Tuesday, December 9, 2008

HumBug Blogger Elite

I started to write about my observations of the local "HumBug Blogger Elite" and their nice little cadre or club of butt-smeller's and pot-licker's. (Matthew 7:6) Joe Blow and his Reports had been around for awhile now and enough time had passed to allow the local bloggers ample opportunity to show their true colors.

I posted links to as many local blogs that I found current, relevant and of interest, which is an ever-changing landscape. I checked to see who and how many of these and other local bloggers returned the favor; linking the Joe Blow Reports on their blogs. I also made periodic observations on subjects of interest; doing a kind of "PR" job. The HumBuggers are real good when it comes to touting fellow club members, as well as discriminating and blackballing. In all, I got a pretty good cross section of who's who, and what's what. I even found a couple of troglodytes and a few of their troll family members. Mostly, though, I found decent, respectable, conscientious, and thoughtful bloggers and commentators. ADENNDUM::Friday, Dec. 12, 2008: Here's a real good example-blog with an appropriate article, "Scratch Your Creative Itch: Start Blogging" Always some great pictures too!

Then I got my Tuesday Times-Standard and found James Faulk's article: "The nature of this endeavor." I noticed lately that I make it a point to look for him. Anyway, after reading what he said I decided to let him speak for me on this subject. He does a real good job. Here's what he said in its entirety.

The nature of this endeavor
James Faulk/The Times-Standard
Posted: 12/09/2008 01:31:33 AM PST

Sometimes offering opinion in this community is like shouting down a well -- you do it for the pleasure of hearing your own voice, but in the end it does little to penetrate the dark.

Certainly, you'll get reaction.

Online, it'll come from trolls who have nothing better to do than insult your mother, your physical appearance, and your dog simply because that's what they learned in prison.

Occasionally, there are thoughtful, intelligent responses posted in the online comment forums, but then those people are pounced upon by the late-night Web addicts who prefer negativity to reasoned, but respectful, debate.

In print, you get better reasoned comments, from faithful readers who actually take the time to compose letters to the editor with well-chosen arguments and a strong point.

They may take issue with your opinion, but since their name is attached to their letter, they generally stop short of vulgarity. Accountability goes a long way toward making sure people play nice.

But after seven years at this job, in various newsroom roles, I can say with certainty that the tenor of civic discussion is on the decline.

People are much more prone to abuse these days, and it's not just limited to writers of columns and editorials.

Reporters work for days on a story, asking every question in the book and banging the disparate details into a relatable story. It's not a cakewalk, folks, and it can be torturous work. In the end, like in every other profession in the world, reporters do their best given the constraints of the day, and the end results vary accordingly.

And here's the comedy. Reactions from the public include plaudit calls from happy readers, congratulatory e-mails for a job well done, respectful requests for additional information, angry diatribes about the supposedly long-abused ethics of modern journalism, and disgusted catcalls about this or that reporter's relatives and the genetics of mediocrity.

In the end, as every journalist learns, leather skin is the reporter's first prerequisite.

While the tone of criticism has changed over the years, due in part to the armor afforded by online anonymity, the vast majority of readers know that day in and day out we in the news business do the best we can with the tools at our disposal.

Some days we make mistakes, other days we succeed beyond our wildest expectations.

That's just the nature of this -- and almost every other -- human endeavor. And as I say in response to every breed of reader reaction: Thanks for reading. Let's do it again tomorrow.
It bears repeating and Joe Blow and his Reports join Mr. Faulk in, "That's just the nature of this -- and almost every other -- human endeavor. And as I say in response to every breed of reader reaction: Thanks for reading. Let's do it again tomorrow." Amen!

1 comment:

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