Last month, a group of Chicago media members gathered inside the lobby at The Cell. We were there, along with White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and manager Ozzie Guillen, for the unveiling of a display case honoring the late, great Jerome Holtzman. Holtzman was a Hall of Fame baseball writer who knew just about everybody and everything having to do with the game. The Sox have talked about moving the display from the lobby out into the ballpark where more people can see it, and I hope they do. I hope you get a chance to catch a glimpse of what sometimes feels like a disappearing world. Inside the plastic-enclosed display are Holtzman's typewriter, notebook and cigar -- the tools of his trade, though most definitely not in order of importance. That's not what lent a certain wistfulness to the unveiling, at least for me. The display features photographs of Holtzman actually interviewing ballplayers and managers, something the blogosphere mostly indicates is too much of a bother and, more to the point, unnecessary. What matters, we're told, is having an opinion, and the louder, the better. Let somebody else do the dirty work. The display reminded me of how important the work of baseball beat writers is. If you look inside a press box these days, you'll see a lot more empty seats than you would have even five years ago as newspapers continue to scale back in a difficult economy. But traditional media still shovel the coal of information into the fire that drives the engine of Internet news. The Internet people will tell you that the steam-engine imagery is perfect for a dying industry. Perhaps, but picking up the telephone, asking the right questions of the right people, gathering information and writing a clear, informative story is no small thing. It's what Holtzman did day after day, year after year for the Sun-Times and Tribune. He went to the ballpark to talk with people. He did not thrum his fingers on a desk and wait for someone else to do his work for him. His opinion was informed by the reporting he did. The same can be said of some of the writers at the bigger sports Web sites, including ESPN.com. But there was a relentlessness to Holtzman and others like him that you won't find in a standard blog. Those bloggers don't have the access the mainstream media have, and I'm convinced many of them don't want it. They want to opine. Nothing wrong with that. But just know what you're getting, Mr. And Mrs. News Consumer. What the best baseball writers do is not as important as the work of the reporters who keep tabs on government officials. But they see it as their duty to keep you informed, and everyone is better off because of it. The smart people understand this. Guillen understands. At the unveiling, he talked for several minutes about the importance of the media to baseball. He tells his players that reporters are the conduit between the sport and the public. He tells them this knowing that the media-athlete relationship sometimes is adversarial. And yet he carries on, knowing his sport would be a lesser thing without responsible coverage. I know all of this sounds self-serving coming from a newspaper writer, but it's also community-serving. The idea is for everyone to be as informed as they can be. I look at the shrinking newspaper industry and know it can't possibly be the case. I look at Holtzman's display not as a glorification of the good, old days but as a reminder that the best information comes firsthand and from hard work. Reinsdorf likes to tell the story of being frustrated with media coverage of him at one point and Holtzman telling him that, if he felt so strongly about it, he should stop talking with reporters. We writers chuckle to ourselves about the story because we see Holtzman's advice as at least partially self-serving; like any good reporter, he didn't want to share a source with everyone else. What better way than to have Reinsdorf issue himself a gag order? The next blogger with that kind of access will be the first. Sunday will be the one-year anniversary of Holtzman's death. Inside his display are a World Series press pin, some promotional material the Tribune used while he was the paper's national baseball writer and a book about the Sox's 2005 World Series title that includes a foreword by him. I hope you have the opportunity to see it. I hope you see those photos of a journalist working.