I want to talk about something that Eric Smith wrote on his blog on Raptors.com. He talks about Holly Mackenzie from The Score who everything he said about Holly is the gospel truth. I met Holly not long before this blog signed up with The Score Sports Federation. Which is also mentioned in his blog. Holly works very hard and as I have told her in person and via a computer, I am so happy and proud of the success she has had. On Holly we both are in complete agreement. If you do not read Holly you have been missing out. She has a passion and love for the game of basketball, that is unmatched in my opinion. Eric, I also respect and admire for what he does. I have made it no secret that Eric has been helpful to me in getting guests to talk to here like Jack Armstrong and Paul Jones. In the time the Dino Nation Blog has been around, which is about 3 years, there have been many more Raptor blogs that have been born. In fact one of them credits me as their inspiration for starting their blog. Which is pretty humbling and great.
The focus of Eric's blog is this idea of mainstream media vs bloggers. He says that this Sports Federation, that The Dino Nation Blog is a part of walks a fine line. I can only speak for what goes on here with the Dino Nation Blog and a little to the other blogs that are part of our basketball line-up. Which would include Raptorblog written by Scott Carefoot, Nat who does Heels on Hardwood, Hip Hoop Junkies that is done by Romy and Hoops Addict done by Ryan McNeill. That is everyone and you can link to all of them from this site.
Ryan actually has access to the Raptors and has had for a couple of years. I also have started getting access to games this season, and will be back down again for the Raptors game vs the Bulls. Nat is a season ticket holder for Raps and is at every game. While Scott is recognized by Micheal Grange as the first blog on the Raptors to exist. I respect all of the people, that are in effect my colleagues here in the Sports Federation.
I can tell you that not just anyone off the street becomes a part of this Sports Federation. I feel if you have read and follow some or all of these blogs we are all talented and entertaining and hopefully informative. Also no doubt opinionated as well. I can only speak for myself when I say that by being a part of this group I do not feel it entitles me to anything other than opportunity to work hard and provide something worth reading everyday. In getting access to the Raptors I consider it a privilege and not a right. To be completely honest with you, in getting access as I have, it was a process to first get it, but then to feel comfortable to being there with it. Ryan and Holly have been very good in helping me feel that level of comfort. Along with others like Eric, Paul Jones, Jack Armstrong, Adnan Virk, Matt Devlin and others I could mention, but the list would be to long.
My background is in Radio and T.V and blogging was just something that I decided to do, that would allow me to care for my mother and still work in the media which I love and respect. Nothing Eric wrote today beyond the stuff about Holly was not something I personally had not heard from in conversations with him, or reading and listening to his work. At the end of the day, I agree with 95% of what Eric is saying on this topic. However to suggest that what is being done by myself or others in some how less valuable is wrong. It is not for Eric to say or for me to say what is of value. It is up to you who read, listen or watch. Eric is right that people in the main stream media have a ton more contacts then someone like me could have. However if you do not allow access to people that are hard working and shown some level of ability to write things that are thoughtful, interesting and factual. How on earth are they ever suppose to develop these contacts and get this experience? The simple answer is they can't or it would be next to impossible.
I have personally went out of my way, to appreciate people like Eric that have helped me and opened doors for me. I am not here to do anything except, try to build my own career and do it with the help and support of fans. While Eric is right that there is a lengthy process to go through in the mainstream media for something to see the light of day. Here there is not that process. But there is actually in the sense of, if I do not produce something that is good people will not read it, listen to it or watch it. You, in effect are the boss of the Dino Nation Blog and other blogs. While in the main stream media they have ratings that will eventually dictate someone's worth to a degree. Here in the Dino Nation Blog it is evaluated on a daily basis.
Eric has come a long way in his career with the Fan 590. I personally in knowing him on some small level over years am very happy for him. I have told him so. I respect him greatly and often will defend him on Twitter or in this blog. Not that he needs my help or support none the less he has it. However on this topic we do not completely see it the same way. The idea of the main stream media is some how in direct competition is pretty insane. Main stream media is always going to be Godzilla and bloggers will be Toyko. If any blogger or main stream media person, wants to suggest otherwise they are fooling themselves.
But the media is changing, and if some people are able to cross from being an educated smart fan, to getting chances in the media is that going to end the world? I am pretty sure The Score building has not blown up since starting the Sports Fed, or since hiring The Basketball Jones. Eric is right in saying that just because you start a blog, you some how should assume you deserve access, you don't. However, if over a period of time you have worked hard and have been recognized for it ( like being part of Sports Fed) and are capable of being professional, and following the rules that apply to media access, there is nothing wrong with that. The world is changing and not a lot of it is for the better. TMZ Sports exists and what exactly is that? Garbage... but is that main stream media?
At the end of the day I just feel Eric does a couple things that rub me the wrong way on this issue. I think even though he acknowledges that there are good blogs and bad blogs he ends up painting us all with the same brush, as being some how some lesser form of journalism. He also uses the fact of access as a way that sets the main stream media apart from blogs but does not feel that they should be given access. That is kind of having it both ways isn't it? There are people good enough that have worked hard for the opportunity and I like to think I am one of them. I am responsible for what I write and do my very best, to be factual and accurate in my work.
Eric will always be someone I consider a friend. I will also always support him for the fine work he does. In addition will give him the credit for the help he has given me. We can agree to disagree on this topic and I am cool with that, as I am sure he will be. I look forward to talking with him in this blog in the future. In the end nothing is perfect and the blogging community is no different. However there are folks in the main stream media that you could say the same. But I won't do the typical blogger thing which would be to rail on those folks.
In this new world of media, eventually the good from both sides of this issue will survive. The ones that are not won't. Eric is one of the good people at what he does. I hope that people feel the same way about myself.