As a blogger I love the feeling of getting in front of my computer, opening up “Word” and beginning to type about my second love, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill sports. In the time that I have been doing this I been fortunate enough to meet some great bloggers using either Twitter or Facebook. A few of them blog about UNC just like myself, others write about other schools from the ACC, and of course more post about an array of sports and/or teams. After many years of blogging and over 25,000 tweets I have a lot of respect for most of them. In that same time I have also met some great people from main stream media, with some having helped me when I have asked, while others have even taken time out of their schedule to come on my podcast. And just like the bloggers I have the utmost respect for most of them.
Let’s be realistic here, deep down I would love to be doing what these people are doing for a living. To be able to have the same following that they do when it comes to Twitter, to have the same number of hits when I write pieces. But all of that changed a couple of days ago when I read an article from someone that works for the main stream media, who put forth a piece concerning the current going ons in Chapel Hill that was made more for a Howard Stern show than it was for his employer, CBS Sports. As I read that article, which I did several times but will not link as I will give no hype to such a writer, I felt like I was in Chicago, part of the audience of the Jerry Springer show. Where the content did not matter and where the audience (aka comments) were able to pile on more and more on the ones we did not like.
I can still remember when I was a child, my father would bring the New York Times home and at the top of the front page would be written “All the News That’s Fit to Print”. I truly doubt that the writer or the editors that allowed that piece to go to the public followed the above mentioned motto. Now, I am not saying that there isn’t any problems at the school I bleed for, and I am all for getting to the bottom of it. But I am in favor of doing it like they did at Penn State, with an independent investigation, and not through sucker punches of the media that does not have access to all the information, but has access to the “shock value” words that can turn an article into a free bashing.
Sadly, if all went wrong at North Carolina that article could turn out to be right, but even more sadly it will be because the writer slung enough mud against the wall that something finally stuck and not because due diligence was done and true hard facts were given to the readers/public. Having read that article over and over I did learn something, that while I might never get 10,000 hits on any of my articles, the hits I do get are because people appreciate what I do and not because I have written an assault on anyone or anything just to get traffic to my site. And while that might never get me into the top percentage of people read, it lets me sleep at night, and that is more than fine with me. I have also come to the conclusion that just because one journalist did what he did the rest of the people in that industry I have gotten to know and appreciate have not changed one iota, and they will still be the people I respect and try to learn from.
In the end I will keep on posting about the present and former players from the North Carolina football program, but the hits I will talk about will be the ones on the gridiron and not the ones written black on white. Maybe my posts will never be at the level of “All the News That’s Fit to Print”, but I will work each and every time I type one to be as close to that as much as I can.