My Swirling Mish-Mash of Media Thoughts”
I was rummaging through an old box last night and came upon a few press clippings of my old beginning so long ago with the old sister paper of the
St. Petersburg Tampa Bay Times the defunct but not forgotten Evening Independent. I looked at the browning and tattered pages ans remembered a simpler moment in journalism where the written word took time, meant something, and only the gifted seemed to boast, print or even attempt this form of communication.
Sometimes I still relish those long forgotten days for their harsh simplicity and archaic manner as I typed on the green hued screen of that old IBM computer. The monitor itself was the size of most home televisions of that day, and it’s bright white blinking cursor always seemed to beat in unison with my heart as I posted the words, comments and events that had unfolded and enlightened me that day.
Be it seeing a football game where the opponent (Lake Kathleen vs Dunedin HS) did not have a field goal kicker, or writing about a player so sick he (John Bishop) was throwing up on the sidelines when the soccer ball was propelled out of bounds, to a running back (Mike Ierulli) who had amassed 1,500 yards in his career. Every day was a new nugget discovered, and at that juncture in time, only a handful of people every wrote or gave their accounts of that moment.
It is so unlike the electronic marvels, insta-grams and Tweets of today that can spread a rumor like wildfire, or crush a career with a comment that is forever attached to a person or event. Trust me, I love the innovations of today where news flies as fast as your DSL or WiFi connection, but it comes with dangers we never imagined back in the olden days.
Where once careers were made or broken on the words of wisdom from those in the ivory towers of the Fourth Ward, today a single person with a cellphone, camera or even a Twitter account can take down an institution, a high and mighty player or even form a swirling coalition of current and disinformation about an event. Back then the first rule of writing was “”accuracy, accuracy, accuracy”. Now it seems to run and gambit of who can get it world-wide the quickest with the most re-tweets or comments.
I still do not write for money or fame, my writs are posted and written because I love the game of baseball. Most of them are devoid of stats, articulate discussions and sometimes seems like ramblings, but I digress from the Associated Press Style Book to write my own thoughts, opinions and viewpoints. I take pride in my time as a writer who was paid, and get more joy out of my free ramblings and rants.
I do not hearken the “old days” because I could force feed my opinions and comments upon so many without interaction, I miss it for the accuracy, the integrity and the sense of accomplishment after a long day as the copy was sent down to the typeset room. But I also do not want to hit those dark days again where communication was antiquated beyond belief and waiting cost you a scoop or exclusive. Maybe I am hoping for a 3-second rule, a moment of re-reading your stuff, deciding what is trash, then hit that “enter” button. Maybe it is too much to ask in a era where time is not only money but power and recognition, even for a brief moment.
But that is what this era in media has produced, millions of “media savvy” articulate purveyors of the written words who hopes they one day find fame, fortune and maybe a mention on ESPN. For myself, it is still about the game, still about the players and their actions, reactions and consequences. The game moves fast, but the present day media moves even faster…Sometimes faster than the speed of words and images as they enter our eyes and minds.