The Old Gatekeeper Journalism vs. The New Open Journalism
from the which-one-works-better? dept
The Sports Xchange can report with some degree of certainty that Mathis ($2.41 million in 2011) has no intention of reporting to the club until/unless his contract is addressed.Not surprisingly, an Indianapolis Colts fan blog, called 18to88, quickly posted the story and, at the same time, posted a direct Twitter message to Mathis, who uses Twitter. Pretty quickly, Mathis responded directly to the 18to88 writer, Nate Dunlevy, denying the story and noting that he wasn't planning to hold out because the team had other priorities to cover, indicating that his demanding more money would hurt the overall team and some of the other players. Dunlevy posted a detailed update, praising Mathis for his "team spirit."
Said one person close to the Mathis situation: "He'll never play another snap there under that (existing) contract."
So, at this point, we have a "veteran reporter" with a story on Yahoo Sports that quickly gets debunked by the main subject of that story responding to a question from a fan blogger on Twitter. The whole concept of the gatekeeper mentality of old school journalism was that it was the journalists who had the sources and that you, the lowly reader, had none. In the interactive world of today, that equation has shifted in many cases and the established press hasn't quite realized it yet.
Case in point: two days after Mathis debunked the story on his own Twitter feed and Dunlevy had written about this, Fox Sports reposted the entire original Pasquarelli article claiming that Mathis was going to hold out. The story also got picked up by an NBC football blogger, which drove even more attention to the story.
This new national attention, two days after Mathis has publicly denied the same story, got fans upset at Mathis and had him (once again) publicly (and reasonably angrily) denying the story. After this whole thing was pointed out, the NBC blogger, Gregg Rosenthal, updated his blog post, but the Fox News story and the Yahoo story remain unchanged.
Dunlevy has written up a full explanation of all of this as well, summarizing the whole thing nicely:
- The mainstream story by a venerable reporter lacked any direct confirmation from the athlete in question in the story. Pasquarelli was obviously misled by a source. It happens, and it's not necessarily his fault, though one does have to wonder if it was so easy to get a comment from Mathis about the issue why he didn't manage to get one.
- The mainstream media released a story that had been publicly refuted two days earlier.
- It was online journalists that first found the story (me), sought to confirm the story (me), and then widely disseminated the story with the appropriate corrections (me and Rosenthal).