Sports Outside the Beltway

Is Golf Observer’s Sal Johnson living in an alternate universe?

He writes about golf bloggers

One form of coverage that will grow in ’09 is blogs. Some of them are very good but most of them are very incomplete and poorly done. A Golfblog is nothing more than an individual that writes about golf.

First I will give Sal credit for not bloggers who write about golf aren’t living in their mother ‘s basement. We’ll leave such witty comments to the like of Bob Costas.

On the other hand what is the third sentence supposed to be a golf blog is a website not an individual. A golf blogger is an individual with an opinion about golf.

There are some good ones like Waggleroom.Com, Jay Flemma.Com, Geoff Shackelford.Com and The Golf Watch but the main problem is control of these blogs.

I’m not a real big fan of Geoff but that’s just me. Till today I never heard of Jay Flemma or Golf Watch. How can Sal not mention The Constructivist at Mostly Harmless or Hound Dog’s blog? They are the two of the best blogs out there focused on any of the tours.

Since most of them aren’t owned by a company or have advertisers to answer to a good many of them are free to be very critical and sometimes have a fair amount of unfair reporting.

Sal can you cite one example of unfair reporting? If it is just someone’s opinion that’s not reporting.

By the way, should advertiser concerns dictate what is and isn’t reported? If it does, then what does that say about the reporting?

Since these blogs are written in their homes instead of being at an event most of these blogs are based on what others have written, transcripts that are easily accessible on the web and frankly are unfair because they are reporting news that they aren’t on the scene to report.

Sal totally loses it with this sentence. First, after stating bloggers do unfair reporting he then comes back and says they aren’t reporting because they aren’t on scene to report!

One of the reasons golf bloggers can’t report on scene, is because the pro golf tours won’t credential us. I’ve been credentialed twice, I’ve also been turned down more times.

The intellectual fallacy Sal is using is the ‘chickenhawk argument’ used so often by critics of the Iraq war. They attack another person’s view, saying they aren’t entitled to an opinion because they aren’t in the military or served at the front. If ‘credentials’ were required for stating opinions on any subject matter, then few voices would be heard. I could also point out that Sal has shown himself to be ill informed on the definitions of blog and blogger. How dare he then right about golf bloggers then! He obviously doesn’t know anything about the subject and be muzzled.(Turn off the sarcasm)

It is a very weak argument, which is really intended to deflect attention from the golf blogger’s opinion and onto the golf blogger instead.

Golf reporters report every day on events they don’t see in person. There is over 100 players in most tournaments, the reporter can’t be everywhere to see every shot. They have to rely on someone else(The player) to tell them what happened.

Last year at the Stanford International, the press that followed players on Sunday all went out with the last group of Annika Sorenstam-Paula Creamer-Momoko Ueda. The next to last group which featured one player two shots back(Young Kim) and another three shots back(Cristie Kerr) had just one member of the media out with them. Me.

Kim made back to back double bogeys on holes 7 and 8 after pulling into a tie for the lead. She rallied to finish third one shot out of the playoff. No one but me reported on what caused Kim to blow up like she did. Because Kim didn’t do a press conference afterwards and none of the media was interested in seeking out that info.

I guess advertisers require reporters to not report the full story of a tournament.

Also bloggers sometimes don’t credit were they get their information from and a lot of illegally “borrowed” images and some case video are on their sites. So with the addition of more blogging that is fueled by viewer reactions and done off the web and TV, look for a wild west style of reporting that will gear itself more toward the negative and tabloid style of reporting.

I guess there are bloggers who don’t link to other people’s work. My practice is to link to anyone who I borrow from. I’m also generous with links to other golf bloggers if we happen to be writing on the same topic. Since I discovered Ryan, The Constructivist and Hound Dog, I’ve lost count how many times I have linked to them.

Sal again mixes up stating opinions and reporting. A reporter is supposed to tell the facts. A opinion writer puts into words what he thinks on a subject. Facts are optional.

Hopefully more of these blogs will come under control of other publication companies that buy them or advertisers that will demand more traditional ways of reporting the news.

Again bloggers rarely report, they state opinions. Someone hit Sal over the head with a wet noodle till he finally grasps that fact.

I write for several blogs. Outside the Beltway’s and Wizbang’s sports blogs. Both take advertising revenue. What a shocker and even more shocking is the advertisers don’t dictate what is or isn’t written at these places. The blog owners don’t tell me= Don’t write about this because it may upset a advertiser.

OTB Sports is owned by my friend James Joyner. He isn’t putting the blogs he created up for sale so far as I know. James can take away my writing privileges at the blog as his right.

If blogs are consolidated and purchased by the mainstream media, isn’t fewer voices even if they are incorrect sometimes, something to cheer for?

Sal is also failing to see that fewer people read newspapers every day but more people read news off the internet. What most consider traditional reporting, is a dying art. Few bloggers are reporters, we are mostly people with opinions. Just like anyone else, its a free world and we can state them.

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