"Little by little the look of the country changes because of the men we admire."
- Homer Bannon, Hud
Let me start with this: I did indeed paint with too broad a brush last week in writing about the Idaho iteration of SB Nation. It was unintentional. There are fine writers at SB Nation, just as I'm sure there are fine writers at Bleacher Reporter.
An entity has to be judged by what it does, not by semantics. Blogs can produce great stuff. Newspapers can produce crap. But you shouldn't publish things that look to all the world like a regular article then hide behind, "well that's just a fan perspective," when it contains numerous inaccuracies.
Which brings me to The Bleacher Report. If you think they actually sent someone to all 50 of these stadiums, or did anything more scientific than read other rankings and dither over how to produce the most hits through this list of the loudest college venues, you're kidding yourself.
It's click bait, like so many things you see today from traditional and non-traditional publishers. It's a slideshow with a bunch of pictures. Facts don't come into it.
There's a place for that type of discussion. But does it deserve 43,000 views and counting?
What I'm saying is: Facts are important. Research is important. Actually going to see things in person is important. Please reward that and stay away from publishers who prove, repeatedly, that they don't value these things.
Otherwise, you will get what you pay for. Because one thing's for sure: The media is going to give you what you want, particularly when what you want is so much cheaper than traditional journalism.
Update: In writing this I have asked myself, "am I a hypocrite?" After all, this blog generally contains little original reporting. Then again, it specifically advertises its stupidity. And like other blogs I enjoy reading, it would be hard to mistake for a legitimate news organization. I'm not saying blogging is bad. I'm saying be clear and honest with readers about what you are.