The Future of Booze Journalism?
There is soooooooooooooooooooo much booze information out there on the internet. If I spent all day reading the newspapers, magazines, blogs, and related message boards, I wouldn't even scratch the surface of what is readily available. Critics, experts, everyday drinkers, Tweeters, Facebookers, bloggers, and tasting groups all have a voice and they are all using it. Some of the sites are consumer-focused with reviews, point systems, retail sources, and availability. Others give information about new releases. Many are travel-related and give detailed accounts of regional specialties. There are also many different mediums being used to spread the joy of booze to others. Articles, videos, podcasts, and photos are all forms of media that are manipulated to showcase information. Many are enjoyable and informative, but how useful they are is very subjective. I find it fascinating how many people are determined to be involved in some way or another. My involvement is professional, but I do enjoy it. My purpose and intent is to share the information that I perceive from my unique position. However, there are so many other people who work fulltime as lawyers, teachers, whatever, and they know more than I do from drinking whiskey as a hobby. These folks spend so much time sharing their passion with others and many times do a more effective job than people who actually get paid to do it. What I'm getting at here is a questioning of the importance of booze journalism and what actually constitutes an effective example of it. I'm reading more and more articles in major publications that are simply struggling to be relevant, while simple everyday enthusiasts are writing research paper-style projects about vintage reports, distillation techniques, and personal profiles of industry professionals. I'm finding that everyday the line between professional and amateur gets even blurrier and that the larger than life figures who have been revered for their expertise are rendering themselves more irrelevant. A large part of this phenomenon, I believe, stems from the passion and enthusiasm being displayed by the hobbyists in contrast to the professionals who have to constantly find the next thing to write about. Most people who work in the industry want to take a break from alcohol at the end of the day, while those who work a different job come home, pour a drink, and really geek out. That passion is spilling over into personal blogs, and many of these pet projects are becoming outstanding resources for those interested in all things booze.