Let's really try to make this a reasonable thread, okay?
Let's begin with the basic news; that the Free Press is now welcoming Chris Vannini, managing editor of the Spartan blog, The Only Colors, to a weekly column. Here is the first one. [Standard warning: Freep link. Click at the peril of knowing that you are contributing in some infinitessimally small way to the financial health of the newspaper.]
The column isn't terrible. It certainly isn't great. I had to work at finishing it, such was the lack of any compelling interest or writing style. There is just one question that I have; it is the only question relevant to this blog's readership. Will the Freep try to co-opt a Michigan blogger for an equivalent weekly column?
I'm not sure what the business model is in this instance. Presumably, it is to drive blog readership to the paper. Naturally, for somebody like Chris Vannini of The Only Colors, getting weekly column exposure in the Free Press is probably good for him, and good for his blog. The Freep must think it is good for the paper too. Although you have to wonder, what does this move say to the Freep's Spartan beat-writer, George Sipple, whose, uh, job with the Free Press is to cover Michigan State athletics.
Then, the inevitable aforementioned question; will the Freep do the same with a Michigan blog/contributor? In the manner, naturally, of Gannett's never-ending quest to use college football rivalries to promote page-hits, whilst the Free Press claims to always be offering equal time to all sides of the story. lulz.
Egad. What self-respecting Michigan blogger would contribute to the Free Press?
When the reporters started packing up, Brian Cook, the founder of MGoBlog, approached Michael Rosenberg and Mark Snyder individually to ask if they knew the difference between countable and uncountable hours.
Both seemed as surprised by the questioner as they were by the question. Because I was sitting right there, it was easy to record their conversation.
“I don’t know if I’m allowed to talk about that,” Snyder replied.
“So you just write the article – and that’s it?”
“I was on radio and TV talking about this,” Snyder said.
“But you won’t talk to me? I’ve got a direct quote from Brandin Hawthorne saying – “
“This is not something that I’m addressing with you.”
During the next few go-rounds, Cook repeated his question about countable and uncountable hours, to which Snyder repeatedly replied, “You’re a competitor,” then ended the interview.
~Three and Out: Rich Rodriguez and the Michigan Wolverines in the Crucible of College Football, by John U. Bacon, p. 181.