Ted Leonsis: Blogger Response

12:55 PM, Feb 16, 2012   |    comments
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Washington (WUSA) --Dear Ted Leonsis,

I could go and on about your recent rant in your own blog but I'll try and keep this as concise as possible.

I'm a 23-year-old aspiring sports journalist who hopes to make it under your so-called "professional media". This is my first year out of college and my first time ever truly being on the NBA scene for an entire season. I'm kind of like one of your rookie players hoping to prove myself as an intelligent source of basketball information.

I understand your reasoning behind Wednesday's post following the Wizards win over the Blazers and want to thank you for holding the online media accountable for our lack of timely coverage. It's nice to know a prominent figure like yourself recognized some content was missing. Engaging and communicating with the thousands of fans who help represent the Wizards identity is a main reason why I took on this gig. It certainly stung a little bit knowing that you publicly criticized something I represent.  

I understand how frustrating the lack of positive coverage for your Washington Wizards must be. Rebuilding a professional sports franchise inflicts numbing mixed emotions, mostly leaning towards the negative side of the spectrum. Hardcore fans and "media members" like myself vary day-to-day on deciding which Washington players should survive the chopping block.

I understand that being a pro sports owner is similar to being president of the United States, obviously on a much smaller scale. You are the president, general manager Ernie Grunfeld is like congress, the players are the state of the country, the fans are taxpayers and the media? Well, regardless if I don't make my primary income off of writing for the 7-23 Wizards, my voice, my articles and nowadays, my tweets, are all considered Wizards media.

What I don't understand is why you chose to belittle and alienate the members of the Wizards bloggosphere? You missed one of your favorite Wizards blogs? Then tweet or e-mail that blog directly instead of reprimanding and grouping together all the hardworking individuals who are basically committing their lives to providing as much dependable Wizards coverage as possible. I work close to 60-hours a week and I'm not complaining because I love it. But sometimes I am going to miss a game.

I hope it tickled you for a few hours knowing you tried to discredit the mostly 20-something online bloggers, who like your young rebuilding team, are just fighting for a chance to make something for themselves.  We are the people who are continually shaping your fan base on the internet. That's right. The young people who could potentially become season ticket holders are being engaged daily by mostly the online "non-professional" media -- especially over at Bullets Forever. Our thoughts are impacting thousands and that will only continue to grow.

As short and unintentional as your blog post may have been, it now makes me feel like a second class citizen in the media room. And that's not to diminish WUSA-9 sports coverage and the credentials they have given to me as a blogger. It's just you, as the owner, trying to send a message to the fans that unless you cover the Wizards full-time, your work is second-rate.

Maybe you think that was an overreaction, maybe you think I have a point. I do respect you as as owner, but I had to get that off my chest. My email is kjones@wusa9.com.

Signed,

Proud member of the "un-professional media."

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