Checking my RSS feed for Humboldt blogs this morning, I came across a surprising story on Heraldo titled "Crawford heads Chamber" saying:
Eureka political dude and Humboldt Herald regular Chris Crawford is the new head of the Eureka Chamber of Commerce.
Hearty congratulations were doled out at Tuesday’s Eureka City Council meeting.
Crawford is an outspoken opponent of Measure T, a campaign finance reform initiative that was overturned in the courts last year. Nevertheless, Crawford keeps pounding the issue like it still matters.
Crawford replaces J. Warran Hockaday as Chamber mucky muck.
Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn't here.
Wondering what happened, I shot an email to Heraldo who replied:
I took it down this morning because I wasn't sure if Crawford is replacing Hockaday, or if Crawford is now just top cheese in some other way. Do you know?
Well, I did not know, but a quick phone call and an anonymous conversation with the chamber receptionist was all it took to find out that Crawford is the new president of the chamber board replacing Dennis Hunter who served in that position for four years and apparently has a few other things to do.
I mention all this, not merely to embarrass Heraldo for jumping to conclusions and for the (quickly removed) gaff, but because it's an example of a basic flaw in blogging: For the most part bloggers don't really see themselves as reporters and won't take the time to do something basic like fact check. For all the hew and cry about how citizen journalists are going to replace newspapers, most bloggers rely on newspapers (and their reporters) as their primary sources and simply supply second-hand news. Now this is perhaps being overly hard on Heraldo, who has in fact broken stories that none of my collegues knew about -- let's call it a learning experience. So, what did we learn?