How Much Access Should Bloggers Have?ShareThis
Puck Daddy’s editor, Greg Wyshynski, busted out a gem of a column on the NHL and it’s changing relationship with bloggers (not necessarily for the better).
I find the discussion interesting, since I write on both sides of the fence – on the one hand, I write for an undeniably MSM outlet in USA Today. I’ve contributed freelance work to others, such as the Arizona Republic. And what are we calling The Hockey News? They’re a mainstream print-and-online magazine that files my work in the blog section but occasionally runs the same pieces in print as columns.
On the other, there’s this site, where I sit down, and literally start typing whatever I’m thinking about the NHL (conspiracy! Bias! Kitteeennnnsssss!!).
The point is, where do we stand on offering different levels of access for different mediums, when really…. how do you qualify anyone these days? What do you call what I do? Blournalism?
In many cases, the line is just too blurry.
The biggest grey area of all (and my other home), Puck Daddy, makes no bones about the fact that it’s a blog, but…. it doesn’t really walk or talk like a duck, so…. is it a duck?
It seems to me PD has a higher journalistic standard than a number of established mainstream sources (they cite references via links, they don’t hide their biases which is more honest, they often cover games in person, they run original interviews, and have a high level of access and respect).
Shouldn’t there be some sort of elite qualifying status for bloggers to get full access (if they want it)? Some sort of case-by-case, team-by-team review process? Sure, it’s silly to say “blogs aren’t worthy of credentials” (as the well-covered Rangers and Oilers have), but at the same time, I actually would be wary about letting too many guys/gals into the press box or dressing room.
No reason to beat around the bush here, just sayin: I know the etiquette. I’ve watched games from press boxes, dealt with reporters, and been in the dressing room a thousand kabillion times. I’m not going to cause problems, start a confrontation, or embarrass the name of bloggers.
But I can’t say that a guy who’s never done it before would know how to conduct himself in the proper manner. I’m sure teams are afraid of a guy taking up space that doesn’t know you shouldn’t ask the guy still punching holes in the wall why he didn’t bury that breakaway.
And like any job or walk of life, there’s certain etiquette that needs to be followed to be taken seriously. If we go golfing together for the first time, and you walk through my line, I’ll immediately take you less seriously as a golfer.
Maybe getting access should take a combination of proving your page views and having a one-on-one meeting with the PR people (like a job interview) to qualify. It’s tough to lump HockeyBuzz in with Puck Daddy in with Bourne’s Blog in with hockeywhatever.wordpress.com.
Maybe you make a “no slandering the team” policy and try to sanitize it, the way it happens in other media forms. Lord knows when I wrote that “nobody goes to Coyotes games because they’ve always sucked” in the Arizona Republic, the ‘Yotes would’ve loved to sanitize me straight out of the building, and probably would’ve preferred the state. I mean, I’m opposed to sanitized writing, but we need to have criteria laid out so serious bloggers know what to aim for.
Whatever it is they do, I just don’t think a blanket policy would cut it.
Hey, you. Yeah, you. Go have yourself a nice Thursday. And while you’re at it, follow me on Twitter.