Citizens journalism at the (blue)grassroots level: To those of you who follow citizens’ journalism, here’s an interesting (and breaking) example to add to your power point presentations. The bluegrass field is perhaps the squeakiest of clean (well, except for contest judges) music genres (and communities) I’ve ever observed (way, way more pure than, say, genres associated with particular religious faiths). Not being a regular beat for investigative journalists, it should come as no surprise that when a scandal is found to be brewing, it would be “conversational media” and not traditional media who would uncover and report it.
The other day, I blogged the first time it blipped on my radar screen. This morning, “Banjo Bob,” the owner-webmaster of CyberGrass.com once again reports on what I earlier dubbed “Twang-gate,” but am now thinking it should be called, “Resonate-gate”:
“After investigating the resonator guitar story a bit more, it appears that those who have been allegedly defrauded are conducting their own private investigation. Two groups are now collecting information and handling all inquiries. The groups are keeping most of the information private and, for the most part, only opinion and sketchy information is being leaked to the public. One thing is certain and that is these private groups do not want the media to get any factual information. Cybergrass is tracking down the proper authorities and will report accurate and factual information that can be attributed directly to somebody of authority….While many have stated that our earlier article was a positive thing to do, no one has yet been willing to help us gather some important details of this story.
Banjo Bob (who I now consider the Bob Woodward of Bluegrass) is going after this with tenacity and is looking for a Deep Throat to help him get to the bottom of the story:
Apparently the alleged scams have been on-going for many years and all have focused around the resonator guitar. The scams have involved everything from workshops to selling calendars over the Internet and from selling illegal tablature to selling guitar strings and just about anything in between. Scores of people have reportedly claimed to have been taken advantage of however, we have not been able to access any real numbers.
I have no idea what any of this is about — I had to google it to figure out that the instrument I call a dobro (which I now know is a “brand,” Dobro®, owned by Gibson) is, generically speaking, a resonator guitar — but I’m finding this whole story as fascinating as Friday night before a fiddle contest.