This isn't going to be an op-ed column about how blogging is awesome and beat writers suck. I'm just curious about where most of your information comes from and which sources are the most trustworthy. In light of my Twitter mini-skirmish with the habitually misinformed John Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the subject was again breached.
It's a very new millennium issue. Previously, the only people who really knew much about the team or the players were the beat writers who traveled with the team. But with the internet boom and even more lately, the Twitter reporting norms, the information is easily accessible to most anyone. The biggest difference is that the beats are with the team all the time. That's both a pro and con for them.
As a blogger, I can say Spencer Hawes smells like feet and not have any repercussions. If Tom Moore said it (bless his heart), Spencer would be sticking his feet in Tom's face at every opportunity. On the flip side, they know a ton of behind the scenes gossip and goodies that we don't have access to. Though with Derek sitting on press row for a bunch of games, we're bridging that gap. Also, you don't know if I'm secretly a 500 pound woman with a learning disorder and a fetish for Gogurt.
There's not a mutually exclusive answer - I'm just interested to see what you the community thinks on this. Obviously since you are reading this blog, you aren't the perfect selection, but how would we get the best sample outside of writing it on the blog?!