Originally Posted by TDog
Don't take it as a personal insult when I write that you aren't simply wrong, but you have no idea what you are talking about, because it isn't meant to be one.
Columnists are generally professionally trained. Even the ones who haven't been trained have gained skills through professional experience that bloggers do not have, although there is an overlap because many columnists now are required to blog. It isn't just a matter of being a member of some sort of a club or fraternity to work for a print publication. If a newspaper pays someone a living wage to write, the person it hires in turn must be responsible because the publication is obligated to defend itself against any legal action that could arise from the course of employment.
This has become fuzzy in people's minds because the Internet has destroyed the concept of news for many. When you get to sports, people have an even harder time dealing with the difference between professionalism and bloggers because professional standards in sports coverage has become lax. Responsible journalists don't use unnamed sources except in extreme circumstances with extreme stakes. For one thing, they don't have credibility. For another, they are notoriously unreliable because sources aren't as meticulous about the truth when they are talking with people as unnamed sources. If you are a blogger with no professional training and limited experience in dealing with sourcing information for public consumption, you are more likely to screw up information from anonymous sources. There have been professionals caught simply making things up from unnamed sources, and non-professional are more likely to be unprofessional in this regard. Unfortunately, professional sports journalists are permitted to use unnamed sources frequently, apparently because news organizations don't hold sports departments to news standards. Professional ethics and standards require that if a news story has an unnamed source, that the source has to be identified to editors and cleared, which probably doesn't happen with sports stories and certainly isn't happening with sites with blogs, even with sites that pay bloggers for their contributions.
In sports coverage, most things you read, regardless of the source, that don't have attributed sources are not 100 percent true. Most things you read in blogs are not true, and the things you read in blogs that are true are more likely to be repeated from professional journalists.
I would be inclined to regard what I read in a blog anymore than I would believe someone sitting at a Denny's counter who talks like he seems to know what's going on.
No, I'm sorry, you are wrong. I also don't mean to be insulting, but it's attitude's like yours that are perpetrated by the print media to discredit the internet.
Whether or not someone has been trained has no bearing on their status as a columnist. A columnist is someone who writes in print media. Someone who writes for a website is only also a columnist if they contribute to a print media. Those that write strictly on the internet are bloggers. Those are solid definitions with no bearing on training. Now, most blogs write like op ed pieces sure, but do you call into question sports editorials in print media simply because they're such?
The majority of what you find on the internet off of pages like tumblr and other post your own blog sites are of course not what we're talking about. Yes, they come with the name "blogger", but any joe with a zine is also a "columnist" in exactly the same why. To criticize a web only writer because they're a "blogger" show little understanding of how the term differs from other terms used to carry some sort of imaginary credentials.