Bloggers Vs. Journalists: Fight For Integrity Or Navel Gazing?

the_blog_medium.jpgVariety has an interesting report today on a feud brewing between bloggers and journalists. In the age of global communication, it is becoming harder and harder to tell the difference between bloggers and journalists. Now with recently laid off journalists taking their rolodex and just turning their former print reports into online content, the line, in some ways, has become even fuzzier. What each media professional is striving for right now&#151aside from thousands of daily page views&#151is accruing the same integrity once simply granted to traditional media. This is the very commodity that bloggers and journalists are now attempting to bring into question.

In a recent article, Variety focuses on an incident between themselves and L.A. Times‘ Big Picture blog, that has exploded online in the last few weeks. Details after the jump.

On March 11, [Deadline Hollywood Daily’s Nikkie] Finke posted an item saying Summit Entertainment was eyeing Juan Antonio Bayona to direct “Eclipse,” the third installment of its “Twilight” vampire pics. Variety got an off the record confirmation of the deal, and reported it in a story that ran only online.

March 12: [Patrick] Goldstein, in the L.A. Times‘ Big Picture blog, debunked the Bayona hiring. Goldstein quoted his lunch partner of that day, Summit president of production Erik Feig, as denying that anyone had been hired to direct “Eclipse.”

Goldstein’s post took Finke and Variety to task, alleging the stories ran without getting confirmation the story.

Finke’s response to Goldstein was swift, even demanding an apology from Feig. Shortly before 10 p.m. that night, her update featured Feig claiming to have been misquoted by Goldstein, at least according to Finke.

March 13: Goldstein responds with a post saying that he and Feig had been “bludgeoned” by Finke, and he even linked to another blogger’s take on the Finke vs. Goldstein spat.

March 15: Goldstein added a “Sunday update” that quoted Feig giving a mea culpa to Finke, after which Goldstein took yet another swipe at Variety for supposed journalistic recklessness.

As of March 19, no director has officially been signed. But in the meantime, hundreds of words were devoted to a pissing match that a few years ago would have just inspired yawns.

Blogging gained traction over the years as a sort of transparent manner or reporting or a way to force all journalists to adhere to a higher reporting standard. This blogger on journalist vitriol, though, reads more like personal vendettas, rather than actual reporting. At a time where news media is already in jeopardy of losing whatever voice it has, is it really wise to spend our precious print&#151and more importantly, readers’ patience&#151commenting on each others reporting skills?