I am a blogger.
I am not a journalist.
It is I who has "chewed down the standards of journalism the way the pine beetle has decimated B.C. forests." Buuuurp.
Fortunately for all of us, there are very serious men (and, presumably, some women) who still pride themselves on defending and upholding the Principles of Journalism. They are your "mainstream" or "traditional" media members, and, as a result of the ongoing efforts of these courageous truth seekers - who daily must ply their trade in the face of ever degrading information gathering ethics - it has long been firmly established that if an item appears either in print or on a newspaper's website, it is the truth ("in deadtreeus veritas" as they proclaimed back in the days of Caesar). These brave men (and, presumably, some women) would never sink so low as to traffic in rumors. Never. Ever. Ever.
All of which is important background to have when you read something like what Ed Willes wrote in yesterday's Vancouver Province, that "[t]here are also stories making the rounds that... [Vancouver Canucks General Manager Mike] Gillis will make a play for yet another former client in Michael Nylander."
You see, this is not a rumor. It's more than a rumor. It is, of course, truth.
Had the author not prefaced the substance of the above sentence with the disclaimer alerting the reader that the claim he was about to make is currently being bandied about in some undisclosed forum, he'd have nothing more than a rumor on his screen. But report that "there are stories making the rounds" and he has a fact. Are these "stories" making the rounds outside of his head or the Province's smoker's lounge or his dinner table? Who cares? He now ostensibly has a fact, and what do reporters do with facts? They report them (natch). [This "report the rumor" technique has made Matt Drudge rich and famous and is similar to a technique in common usage in one particular corner of the televised world.]
So kudos to Ed Willes for reporting the fact that a certain rumor exists (which, of course, is not a rumor at all) and for protecting us from the blogs that might let the story get ahead of the facts on this one.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have standards of journalism to chew down.
H/t to EMac on the Gillis link.