What Constitutes "Real Media" and Who Decides?

I’m not at all a sports guy, so although I follow a few people on Twitter who focus almost exclusively on sports, I don’t generally engage in discussions about it. As British satirist Charlie Brooker suggests, watching sporting events on TV is, “marginally less interesting than watching cardboard exist.”
But over the last few months, I had been paying a bit of attention out on the fringe of the interplay between the Buffalo News’ Mike Harrington and other people who blog/Tweet about sports.  The pattern seems to be: someone takes an opposing viewpoint, Harrington writes something dismissive to bait them, they curse at him, and he blocks them. So, although I can get rather hot-headed on Twitter, and although Harrington tried to bait me a few times, I ignored it and kept pushing, respectfully.
I do not mean to insinuate that the Buffalo News (or any other established, professional medium) is irrelevant – others push that line, but it’s not completely accurate. Relevance is determined by the reader. The News serves a completely different purpose from Trending Buffalo or what I do, as do radio and TV. But just because Artvoice is free and public radio solicits for donations doesn’t make either one any more or less “real” than the Buffalo News.  I see the whole thing as a mosaic of information, which people are free to assemble however they want. 

The backstory begins with this exchange a bit over a week ago, 

That was it. I asked Harrington to define “real media”, but he ignored me. 

So, what happens when you ignore the bait and engage in a back-and-forth? Saturday evening, Buffalo.com writer Ben Tsujimoto had sent a couple of live Tweets about a WNY Flash soccer game…




  • The interesting thing about this is that Harrington is the tweeting-est blogging-est writer at the News. I’d really like him to answer what he means by “real media.” If its something you have to pay for, then he has dismissed not just Trending Buffalo and Artvoice, but all radio and television too (and the Buffalo News until I run out of my 10 articles). If its anyone without a journalism degree, then I’d like to check all the creds of all the Buffalo News writers – I bet I can find some other backgrounds in there. If its getting a paycheck from a publisher, then there are lots of those running around (me too, right?). Perhaps he could just answer the question on not-real media, slum it with the rest of us, and then it wouldn’t count because its not in print? I’m confused.

  • That Mr. Harrington thinks submitting to “supervision” not being “lawless” and “unregulated” are the essence of being a real journalist tells us everything we need to know about him and The Buffalo News.

  • Because, yeah, the “supervised” newsroom at the New York Post did such a good job of identifying the Boston “bag men” who killed those 12 people. Likewise all that supervision that led to the CNN and FOX reports of imminent day-two arrests. Increasingly, responsible bloggers are getting the real news right faster than Old Media in its new forms, maybe because they don’t have the pressure to Get There First for those extra few ABC circulation numbers or Neilsen/Arbitron points.

    Harrington is as agenda-driven a “reporter” as they come. Last summer, he led the charge to dump the Mets-Bisons affiliation, highlighting every wrong thing with it. He practically cheered in the press box when the Blue Jays replaced them. And guess what? The parent club spent a boatload of money and has a worse record than the Mets, they get no local televised coverage and virtually none from Harrington’s own paper, and the Bisons are slipping in the standings as the same injuries, callups and trades plague 2013 as happened in 2012. But they have poutine at the concession stands now, so it’s all good.

    • Bugmenot: As of today, the Bisons are still in first place. Commenter says what? (To be fair, I agree with all of the first paragraph.)

      Harrington is more of a columnist than a reporter these days. As for the Mets/Blue Jays matter: On that point, Harrington was right. The Blue Jays’ problems are tied to injuries and the new parts not fitting together right now. As far as TV goes, the Jays haven’t been on broadcast TV in years; Sportsnet has those rights. (Smart fans, however, plug in Sportsnet 590 The Fan, on account of the TV crew being as bad as the Bruins TV crew.)

    • The Bisons are in first place in the IL North. The only callup of substance was Munenori Kawasaki to take the roster spot of Jose Reyes when Reyes got injured. Most of the Opening Day roster remains in place. The Jays added last year’s IL MVP Mauro Gomez to the lineup. Jim Negrych continues to bat over .400 well into way and is the leading batter in all of minor league baseball. Since the season started, the team won an entire 8 game series on the road, scored 27 runs in one game, both modern era records, and Manager Marty Brown became the team’s winningest manager in the modern era as well. The Poutine is excellent, and is available at but one specialty concession stand, behind home plate.

      Those are the facts, but why let facts get in the way of your sour and bitter rant.

      Story on Jim Negrych in this week’s print issue of Artvoice. Play Ball!

  • I continue to be amused that Harrington, an employee of an organization that pays Mary Kunz Goldman to write “The Buzz”, was lecturing you on “Real Media” — on the same day that his very paper ran, on the FRONT PAGE of the SUNDAY PAPER, an article about people from WNY trekking to Canada so they can eat at Swiss Chalet.

    • They also ran a story about how St. Joe’s was giving all of their students a ‘free’ iPad. I guess they’re not taking any of the $11k a year tuition money for that, but still. How is that front page news?

      I don’t dislike Mike Harrington, I just completely disagree with his antiquated views on media; what it was, what it is today, and what it’s becoming.

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