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How One Photo Can Show the Difference Between Bloggers and Legacy Media

Me touching the Boeing 787 Dreamliner ZA003

Me touching the Boeing 787 Dreamliner ZA003

In the past year or so, I have been on quite a few adventures where I was covering an event with legacy media there also. These are the fine folks that you see with big cameras and fancy video trucks. Most of them do an outstanding job reporting the news in an interesting and effective way. But what they have in training, experience, talent, a mass audience and equipment, most lack the passion for aviation.

Don’t get me wrong, that is alright. They have a job to do. Many will report on many different types of stories, not just on aviation.  They have a story to get, a deadline to meet. They deliver or print their story and move on to the next. They are trained in journalism or communications and love finding the story and sharing it, no matter what the topic might be.  There is nothing wrong with how this works, but a blogger looks at a story in a very different way.

Most bloggers don’t have training in journalism. Heck the king of aviation blogging, Jon Ostrower (aka FlightBlogger) and I have degrees in Political Science. We picked a subject because we love the subject, want to learn more and want to share that passion with others.  I know in my case, the passion came first, followed by honing my skills in writing, editing, photography, videography and networking.

So what does this photo represent? To me it represents the difference between bloggers and the legacy media. The photo is of me touching the Boeing 787 Dreamliner for the first time, as I was taking my interior tour. I just couldn’t help it. I felt like a sugar-deficient kid in a candy store. I was so excited to not only get inside the Dreamliner, but to touch it for the first time. Yes, I was a nerd touching the side of the plane, but it is something that none of the legacy media folks did and it put a huge smile on my face.

They were more concerned about the proper angles, getting the sound bites, then off to edit to get it on the news.  I took my own photos and video, but I made sure to slow down and realize I was frek’n inside a Dreamliner. At that time, very few people had been inside a Dreamliner and I enjoyed every moment, knowing it was something special.

I freely admit that I am not a professional journalist or even an airline expert. However, I have a huge passion for aviation and learning about new things.  I think (and really hope) that passion comes through on my blogs and you sometimes get to learn something new.

All my blogs might not resonate with a wider audience, like legacy media has to shoot for, but I am happy most blogs can resonate with an audience that shares my interest in aviation and the airline business.

11 comments to How One Photo Can Show the Difference Between Bloggers and Legacy Media

  • Hmm, I always touch the body but I’ve never taken a pic of me doing it. You sir out avgeek me. Then again, you prob didn’t have a jetbridge of annoyed customers behind you in a hurry to wait. :-)

    • We actually boarded the 787 ZA003 in three different groups. I chose to go in the last group #1 to spend more time on the ground next to her and #2 to not have the pressure of people coming in after me. Also allowed me to get the nerd-photo of me touching it.

      David

  • David

    You do a fantastic job on this website – I love reading it.

    I, like you, know many a “legacy” journalist and this certainly does not apply to them. However there are some journalists out there that do lack the passion, they simple regurgitate any Press Releases they receive and it’s obvious. I was talking to one and they were more interested in making a name for themselves (nothing wrong with that either) rather than having any interest or want to get to know the industry in which they cover..

    Industry has slowly started to embrace the Bloggers which is great to see, I’ve *Blows on trumpet* been lucky enough to have been on a few trips with airlines and I was like a big kid enjoying the moment and being grateful for the position I was in..

    As always I look forward to your next post..

    Yvette

  • Joe

    I’m glad you’re highlighting the difference between you and traditional media. Because thank goodness we have people watching the airlines and associated industries who ARE dispassionate about it, and therefore able to look at things with a more neutral perspective.

    If everyone covering airlines was a fan, we’d be in big trouble. We need dispassionate observers in all industries – airlines included.

    You do a fine job – but let’s not pretend that it’s somehow better or more meaningful than traditional media.

    – Joe

    (full disclosure: I work for a traditional media company)

    • You are right on Joe! And in no way am I saying traditional media folks are doing it wrong. I have made some great friendships with traditional media folks and I love working with them.

      I think each one can be meaningful to different people.

      David

  • Yeah, go David. I don’t even have a degree in computer generating or art or anything, just do aviation designing for the fun and passion of it! With passion comes great works. My grammar was terrible at school but yet I have a blog (probably full of grammar errors). Love the photo!

  • Jason

    I think your blog is great, and I love reading it almost everyday. However, as someone who works in the aviation business and on the 787 in particular, I feel that bloggers sometimes get too much credit as legacy media. Its important to understand that in most cases a blogger is someone who has great passion for what he writes about but maybe not the expertise of the field. And unfortunately, in some cases that leads to stories that grow to a proportion beyond what they ever should, and the 787 program as been a prime example of that. People seem to forget that every airplane program before the 787 has always suffered from their shares of growing pains. It just now we live in a world where anyone with a computer and an internet connection can post “news”. And sometimes all it takes to create that news is just a single unhappy factory worker or engineer.

    But please don’t take this as negative to you or your blog. As always, I greatly enjoy reading. I just hope that readers know and appreciate the different in the media forms.

    PS: Every time I can, I make sure to give each bird a tap, so I know how much passion you have.

    • Hey Jason

      On the most part I have been angry with how the legacy media covers airline-related news. Most of the time, the airlines (and airline manufactures) get beat up. Airlines are evil, Boeing can’t produce anything on time, etc. Especially with the 787 and 747-8 delays, I have tried to remind people that these planes are extremely complex and the delays are not good, but they are not the end of the world.

      I am no expert on everything airline-related, but I think few people are. It is about building the trust with readers. There are quite a few bloggers I trust more than legacy media, but that is because they have proven themselves over time with me.

      David

  • I love this post. Why? Because I feel the same way that you do about the whole journalism thing. I can definitely feel your passion for aviation, but then again, I am a fellow aviation geek.

    Rafael

  • Your passion for, and devotion to aviation, in particular commercial aviation, is the reason I check out your blog every afternoon after I get home from work, and weekends also of course.

    I too have touched aircraft when I’m boarding a particular model for the very first time.

    I’m Patrick. I’m an Avgeek.

    Patrick,
    Sydney, Australia

  • Nice. lol, how do you know a traditional – trained – journo from an avgeek? The journo will always make the mistake between airline & airliner — as in the airliner SAA or British Airways. Sorry. But moving on too more serious matters, journalists pick factual information, and some* avgeeks are way in over their heads. Maybe too much polarized commentary in many, many aviation blogs, journals & forums.

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