The Dagger apparently isn’t bush league enough to be considered for the Baltimore Sun’s “Mobbies,” a contest which highlights non-traditional media enterprises The Sun doesn’t consider a threat.
Or so we believe after reading the e-mail chain posted below between us and a polite Sun representative. To summarize: because we attempt to organize our reported stories instead of posting one long run-on list of links to other people’s work (as, say, the Politicker does) we’re not a blog and therefore not eligible.
In the Sun rep’s words:
“We have a blog defined in the official rules as “a blog, or weblog, is defined as a Web page with dated entries, with the most recent entries at the top of the page”
That’s kinda insane, as if someone decided earlier this decade that online news and comment couldn’t look any other way. We always hear people bash The Sun and other traditional media for not understanding media, but I’ve never seen so literal an example of them not getting it.
To see the distinguished collection of blogs The Sun has accepted nominations for, check out: http://data.baltimoresun.com/mobbies/
But that’s okay. We’ll settle for being their “other Baltimore sources” on the major Harford stories of the day. Because it’s not like they own a media operation in Harford County.
We’d like to think that The Sun’s criteria for an eligible blog/news site/whatever is just unbelievably simplistic, inconsistent, old-media nonsense from 2001, and not based on the operations which are least likely to cause them trouble.
Baltimore Brew and Investigative Voice are great start-up operations, much like our own. But they’re also in a much bigger playground, one dominated by The Sun. As an operation working in the suburbs they’ve pulled back from, The Dagger could in time do damage to whatever readership base remains for them there.
Is that a stretch? Maybe. But if The Sun really did discuss us “pretty extensively,” than we can only assume their decision to exclude us and include extremely similar sites was based on more than just a surface reading of the rules.
To the average reader, this all may sound kind of petty. But this is the same Sun which appeared to remove or obscure The Baltimore Examiner’s name from shots of the Inner Harbor which included the now-defunct newspaper’s building. At least that’s what those of us working there at the time believed.
But hey, maybe our read is off on all this. We welcome The Sun to revisit its decision, in the spirit of journalistic cooperation which can only benefit everyone, especially the reading public.
Here’s the email chain between The Dagger and The Sun:
I’m happy to learn about Dagger Press – cool site you have there! Unfortunately, it appears to be more of a news site, or collection of blogs, than a single blog, which is what the Mobbies are meant for. Do you want to resubmit any of the single blogs that are part of Dagger Press instead? That might be a good solution. For now, I’m moving Dagger Press out of the queue.
Director of audience engagement
The Baltimore Sun
I’m confused by your characterization of the site. If news sites, which happen to essentially be blogs running on blog platforms, are not allowed in the competition, then how do you characterize the following sites that have been nominated?
Politiker – which is now nothing but an aggregator with no original reporting.
Like the sites above, we are one site (blog) with many categories. Just because we write an article about the school system in our “School Yard” category and another about an upcoming election in “The Dirt” doesn’t mean they are separate blogs.
Thanks for your time,
Hey, Steve, thanks for writing back. I’ll take another look at the three you’ve mentioned. We have a blog defined in the official rules as “a blog, or weblog, is defined as a Web page with dated entries, with the most recent entries at the top of the page.”
We discussed Dagger Press pretty extensively yesterday and came to the conclusion that it is more of a Web site than a blog – frankly, I think that’s a boon to you; it speaks to how professional your site is. I saw that you tweeted about it, and re-read Andy’s piece, and noted that he didn’t refer to it as a blog either.
I apologize. This does seem to be a gray area.
I understand the difficulty in identifying what is a blog and what isn’t. However, I don’t agree with what the criteria you have selected.
If a blog “is defined as a Web page with dated entries, with the most recent entries at the top of the page”, then wouldn’t one’s twitter page be considered a blog? Posterous? Tumblr? Even facebook? If I go to bthesite.com, click on “your blogs”, I can see that they are publishing our feed.
Anyway, we accept your decision to leave us out. We’ll continue to try to explain your reasoning to our readers who ask us why we aren’t included.
Anyone would think they’re excluding you because you’re competition for their own local news outlet. Cynique, moi?
Until the dinosaur known as The Aegis figures out that more and more people are turning to the Internet for news, its parent Sun will always consider The Dagger as a threat, and rightfully so….The Dagger scoops The Aegis often because it’s not limited to Wednesday and Friday publishing dates.
Dave Yensan says
Small correction Al. The Aegis is not just a dinosaur, it’s one that didn’t die and continues to rot while alive. While Brian, Matt and I will probably disagree on almost everything we do agree that the first amendment, with it’s freedom of speech and press cannot be abridged. Unfortunately the powers that be at the Baltimore Eclipse and all of subsidiaries has forgotten that every freedom which is specifically stated in the Constitution also has responsibilities associated. The press has a responsibility to accurately portray the happenings of the day, without opinions or political slants. This is because the newspapers and tapes of news reports are the very beginning source documents for any historian, the history will end up perverted if the source story is perverted. Every right has its consequences and the American press (not including the Dagger) has completely forsaken this simple principle. Freedoms or rights are not free, we’ve all heard that before and many of us have sacrificed something or someone in order to have them, don’t let any one of them get away!
Keep up the good work Dagger. Consider it a badge of honor that the Eclipse disses you.
I don’t think the Sun (and Aegis) are going down the crapper because they’re politically slanted – I think they’re going down the crapper because they’re just god-awful newspapers, period.
The Aegis ought to give up now on the Friday edition of the paper. The only “current news” are the death notices and crime blotter. And during the week, the Sun is down to 2 sections, mostly advertisements, and what news is reported is already yesterday’s. Like Mr. Yensan said, feel proud that you were dissed, it means they are scared! Go Dagger, you are pissing off a lot of people with your success, relevance and spirit!
Ok…great…and Wikipedia argued with me, later relenting, that the Dagger wasn’t journilistic enough for inclusion as….”electronic media” covering Havre de Grace. Times sure change.
Go Dagger !
Dear Steve…simply play their game…submit just one…or individually…the individual blogs or…blog…..that collectively comprise the Dagger. She uses the phrase…”collection of blogs”, submit them individually.
Dont take their crap…im sure they are still smarting as they themselvs tried to imitate the Dagger and failed.
Go Dagger. ! !
ps…you guys are to forgiving…!
Steve…the excluded us…no matter…I exclude them in my newspaper purchases….my purchases are only the New York post or Daily News…no need for local paper. I do the bird cage with the Mariner.
Go Dagger !
“Director of audience engagement” — This kind of hocus-pocus new-agey job title demonstrates where the Sun is in its thinking.
I mean, they’re responsible for “tha B”, which is the undereducated, inept, embarrassing elephant in the Baltimore media living room.
“Senior Vice-President for Making People Actually Care” has a much better ring to it.
The Sun is worried about competition from local blogs including The Dagger because they have lost a hold of any type of actual reporting beyond Sports and even that is bad. The “Baltimore Sun Media Group” as they are now known, has attempted (pathetically) to establish local sites under the ‘Explore’ brand. It includes ExploreHarford.com which the Aegis publishes a lot of it great content to. Also included are ExploreHoward.com, ExploreBaltimoreCounty.com, and ExploreCarroll.com. Back to my point — the Sun still has no clue what it’s doing even to this day. Their attempts at staying relevant including the publishing of a color paper for teens known as b is an exmample of how out of touch they really are. Just having local blog awards which are hand-picked at their discretion is a perfect example of their incompetency and understanding of how things like this will make people hate them even more. Imagine if the Dagger won an award from the Sun and took away from their already pathetic readership… /end rant
You have the monopoly on useful ifnortmaoin?aren’t monopolies illegal? 😉