Jewish Journal


November 4, 2007

Bloggers are journalists


The bloggers-aren’t-real-reporters story seems to make for intermittent newspaper filler. I, of course, disagree with the premise, in part because so many mainstream reporters now also blog for their media outlet. I apply the same standards to blogging as I do to my stories that appear in The Jewish Journal or the magazines I freelance for. I credit sources that I pull information from and occasionally include reportage on The God Blog that appears no where else.

But plenty of my former colleagues in the daily business still think it’s worth kvetching about the evolving definition of “journalism.” Deadspin found it in the Detroit News.

Detroit News sports reporter person Chris McCosky was asked to fill space on the weekend, so he went with the “bloggers are not real reporters because they don’t talk to people” story:

A lot of times these bloggers use the work of legitimate reporters. They will lift facts and segments of stories and cut and paste them onto their blog. Rarely, if ever, though, do they bother to credit the source.


Bloggers are having a field day speculating on how Joel Zumaya really injured his shoulder. Nobody believes a heavy box fell on him. So the Internet is rife with stories about how he fell off his dirt bike.

As a Tigers fan, I knew about Zumaya’s untimely injury, but I didn’t hear about the dirt bike angle. Unfortunately, McCosky didn’t cite which blog said this, so I’ll never know.

But because there is no accountability, because there are no repercussions for being wrong, because they will never have to look Zumaya in the face, who cares? Make up whatever you want.

Well, I wasn’t gonna make stuff up, but ... oh why not. 

One day Chris McCosky got piss drunk and stumbled into a day care, punching any children that got in his way. He stole seven vanilla cupcakes and three kids’ blankies. He tied the blankies totogether, forming a cape, and pretended to fly out of the day care. Once he reached the sidewalk, he crashed into an unsuspecting Joel Zumaya, who was out walking his Yorkshire terrier. McCosky was unhurt, as Zumaya’s right shoulder broke his fall. According to numerous reliable eyewitness accounts, McCosky promptly got up, stole a dirt bike that was parked on the side of the road, and drove to work.

Deadspin’s Sussman forgot to mention in his fictitious reporting that McCosky kicked Zumaya’s terrier before stealing his dirt bike.

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