But alas she is long gone folks but this does not mean that while I am mostly away goofing off there is nothing going on in the local congroovancy no siree. First off I would like to again point out that Jason over at AZ is on a Con Profit tear and the mention of Miss Piggy in the narrative warms the cockles of my heart. Along those same lines some of you folks no doubt remember former Ray Nagin legal goon Bob Ellis threatened to sue Jason for defamation over his early reporting on Ray Nagin’s misdeeds and the Times Picayune did a story on it as Ellis’ plan was to ambush Jason at the Rising Tide Conference, which TP reporter Molly Reid covered.
I mention all this because feelings are evidently running high in certain media circles as it has been asserted the blogs are viewed at Newhouse media outlets as competitors. Feeding this kitty is the fact there are people in the main stream media taking credit for investigative reporting that Jason Berry did on the Nagin scandal, such fact no doubt causing consternation in certain for-profit media circles. Along those lines Jason noted the story on his face off with Ellis has been comment scrubbed save two. The pettiness on display here is frankly stunning……and I reckon empowering as well.
If I may be so bold as to suggest there is another way to look at the natural tension that exists between blogs in general and the main stream media. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to monetize Slabbed, such concept being the million dollar media question the newspaper industry is facing these days with an internet only platform. I’m fine with that as web sites like Slabbed exists to make a difference more so than a profit while business enterprises like the Times Picayune exist to make a profit for the owners. Yes we’re both doing the media thing albeit on vastly differing scales but the motivations could not be more diverse. That said the thing that motivated many of the journalists to become journalists to begin with were such noble intentions, so while we may not all belong to the same tribe we have far more in common than not.
I mention all this because being in the difference making business means I have worked with many a print journalist even if only to broaden their knowledge base about topics that attracted my interest. Being in the difference making business means I have also given some of you guys fits and I understand the consternation and in fact am sensitive to it. The bottom line is regarding blogs like Slabbed or American Zombie as competitors to a for profit outlet the size of Newhouse is short-sighted and frankly is an indicator that the new business strategy contains serious flaws.
I am not writing this to further fan the flames but to the extent this topic continues to attract high quality readers this is a discussion well worth having. I had this discussion on twitter with a journalist that took exception with this post and as Johnny Cash famously sang back in the day I came away with a different point of view. Hopefully it will stimulate some substantive conversation about the decision-making process that led to scrubbing over 300 reader comments on a news story about a local blog.