Distant Blogger’s Plight

Several challenges present themselves to any blogger, but in the case of a blog such as this – focus on one sport franchise – the most daunting ones are access to information and reliability of sources.

I am a blogger who lives about two hours away from Target Field. That distance makes it impossible to gather information personally as some Twins bloggers are able to do, so it is almost essential to rely on electronic delivery of information about the Twins. Fortunately, in the age of the Internet, that is not an insurmountable problem.

Most helpful have been three primary sources: the Twins’ MLB.com site, the Minneapolis Star/Tribune, and the St. Paul Pioneer Press. I visit their Web sites multiple times each day to find what I can that is new and useful in preparing my own thoughts.

The FSN (Fox Sports North) site is also sometimes a worthy source. So far I have found Tyler Mason’s work to be the best on that site.

Over the past couple of years I have also followed several blogs whose primary topic is the Minnesota Twins. You can find links to some of them on the right side of this page, listed as Favorite Twins Blogs.

In recent months I’ve followed a number of journalists and bloggers (currently 71) via my Twitter account. (@TwinsMusings) In many cases, that leads to stories from a variety of sources that add depth and often new information that is not available in the media of the Twin Cities area. For example, following Jim Mandelaro, sports journalist of the Rochester, NY newspaper, has been essential in getting good information about issues related to the Rochester Redwings.

As time goes on, I’m finding that access to information about the Twins is less of a problem than digging for more good sources. Much is available. It just takes some time to ferret it out online.

Much more difficult is the challenge of determining what sources are consistently reliable. One would like to think that official professional news outlets, such as major newspapers, would be nearly unassailable but in the Internet age, sometimes the rush to be first means less fact-checking and stories come out that are not completely reliable. Also, much as I enjoy and rely on the blogs by individual sports writers, the fact that they are not edited by at least a sports editor means some things slip through that might not make it on the sports pages of a reputable newspaper.

Independent bloggers (including myself) are even less accountable. That does not make us wrong or inaccurate. It does mean care should be taken to read blogs as if they are editorials rather than news stories. I have no problem with that. It is in fact the point of having a blog – to share one’s thoughts and ideas about a subject.

I do find it worth taking a virtual step back after reading blogs to remember that some of what is written may be based on rumor, innuendo, or pure speculation rather than verifiable facts. Again, I have no problem with it unless it leads to libel or slander. It is just good to keep in mind.

Therefore, please be forewarned that most of what I say on this blog is pure speculation.

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