Bloggers get suite access at the ballpark

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“Blogging is not journalism,” he said. “Blogging is a form of self-expression. I still do journalism. I also blog. It’s not the same thing.”

Yet Harris, who lives near Richmond and at 53 is practically a senior citizen among bloggers, admits he can’t help but try to “stick to journalistic principles” in his blog, NationalsFanBoyLooser (don’t ask). He was the first to report last year’s trade that brought Josh Willingham and Scott Olsen to the Nationals. He got a tip, made a couple of calls “and put my reporter’s hat back on,” he said.

Patrick Reddington, who writes under the pseudonym Ed Chigliak on his Federal Baseball blog, said he thinks the writing is improving on blogs.

“There are so few [other] writing opportunities,” said Reddington, who drove down from northern New Jersey. “I think people who would be writing at other jobs are picking it up. We’re getting a better level of writer.”

Reddington is a freelance writer and works in a pharmacy. Cathy Taylor, aka “Miss Chatter” on her Just a Nats Fan blog, works as a systems administrator at The Washington Post and said she focuses more on the video aspect than the writing. She said the whole blogging thing started when she started writing about her efforts to meet childhood friend Gary Bennett, the former Nationals catcher, “and then I got sucked into baseball.”

Blogging takes up anywhere from a few hours a week to what Jeff Saffelle (“Screech’s Best Friend”) calls a “full-time - albeit nonpaying - job” that often keeps him and his wife, Sohna (“The African Queen”), up to 4 a.m. writing and editing video for their Nats320 blog.

“It’s a passion for us,” he said, hardly unique in that regard.

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