's column today. I'm drunk with power.
No, not really ... I was just one of the local bloggers that Dave talked to this week. He specifically mentioned The 11th Hour, Just Two Guys, and Blog Free Springfield.
I wish he would've had the space to include Springfield Rewind, Unspelled, and the other terrific local blogs you'll see listed over there to your left.
The angle on his story was the influence of blogs on the news. Do we post news? Would we follow ethical guidelines if we did post news? Do we consider ourselves journalists? Are anonymous blogs ripe for manipulation?
To give you a better picture of what I shared with Dave, let me share my answers to a few of his questions.
Do you think it is inevitable that a blogger here will break a big Springfield story?
Anything's possible. In a city as small as ours, there's bound to be someone who knows someone who does something famous (or infamous) eventually.
If you were to get a scoop on something meaningful (and maybe you already have), would you blog about it? Or would you pass it along to a journalist with one of Springfield's print or electronic media? Or would you do nothing at all with it?
The problem with this issue is the core of why I blog anonymously. The blowback from "publishing" something controversial could have repercussions professionally. I mean, I'm neither Woodward nor Bernstein ... and blogging doesn't pay my bills. For that matter, it doesn't pay for stamps to mail my bills. If I came across something exciting or newsworthy, I'd pass it on. In fact, I'd be happy to call you, Dave, should it happen.
If your answer it that you would go with it on your blog, would you follow accepted journalistic methods such as obtaining quotes from both sides of whatever issue it is? Would you cite your source? Would you verify the item's authenticity or just throw it out there and let the chips fall?
I don't believe many of us who are blogging were journalism majors. The chance of me writing an article that "followed accepted journalistic methods" are about the same as my winning the Pick Three drawing tonight. And, since I don't play Pick Three, I think you have a good idea of my writing skills. For the sake of argument, yes, I would try to verify the item's authenticity. I wouldn't post anything inflammatory without proof. For instance, I've yet to write a post involving Tim Davlin and aliens. But come to think of it, that sounds like a pretty good meme. Lemme write that one down ...
As far as the section of his column dealing with anonymity ... first off let me assure anyone reading this (and not many do), I am not a kook who publishes my blog from the computer bank at Lincoln Library. I am also not working for a political campaign ... nor am I trying to sell anything. I have nothing to gain from trying to manipulate news or opinion here in Springfield.
I'm not a journalist by a long shot ... I'm just a person who likes to write. In the beginning, my blog was basically an online diary. I wrote about personal things like my dad's passing. I suppose it was just another outlet to express that grief.
Since then, it's kind of evolved into a place where I vent ... or rant ... or just post things that I find interesting. I suppose I'm in the "opinion mode" as Dave would put it ... and hopefully I fall into the "humor" mode now and then.
I'm no one important ... but do I hear things that are "scoops?" Sure ... occasionally I think we all hear a fact or a story that's "juicy." But again ... I'm not a journalist. Not only am I not "geared up" for that sort of thing ... I don't want to be geared up for that sort of thing.
So, I'm gonna continue to write my fluff here ... and speaking of fluff, I'm thinking my next post is going to be on that Davlin/alien connection. Maybe that's why they won't bring back LincolnFest. It's an Alien Conspiracy! Somebody call Art Bell ... I've got my first scoop.
I write the songs of love and special thing s.
I write the songs that make the young girls cry.
I write the songs, I write the songs.
Barry Manilow - I Write The Songs