Perhaps some level of sanity will reign across the Internet now and into the future after yesterday’s craziness that dealt with Buffalo Sports Daily and a member of the Buffalo Bills. The story has been quickly squashed by the mainstream media, thanks in part by contacting more appropriate sources, i.e. those in law enforcement.
Some people rambling around in the blogosphere often become trigger-happy trying to “break” a story. Whether the information they receive is fact or fiction, whether the sources they have are reputable enough, it’s becoming necessary in the minds of some to be the first to break a story. As is being witnessed now, being the first to break a story can create some unnecessary headaches.
I have worked in the news business for several years. I know co-workers will go through several different channels to substantiate information / rumors. They don’t take to reporting that kind of information lightly. The lack of substantiation that often is associated with online bloggers does more harm and disservice to online media than the perpetrators themselves will care to understand.
Online bloggers need to realize that much of their information and opinions are taken with a grain of salt by the mainstream media. Sketchy reports and fabrications by bloggers only enhances the disdain that the mainstream media will hold for bloggers.
One of the most important things when breaking a story is that your sources be very reputable and very trustworthy. Back in January-February 2003, I received information from two different sources that Tom Golisano was going to buy the Buffalo Sabres. The two sources did not know each other, therefore they couldn’t have collaborated their reports. I asked for as much information as they had, with the sources going so far as saying the purchase had already taken place and would be announced in a few days.
At that point, I decided to post on the messageboard at this site that Golisano would be purchasing the team. Three days later the story broke in the mainstream media that Golisano had indeed bought the Sabres franchise.
That is a bit different than what is occurring right now with the Buffalo Bills. A player’s livelihood is being brought into question. Bad publicity is being spewed towards a professional sports franchise. If the information and sources aren’t good, this can become quite ugly. Why an individual would throw themselves into the fire like this without having the proper and necessary information is outlandish.
This situation is bringing negative and unnecessary attention all because someone wanted to break a story that is quickly becoming a non-story. It does a disservice to online blogging and brings into question the credibility of online media outlets. The online community needs to remove itself from the “free-for-all” concept it has adopted in being the first to break a story and then turn around and say “damn the consequences”.
If that childish form of “journalism” continues… well… if you give em enough rope…