Thursday, March 22, 2012

What's Journalism Anyway?

We've entered a new era in terms of reporting and journalism. It used to be you'd have to wait until the morning after something happened to see it in your local sports section. We now have the ability to know of news the second it happens, and have everyone in the world comment on it, instantly. And, it also means any clown with a computer can write something and have it be taken seriously (wink, wink). So we now come upon the masterclass in terms of goof with a computer writing crap and have it being taken seriously: Mike Florio.

Florio writes for a blog called ProFootballTalk if you didn't know, and he's made appearances on NBC's football related shows talking about the news of the minute. He was under the radar until NBC bought out the website and brought it under their sports umbrella. Once that happened, he and his site became go to's for where to get the latest news and analysis on the NFL. Whether that should have happened or not is up to your judgment, but anyway. With that new found fame, he can write almost anything and think he's immune to criticism. Well, that's stopping now.

Florio has a grudge against the Jacksonville Jaguars. For what reason, I couldn't tell you. He makes it known very clearly in everything he writes about them. Whether it's calling the Jaguars a joke for their personnel moves, that they are stupid for not getting Tim Tebow, or they are moving to LA within the first 15 seconds of publishing, he loves to rant and rave about how much they suck. But, that shouldn't take away from the fact that even bloggers should have some journalistic integrity. Some people who have that power still have to learn that.

For example, in a piece written about the Jaguars and Tebow before Tebow moved to the Jets, Florio slipped in a reference to how GM Gene Smith could be fired after the draft. This was tightly slipped into the piece, with the addendum, "He may be leaving after the draft, but that's a rumor to be mongered later". Now, there are so many things that are wrong with this statement that I could rant and rave about it for another 2 whole posts, but that's not the point. Why would you slip something in like this that has no basis in fact and is just a rumor mongered by Florio to rack up hits? The lack of integrity in this is astounding, and it makes no sense even when you consider Florio has a grudge. But then of course, it has to get better.

After Tebow was traded to the Jets, Florio wrote a 10-pack on the move. 9 of them were about the Jets, and the very last one was about the Jaguars. He wrote the same tripe he had been about the Jaguars and Tebow since the start of the 2009 regular season, just recycled and thrown in another piece. He assumes it will end with Tebow in Jacksonville, not taking into account that the Jaguars could actually win in that time frame. And, if the Jets are so enamored with him, why would they trade him now? It makes no sense when you even take a cursory glance at it, let alone when you actually use your brain and think.

As a Jaguars fan, I do take offense to some of the things that Florio has written. I guess because the Jaguars are for sure not moving, Florio has to satisfy his "annoy the 2 Jaguars fans there are" quota by mongering stuff about Tebow. But, this should offend everyone. He could do this to your team next, and it is just not fair. Everyone who has a large platform to write and spread their thoughts has to be mindful of what they say and who they are saying it to, because you never know who is going to believe the stuff that is wrong.

This isn't true journalism, this isn't even the muddled form of journalism that we have today. This is rumor mongering at its finest, and he's no better than Incarcerated Bob or Eklund (if you don't know who they are, look them up). It's not fair to anyone, and it surely isn't fair to the people that are being insulted and lied to. It makes no sense how one NBC blog, ProHockeyTalk, is one of the best on the web, while their football counterpart is the diametric opposite.

Look before you leap, my fair readers. Because you one day, could land in the lap of someone who doesn't want you to know the truth.

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