Los Angeles Times, We’re Awaiting Your Call

"All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up."

— Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard

An article in the Business section of today’s Los Angeles Times writes that some newspapers are exploring working relationships with bloggers.

It’s an interesting concept. In an era where shrinking subscription rates and fewer advertisers result in massive layoffs, newspapers can afford to keep fewer reporters. The depth of the coverage dwindles, too. A decade ago, the Times had special sections for regions throughout Southern California, such as Orange County and the Inland Empire. Now they all compete for coverage in one "California" section.

Bloggers can be a cheap substitute, but with that option come risks.

For openers, bloggers are not professional journalists. Some of them, quite frankly, are loonies. To substitute bloggers for reporters only lowers further the bar of journalistic integrity. News reporting was once respected in this country, but the Walter Cronkites are long gone, replaced by blowhards like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly. Fox News isn’t news. Using bloggers for a major source of news would take our collective national intelligence even lower.

Bloggers, however, might have the time and resources to dig deeper than a reporter. I’ve been involved politically in my community for many years, and often worked closely with local political reporters to help them research what was going on at City Hall. I still get calls now and then from newbie reporters who want background on who’s who and what’s what.

Under the right circumstances, an affiliation between a professional news outlet and a blog with a demonstrated track record of credibility might be worth testing the waters.

FutureAngels.com has been around since 1998, and this blog on MLB.com is reaching the one-year mark. I’ve made it clear many times that I’m not a news reporter out for a scoop. I do think I offer some reasoned insight into the Angels minor leagues you can’t find elsewhere. Unlike the hysteria and knee-jerk temper tantrums that are the trademark of many fan blogs, this site has a reputation for sanity.

No other site offers video and audio clips with players, coaches and other personalities within the organization. The idea behind that is to let you see and hear for yourself, so you can make your own informed decision. Other sites tell you what to think. I’ll tell you what I think, but I let you listen to the real experts and see with your own two eyes.

So if the Times or another news outlet wants an arrangement with FutureAngels.com, I’m willing to listen. But I’m not giving up my day job waiting for the call. (smile)

3 Comments

“but the Walter Cronkites are long gone, replaced by blowhards like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly. Fox News isn’t news.”

No Walter Cronkite was replaced by Dan Rather who made up new stories during an election cycle about a sitting President. While you may think Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly are blowhards at least they have millions of listeners. Airhead America, the liberal alternative has failed and is in bankrupcy. I think thats called scoreboard.

I enjoy your thoughts on baseball, but keep the political thoughts out of it, or you might end up like the Clinton News Network, losing audience to the competition.

It’s my blog. You have a right to expression your opinion. So do I. You’re free not to read what I write if it bothers you.

But since you choose to repeat the usual clap-trap that comes out of the Limbaugh-O’Reilly crowd, here are a few facts for the rest of my readers:

* Liberal radio isn’t limited to Air America. The Jones Radio Network, for example, syndicates Stephanie Miller, Ed Schultz, and Bill Press.

* The individuals responsible for the Air America bankruptcy are long gone. The company was sold in January 2007 to Green Family Media, who bought it out of bankruptcy.

* Fox News is run by Roger Ailes, who was a media consultant for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush, as well as for presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani’s first mayoral campaign in 1989. I encourage people to look up Mr. Ailes’ history in Google, Yahoo or one of the search engines. He has strong ties to the GOP power base and to Rush Limbaugh.

* Programming syndicated by Air America, Jones and other networks is sometimes heard on the same stations as conservative talk. It’s more common, though, for radio stations to be “branded” as one political stripe or another. Here in L.A., for example, KTLK 1150 AM carries the progressive content while KFI 640 AM carries the conservative content. Both are owned by Clear Channel.

* I love listening to Stephanie Miller in the morning, 6 AM – 9 AM PDT. You can listen to KTLK’s live webcast of her show through their site at http://www.ktlk.com, as well as the rest of their 24/7 programming. Stephanie also has her own site, http://www.stephaniemiller.com. Stephanie prides herself in being politically incorrect — her format is best-described as political comedy — so she’s an equal opportunity offender when it comes to humor. She’s the daughter of 1964 Barry Goldwater running mate William Miller, but her politics are progressive. Stephanie sends me to work in the morning with a good laugh.

* Finally, I encourage everyone to educate yourselves by listening to a wide variety of programming. Listen to both sides and use the Internet to research the facts. That way you can make an informed opinion about who’s telling the truth and who’s posting partisan propaganda. It is interesting that one of us wants to have a variety of opinion but the other does not.

I notice you bring up Roger Ailes time working for Republican administrations as if that is a bad thing but fail to mention ABC’s Sunday morning news show is hosted by a former Clinton mouthpiece. How many decades was this country subjected to former Kennedy/Johnson administration “reporters”.

The liberals are so upset about Fox and Rush because they are not use to having another point of view allowed to be broadcast. They have their own TV/Radio network (publically funded of course) in PBS and NPR, control every major newpaper except the WSJ, control the major news networks-see Dan Rather and the late Peter Jennings, and have a cable news network. So along comes a different voice, a conservative one and what do the liberals do, try to shut it down. The Fairness Docturine would be brought back to life if the Dems in Congress can get away with it. While you mention a lot of radio options, the ones that get the most listeners are the conservative ones and that is what upsets the liberals most, having another point of view available.

You are right I do have the right not to read your blog or even you posts on Angels Message Board, but I do because I enjoy reading about the Angels’ prospects and you do a great job with that. Keep bringing us news about the minor leagues and I will continue to read, but if you continue to put down the political view point of a majority of the country, not to mention most people from Orange County, then be prepared to end up like Air America: broke, full of self importance, and with a very small audience.

Now, back to more important matters. Of the minor league pitchers are any of them ready to step into the rotation if Santana continues to struggle. When do you see Adenhart and Green ready to take a spot in the rotation.

GO ANGELS!

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