Meet Adam Bittner. (Picture and bio from his SBNation profile). Adam’s a Penn State junior majoring in journalism and the Assistant Universal Copy Desk Chief of PSU’s Daily Collegian. He doesn’t think much of bloggers — despite having been one himself for more than four years. You’d think that would be long enough for him to know to avoid the tired cliches about blogs, bloggers, and online journalism. You’d really think it would be long enough for him to know to avoid them in an announcement of a new blog.
Alas, Bittner blasted blogs and their proprietors in his announcement of his newspaper’s new Roll Up The Score site. Since his time at SBNation hasn’t taught Bittner the reality of blogging, I’m taking it upon myself as a professional blogger to point out a few things. If he’s going to claim his brand of journalism is better than everyone else’s, then he’s open to the same criticism we’d give everyone else.
During my time as a club sports reporter here at The Daily Collegian in the fall of 2009, my goal was to one day make my mark on this newspaper as a member of the football beat.
[P]erhaps most importantly, they’re the ones that eat the free food in the press box at halftime.
I was quickly promoted to editor of the site and learned the ins and outs of how to run a successful amateur blog.
That’s awesome. Seriously, good work. When I was 21… you know what, I’m not the best example here. Let’s move on.
I also learned bloggers, especially Penn State bloggers strewn across the United States, can’t do anything without newspaper reporters.
Things I did today without a newspaper reporter:
* Brushed my teeth.
* Ate breakfast.
* Mowed the lawn.
* Blogged several stories that did not involve newspaper reporting.
They need us to print quotes they can grab in between creating Photoshops of athletes and thinking up pithy one-liners to build blog posts around.
You don’t need to print quotations — tweeting them is good enough.
They need us to ask questions at press conferences so they can copy and paste the answers from a transcript somewhere when it’s over.
Bloggers ask questions at press conferences all the time — and so do broadcast journalists, who seem to be left out of this whole discussion.
They need our columns to make fun of when they’re zapped of creativity
On the contrary! I’m feeling very creative right now. Look at this picture I just drew of a beagle-Jack Russell mix.
Let me break it down for you, blogger style.
I have no idea what this means.
Print content will collide with raw video and interviews
Oh, great! More collisions at Penn State.
When you read news on Roll Up the Score, you’ll know it was posted by a writer who talked to sources, checked his facts, and got it right, not an anonymous fan trying play reporter on his lunch hour by regurgitating a rumor he found with his $9.95 monthly subscription to a recruiting site message board.
Ha! Like bloggers can afford to spend more than $100 a year on something like that.
Are you a big fan of Penn State’s national championship-winning wrestling and women’s volleyball teams, but can’t find most of their matches on your TV dial?
Maybe your first problem is that you’re still using a TV that has a dial.
Not a big fan of book marking?
I hate it when I buy a used book and it’s all marked up. I should really stop stocking my library from David Foster Wallace’s estate sale. Oh, you meant bookmarking. Is anyone a big fan of bookmarking? Do they put up pennants in their office and wear a baseball cap with “⌘D” on the front?
Seriously, you might be saying “hey, be light on him, he’s just a kid.” I’d be inclined to agree if he wasn’t a longtime blogger and yet somehow blind to the efforts all of us make to break and elaborate upon sports news.
I do give Adam Bittner credit: in a piece saturated with blogger cliches, he managed to avoid the words “fat,” “mother’s,” and “basement.” So maybe there’s hope for him after all.
Follow Timothy on Twitter at @bubbaprog.