[UPDATE: I’ve been corresponding via email with Robert MacMillan, the writer of the Washington Post story I mention here. As soon as I have his permission, I’ll post his response. OK – the email exchange is here.]
SO – A journalist teaching a class at Boston University does something stupid, it bounces around a corner of the blogosphere, and the Washington Post picks it up, resulting in about 100 posts about whether or not educators should blog, when and where journalists should blog, what should and shouldn’t be talked about on your blog.
Michael Gee, ex-Boston Herald sports writer, posted his ill-advised commentary on the “incredibly hot” student with the “bitchin’ bod” on a message board. Check out the WaPo article, and click on the link to the “blog” Robert MacMillan cites: SportsJournalists.com.
There is no blog present.
What you see is called a message board, or a forum, and has existed for quite a long time.
By calling this a “blog,” MacMillan stamps this sordid little episode with a certain stigma – throw in blogging vs. journalism and “should educators blog?” and you end up with the oh-so juicy headline “Don’t Blog So Close To Me.”
Love the headline, hate the complete lack of attention being paid to different methods of communication.
The message board is the water cooler, nay, the corner bar. If Gee was posting this sort of thing on a blog, even if it was just personal stuff and not about journalism or education, then he’d still be an asshole, but he’d be an asshole with a blog.
MacMillan wrote in his WaPo article:
“There are millions of blogs out there, so many that conventional wisdom says most attract few readers at best. So it’s easy to understand why some bloggers provide commentary and observations that might raise eyebrows at the dinner table, the water cooler — or the human resources department.”
This is misinformation that plays up a few recent articles on the “dangers” of blogging, playing to a crowd waiting for people speaking their minds to put their feet in their mouths.
Mr. MacMillan, what if a blogger started referring to you as someone who wrote a column in the local newsletter called The Washington Post? What would your reaction be?
To the 100+ bloggers who reacted before they bothered to click on a link in the story and check where Gee had made his idiotic remarks…you’re not helping by buying into the stigma and repeating it.
Not everything written online is a blog entry.
[tags]michael gee, robert macmillan, MacMillan, WaPo, Wasington Post, education, blogs, journalism, media[/tags]