Monday, January 08, 2007

Express Times Calls Bloggers Rump Scratchers While Morning Call Offers Some Salve

Hold on, folks. It's about to get a bit more bumpy here in the blogosphere.

Express Times editor Joe Owens has a blog. No "how do you do?" from him. He gets right into it, blasting high school kids who drink and drive. I love his "in your face" writing style, which he mixes with large doses of self-deprecating humor. We're all in for a treat.

After reading his Sunday column, I know he must have read some of the millions of posts I've sent his way. He notes many of the blogs he's seen are "rather poor, nothing more than one person verbally scratching his rump with the hope that the rest of the world would find it interesting." Yep, that would be me.

Meanwhile, over at The Morning Call, a kinder and gentler Bill White provides well-deserved praise to Ross Nunamaker and his NewsOverCoffee blog. Ross covers the Nazareth area in more detail than area newspapers. They must appeal to a larger and more diverse audience. Ross fills that gap nicely with lots of straightforward information. Just the facts, ma'am.

I don't know anyone who relies on blogs as gospel. The Express Times and Morning Call, with their excellent reporters, do a fine job of covering news. That cannot be replaced by blogs or local TV news. But I think both Joe and Bill agree than blogs can and do complement mainstream media.

It's a treat to read their blogs. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go scratch my ass.


Greendogdem said...

What it sounds like is that he is threatened, by our cutting edge investigative reporting, or he just has a big ego.

Bernie O'Hare said...

GreenDog, I think Joe is just being honest. Most of us are NOT professional journalists and couldn't write an objective account to save our lives. But I think we do complement the mainstream and sometimes offer different perspectives or provide details.

Those guys in the mainstream media are our biggest friends, especially when we focus on bad government.

They are champions of open and accountable government, as well as the First Amendment. If they did not exist, most of us would be shut down by now.

Joe's a really good guy and perhaps I'm being a bit unfair by just quoting a portion of his column. But I couldn't resist the reference to scratching asses. I thought it was hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Who is it that once said "all I know I read in the newspaper?" (Or something like that.)

Greendogdem said...

I read the column and found it very condescending. I personally question the objectivity of a number of the "professional journalists"

Bernie O'Hare said...

GreenDog, Joe did not condemn all blogs. If he did, he'd be condemning not just himself, but many of the blogs that come out of Newhouse, his own publisher. The truth is that blogs are rated just a step above AM talk radio in terms of credibility.

I don't pretend to be objective in my blog. I do try to get my facts right. If I didn't I'd have no readers. It's the point Joe was making. I think it's a valid one.

Chris Casey said...

Lets not fool ourselves Bernie, the information media is changing.
Bloggers put up our point of view, and are unabashed about it.
Newspapers claim to be fair and balanced, but really, The MCall is as you once put it, about who is in power. I take sides, the pretend not to. Big difference.
The Inky is blatantly liberal, the Mcall surreptitiosly conservative. They aren't fooling anybody but themselves.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Chris, I think the mainstream media tends to be protective of who is in power. It has nothing to do with ideology and everything to do with the bottom line.

For example, a person who has no money decides to seek public office. The mainstream media realizes this is campaign season and they can gwet big money by running ads. So that's what they want a candidate to do. They will not echo her concerns about different issues unless she's willing to pay. That attitude protects those in power. The argument can also be made that a paper who covers every press conference is allowing itself to be spun by a candidate.

My perception is that both newspapers covering this area are basically fair. Their editorial policies are essentially moderate. The ET leans slightly to the right and MC leans slightly to the left.

There are instances of bias here and there, and Jeff Pooley does a teriffic job of poinbting that out at LV Media. But their primary focus is in getting it right.

Chris, as you point out, blogggers tend to be unabashedly liberal or conservative. We have a viewpoint, and usually mosy of us blog because we want that viewpoint heard. But because we are so damn opinionated, most of us are porr judges of objectivity. The only reason I think I may have an advantage is because I've been involved in citizen activism foir many years.

When I first started, I was convinced both papers were totally unfair. Over many years, I've come to learn that I was the one who was unfair.

I don't think they get everything right and believe they need to look at themselves constantly but they do rather well as human institutions go.

Chris Casey said...

You call them human, I don't! LOL
I bet there's about 70 Inky employees whao have an interesting viewpoint on the "humanity" of those who own and operate their paper!

Chris Casey said...

BTW, I don't scratch my ass, I usually scratch something else!

Chris Casey said...

BTW, I don't scratch my ass, I usually scratch something else!

LVDem said...

I've been called worse by people I respect more.

Bernie O'Hare said...

LVDem & Chris, I'm glad to see the editor of a local paper w/ his own blog. It should be very interesting. I'd love to know the reasoning behind decisions concerning what is newsworthy. Owens is very open about that process and it could prove an educational experience at times.