Lamar White, Jr. is an Alexandria blogger who is also an employee of Mayor Jacques Roy. He recently posted this about a particular situation that exists in the blogging community in Alexandria. One of his major points is that the local media have very limited resources when it comes to in-depth reporting, and that too often the slack is taken up by bloggers assuming the role of journalists.
I will note that Shreveport is fortunate to have some really good local reporters at the Times, primarily Alison Bath, Adam Causey & J. A. Prime, who all dig into local stories and cover them very well. I don’t intend to slight any other local sources, but these reporters keep my attention.
While some of Lamar’s blog post doesn’t really apply to our area, his comments on blogging are excellent and I endorse his views.
When I created this blog more than four years ago, it was never my intent to serve as a source of local “hard” news. I don’t approach this blog as if it is a news outlet; this is primarily about commentary.
…… Still, it is important to remember that journalism is a profession. You need sources and access; above all, you need to be engaged.
So, faced with the absence of information, we substitute credible journalism with conjecture and opinion. Suddenly, the news becomes someone else’s half-informed opinion of their impression of someone else’s newspaper story.
And this conjecture and opinion can be compelling. It’s often spot-on. But it’s not news. It’s commentary.
I think that this description can aptly be applied to My Bossier. While on a few rare occasions we have offered up ‘hard news’, our purpose is to open up discussions about local news events.
This is usually done with a blog post containing my opinion about any given situation that has been reported. We may discuss local events that aren't getting as much attention from the press.
The process is completed by the people who comment on My Bossier, and it is these commenters who give the blog real substance.
The point of the whole thing is that news is reported by professionals who are bound to report the facts, while the blog can take those facts and conjecture on their meaning and effect.
Good food for thought.