Why Ibanez is Legit and the Life of a Teenage Sports Blogger
Update 6/19-Article links fixed.
So last week there was a huge fiasco made over Raul Ibanez's attack on a blog that allegedly accused him of using Performance-Enhancing Drugs. After reading the post, I did not even get the feeling that Ibanez was being accused in any away of taking PEDs. I had a hard time understanding why he was so upset. I will admit that the headline was provocative, but even then, Ibanez overreacted.
Am I mad about his overreaction? No way. In fact I was actually glad he was so vigorous in his response to the steroid allegations made that attempted to tarnish his reputation not only as a baseball player but a person as well. It completely makes me sick to see players like Mark McGwire in front of Congress say absolutely nothing. Players that don't refute accusations or simply say, "no comment" are doing nothing but hurting their case.
Why would you not be aggressive and take a honorable stand in trying to defend yourself when you know you are right? You have nothing to lose. So in a sense, Ibanez did not overreact. Instead, he did what was necessary to squash an erroneous accusation made at his expense. Let's just hope he was for real.
After reading the various reactions to the controversy I have reflected on my own experience in blogging. To tell the truth, I used to think I could write without consequences. Seriously, what could people do to me? I'm not a paid journalist, I'm a 17-year-old kid that is addicted to sports. However, as the site grew, we started to receive a lot more information.
After thorough examinations of emails, text messages, and phone calls, taking careful consideration into credibility of the source, we released information for your consumption. Then this happened, not long after receiving what seemed to be a breaking news; a juicy nugget that would draw readers in and cause a major stir.
The source was, to our knowledge, reliable, resulting in large-scale excitement and a premature releasing of the "news." But as it turned out, it did not happen. We were wrong. We felt like idiots. The worst part was knowing we let down our readers and first-time visitors by creating illegitimate hope and excitement. The record amount of traffic did not make up for the significant loss of credibility that ensued.
At the time I was not perfect, and even now, I'm still learning the ins and outs of blogging and sports journalism in general. In the end, its all boils down to credibility. Credibility is what separates the best of blogs with the most readers from the rest of the pack. The best blogs with the most readers have lots of credibility.
From now on it is our pledge to label rumors as rumors, facts as facts, and opinions as opinions. These cannot be intertwined or we risk losing the same readers we have worked so hard to gain.
Thanks for sticking with us. Much love from the Seatown.
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