Tuesday, January 30, 2007

On credentials for bloggers

There's an interesting thread that's been ongoing the past week at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's hockey blog regarding media credentials for bloggers, and a few of the bigger names, including Eklund, weigh in on the debate.

Worth a read if you're interested in this sort of thing.

I'd like to hear what others think about the issue.


At 12:47 p.m., January 30, 2007, Blogger danielao said...

Ugh, what made Eklund the "voice of the bloggers". Is credentials for blogger an e1 or e5?

At 12:48 p.m., January 30, 2007, Blogger andy grabia said...

This is my favourite comment:

In a real hockey town, there would be no need for bloggers. Hopefully we get to the point where we actually get some real media coverage here.

Oh, if they only knew...

At 1:10 p.m., January 30, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had to laugh at one of the comments posted.

I think blogers should be able to apply for access and let the NHL decide on a case by case basis. Hockeybuzz seem legit. You don’t want every moron with a weak site getting in.

Yeah, you don't want every moron getting in, Eklund is enough representation from the group of moron bloggers.

In seriousness though, why should bloggers not have the opportunity to get credentials. Bloggers are just a new, and independent, form of the 'media'.

I personally have mixed feelings about whether I would want to have credentials. I think to some extent bloggers who have credentials lose a bit of their independence. First, they want to be nice to the team who give them media credentials so they get to keep them. Second, if they meet and get to know GMs, coaches, players, it can bias their views. They might be overly critical of the people they don't like and be overly praising of people they like. And third, I often find the 'media' to suffer from group think and I think there is potential for bloggers to fall into that pitfall as well (if they aren't already).

The great thing about bloggers is their independence and the more they become like mainstream media, the less independence they will have.

At 1:41 p.m., January 30, 2007, Blogger PPP said...

You just have to look at Andy's frequent frustration with the Edmonton media to know that making bloggers more like journalists might not be such a good thing.

And DJ brings up a good point, is someone going to name a player Joffrey Zoolander if he has to talk to him to his face? Or slam JFJ if he can just revoke your media pass?

At 2:17 p.m., January 30, 2007, Blogger sager said...

What we're doing, in most cases, is "outside hockey." We're not insiders -- we're giving a view that's enhanced by stepping back and taking the lay of the land. So access is meaningless -- and as Erin Nicks (The Universal Cynic) is pointing out, you're writing from a fan's vantage point. Maybe this is like being a film critic -- you just have to watch the movie, you don't have stick a tape recorder in someone's face and say, "What were you thinking about it when you said that line?"

The exception is if you want your blog to incorporate stuff like junior hockey, or the CIS. There you're getting a chance to give a game a treatment the local paper might not have the space or staffing complement for, so by all means, get yourself credentialed for that.

At 2:18 p.m., January 30, 2007, Blogger Pete said...

As I commented on that great discussion (James thanks for the link!) blogging and the Internet seems to be the wave of the future for a sport like hockey that is rather shunned by the mainstream media. Thus, it makes sense that bloggers who are outside that mainstream be granted the same type of access as print journalists. As James is a testament to, clearly print/tv journalism is wading into the blogging waters, why not let the independents (those who are legit- use whatever criteria you want to establish that) have the access?

At 9:06 a.m., January 31, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was going to post a comment there, but it seems to have turned into mud slinging and name calling, so I'll put my thoughts up here.

I like the idea of bloggers getting credentials, if they really want them, and do something interesting with them. It's up to them what they do, but I have to say, of it's just to do game recaps, then why bother? I read blogs, and write a blog, because it's giving a different perspective on hockey. I can get a print recap anywhere. What I can't get is a different take (or a take without influence).

If I were to get crendentialed (Credentialated? Credentialedtized?), I would love to tell of what it's like to be in that press box from the fans perspective, or what happens behind the scenes. I would rather tell some stories, then just crank out a game recap.

As for what was brought up on the AJC site, I don't believe advertising gives credibility (it may even take a bit away), that traffic can be built after credentials are handed out (and should be), and expectations should be different for blogs than MSM. Blogs, after all, vary in shape, size, and style.

And before I am represented by any blogger, I represent myself. The fact that the PHWA only had one person to represent the blogging side of the issue (debate) shows how little the MSM and PHWA understand what is going on in blogs. Or how little the blogger is respected by them. Sorry, but they have to try a little harder.


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