Wednesday, September 1, 2010

On hockey blogging

About a week ago, Puck Daddy wrote about a leaked a document that gave a rough draft about a proposal for a credential policy aimed at bloggers/web-based media. After this article was written, it was then discussed, and then written about because, well, bloggers tend to be opinionated.

At the core of the issue was whether hockey bloggers should be accredited in the same way that beat writers or other sports media reporters are accredited. A press pass that would allow bloggers to watch the game from the press box and give them access to get in on the media scrums/player interviews down in the locker rooms. It would give the blog a different angle at covering the game or their team than a blogger who is getting his/her news from beat writers/media.

First off, since I do write on multiple blogs about hockey, I do think blogs are an interesting medium that teams haven't fully understood how to use yet. Some teams, like the Washington Capitals are have been very good with their blogger outreach in giving press passes to some bloggers, which I think is great. For some other teams, their policy is a strict no blogger policy.

I ultimately think it's up to the team to say whether they allow bloggers the perks of having the same access or a modified access to the press box or media access. For some teams that don't get the same media coverage as other sports franchises in the city, bloggers can fill the hole or the need for information to the fan. But for other cities, like the city where I live (Vancouver) for example, the coverage is already so well done/over saturated that there isn't a pressing need for bloggers to pick up the slack.

If the Canucks organization never accredits a single blogger with a press pass, well it probably will not have any impact on how well the Canucks generate revenue. The bloggers that I know will still go on to blog about the team whether or not they get a press pass.

I don't feel like I need to have press access to the team. Sure it would be nice to be given the chance if it comes up to just see what it's like, but blogging is my hobby not my job. I already have a day job that takes up the majority of my time and funds the life I live. Blogging about hockey gives me balance in my life and passion for something other than my job.

I know that my blog will never be the site for breaking news stories or instant analysis because I'm only able to write at night in my free time. Maybe my blog will never be as great as it could be because of it but I think my readers understand that and frequent my blog despite me not having press credentials. I know I don't have the time to go watch practices, watch games in the press box or interview players post game day in and day out. There are media who do that as their job full time and as a blogger who uses their articles as news or a springboard for a topic of conversation on my sites, I'm glad that they do what they do.

It seems that bloggers who started out as being considered 'lowly' bloggers have gotten a bit of an ego these days. It's not a right that the NHL/team has to accredit you, so why were you so insulted by their rough draft? It is their loss to the organization and the fans if co-operation with you would be beneficial to their organization and they chose not to do so.

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