July 22, 2006

On Blogs: The Desire to Break the News First

Getting the scoop is a big deal for any self-respecting journalist, as in the competitive media landscape, any edge you can get through find out a news nugget or covering a story for your readers and viewers can drive up your sales, ratings, etc. Scoops lead to awards, and recognition, improved pay, and prestige.

On the Internet, the number of blogs out there is conservatively estimated to be in the tens of millions. While some aim to be personal journals or shout-outs to friends and family, others act as media augmentation or substitutes, covering general news, or specific focuses, in sports, technology, politics, etc. But as there are so many people talking and creating noise, some of the elements of offline media have themselves moved to the blogosphere, including the idea of scoops, sometimes good, and sometimes... not so much.

With the simplicity of posting entries to blogs, an idea or a rumor can go from thought to live in mere minutes. Now, instead of doing fact-checking, double sourcing and even proof-reading, blogs are rife with getting news out first, all in a plan to gain readership, get the most comments, or have their own story posted to Digg, Slashdot, or any other one of the popular news aggregators. It's something clearly feeding on itself.

You can even take it down another level. With Athletics Nation being a great test case, you see posters who are calling for the team's beheading after one bad game, a bad play, bad at bat, or a bad pitch. The idea behind being the first to make an outlandish claim, no matter how foolish, is that in the possibility you are right, people can look back at you and bask in your aura that you were right, and the first to do so. You're a friggin' prophet. And if you're wrong, make the same prediction the following day, and you just might get right the next time. By then, you are a hero who lives on the edge - albeit in the face of reality.

But whether you're a disgruntled A's fan, an Apple rumormonger, or a stock aficionado sure that your penny stock is going to make us millions, blogging has given us all new tools to decrease the news cycle - and some are doing so regardless of the consequences. I believe that as with most media, the cream will eventually rise to the top - those sites that dominate in credibility as well as speed will triumph over those sites and those individuals who crave speed over accuracy. You can only try to fool us too many times.

Listening to ''Pole Folder & CP - Apollo Vibe'', by Bedrock (Play Count: 5)

No comments:

Post a Comment