Welcome back to 'Better Know a SoCal Blogger' on KCET.org! Every week we will be featuring one of the city's many fascinating and first-rate blogs. This week we are speaking to one half of the LA Times' Lakers blogging team, Andrew Kamenetzky, a once fanatic fan now transformed into a near obsessive journalist.
Blogger Name: Andrew Kamenetzky Official Name of Blog: Lakers Blog When did you start blogging? Oct. 14, 2005 Do you have a day job? You're looking at it, along with our work for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com and 710 ESPN (which includes our 710 ESPN Lakers podkast.). How many hours do you spend online/on your computer? It feels like 26 a day, but in reality, probably 10-12. Where do you physically blog from? Home or from a game, for the most part. Any current readings? When time permits, I'm looking to read "Methland," by Nick Reding, a high school friend. Can you provide a link to the blog's first post? A trip down Laker Preseason Memory Lane!!!
So, what's your blog about?
The Lakers, presented with a beat writer's access and a blogger's sensibility/creativity.
Who is your ideal reader?
Someone who cares deeply about the Lakers, but doesn't necessarily treat everything with deadly seriousness. The Laker season is supposed to be fun, after all.
How'd this blog get started?
We were asked to run a blog about one of sports' highest profile teams for a city's highest profile news outlet. And with a surprising amount of freedom to boot. What writer wouldn't jump at that chance?
Beside your own of course, what's your favorite L.A. Blog?
I don't know if it's specifically "L.A." as much "entertainment industry-centric," but my fiancee introduced me to "dlisted," and it's hysterical. Raunchy, un-P.C. and decidedly "not safe for work," but very smart. As for L.A. Sports blogs, I like Forum Blue and Gold and Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness.
Everyone has on opinion on if journalism is dying. Do you have an opinion? Do blogs have anything to do with that?
I think blogs play a role in modern journalism's "death." Undoubtedly, too many blogs operate without fear of repercussion for false reports, which creates an obvious issue. But there are also plenty of blogs either affiliated with an established outlet or simply out to be responsible. To me, the considerably bigger problem is the Internet in general ("Wild Wild West") and our 24 hour news world. There simply aren't enough stories to fill that much time, but we nonetheless attempt to do so, with everyone competing for the biggest audience. Thus, anchors and hosts develop a persona (often for a "talking heads" show format), then generate and speculate news (as opposed to report it) and analyze minutia for the sake of maintaining talking points (relevancy and- sometimes- accuracy be damned). News has become a contest about shouting and "sizzle," not quality, and this is a Main Stream Media issue, not a "blog" issue.
And what's a common misconception about your blog in particular?
That we are affiliated with or funded by the Lakers, or somehow need their "approval." The team has no control or say whatsoever over what we write.
But what about the LA Times? How much oversight does the newspaper have over your blog?
When it comes to style, creativity, taking chances, etc., the Times thankfully gives us a ton of latitude. When it comes to accuracy, responsible reporting, and quality of product, they thankfully give us virtually no latitude.
And lastly, we must know. What's your opinion of Bill Simmons? Friend or foe?
He's neither friend nor foe, since we've never actually met, but I definitely consider Simmons an influence. Beyond being a fan of his work, the sports blog culture owes a heavy debt to his early success, in my opinion.
We'd like to thank Andrew for taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. Andrew and his brother Brian's Lakers Blog really is blogging at its finest, always up to-the-minute, insightful, and hilarious. Thanks again guys!
Brothers turned bloggers. Andrew (right) and his Lakers counterpart, Brian (left):