I’ve probably made it clear as day in plenty of past posts about my love for the DIY-ethos of this new-age, or whatever you want to call it, of journalism.
I love reading, hearing and watching stories about young journalists, wannabes perhaps, who took the name of the game (news information) by the scruff of the neck and did what they wanted, how they wanted.
Hannah and Natalie have debated the merits of the Guardian’s new commercial. Me? I don’t really feel anything either way. I think the open newsroom idea is a good ‘un, but I’m not entirely sure who the ad is supposed to be speaking to – certainly no one outside of the Guardian’s readership.
Anyway, this post isn’t about the Guardian and big-time corporate media entities and their dabblings in the social construct.
This is a post about Curt Hogg, a 16-year-old boy from America who scooped the entire news media on a fairly big sports story – by himself.
The long and short of it: Baseball has a steroid problem. There are set guidelines for steroid testing. Stray from those guidelines, and a positive result is void. That’s no good for MLB who have been hell-bent on weeding out and punishing steroid users.
Enter Milwaukee Brewer left-fielder and National League MVP, Ryan Braun. He failed the steroid test, but thanks to a delivery driver (who was supposed to take the sample to Kinkos/FedEX, but didn’t make to the store in time, so he stored the piss in his fridge) that botched the delivery – Braun is the first person to have a positive result overturned by appeal.
The first person to report that nearly 10 days before anyone else? Hogg.
Deadspin has a pretty great piece about it, where Hogg basically says he heard it from a random guy who knew a guy, who knew another guy.
Hogg also goes on to say that he didn’t attempt to corroborate the information and just posted it on his blog, hoping it would just hold true. A week later, it did.
So maybe his way of doing things were basically everything we were taught not to do (not corroborating info), but screw it, much bigger and dare I say prestigious outlets have done the same thing, never mind a 16-year-old from Milwaukee.
Hogg got it right. He managed to scoop the entire press by doing the most basic of things as a journalist, listening and recognizing a good story and lead. Not too shabby.