The Problem With Twitter, Media and ‘Gut Feelings’ for Twins Fans

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Last night, David Dorsey, writer for The News-Press tweeted out a very intriguing feeling he had:

Why is this intriguing?  Well, Dorsey is the beat writer for the Fort Myers Miracle and has covered Mientkiewicz exclusively since he took the job in 2013.  Did he have some inside information?  Had he discussed the situation with someone in the know? What did he know???

Less than twelve hours later, it turns out he knew about as much as you and I:

Now, let’s get one thing out of the way.  I, like many of you, spew out thoughts, opinions, and ‘gut feelings’ about things on a daily basis on Twitter.  I take information given to me through reputable sources such as credentialed media, react to how it affects me as a fan, and communicate it out to my followers how I believe this affects me as a fan of the Minnesota Twins.  I am always sure to let you know that this is my opinion and that the information I am sharing is not first or secondhand, but from another source.

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Dorsey is not a blogger, however.  He is a credentialed media member who is paid to report on the activities and facts of the subjects he covers.  As a beat reporter for the Miracle, any tweets about the team, the roster, or the coaching staff carries with it the burden of journalistic weight he brings with his position.

Someone who reads that first tweet may respond, “Well, he did say it was his ‘gut feeling’, that’s a disclaimer that absolves him of any recklessness, right?”  Wrong.  His “strong gut feeling” carries much more meaning and with it much more sway than yours or mine.  It becomes that much worse when just 11 hours later, he completely changes course and does a 180 degree turn.  Credibility is the name of the game in journalism and when you’re fast and loose with yours, as Dorsey was, you won’t have any after very long.

Just a reminder, as the merciful end to the drawn out managerial appears to be nearing, there’s a ton of information out there, both good and bad.  As a fan and consumer of this information, always do your due diligence, as Terry Ryan would say.  Sometimes who you hear the information from is as important as the information itself.

Until next time…

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