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Big-time pro franchises vs. small-time shops

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by UPChip, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. UPChip

    UPChip Well-Known Member

    Got kind of a hypothetical. I'm relatively new at this SE thing, so I'm mostly trying to figure out what precedent is here:

    One of my Smallville Sentinel staffers, who grew up in Podunk, Otherstate, is going back Podunk for a week of vacation. Joining him in that area is our state's MLB team, the Anytown Axe Murderers, which are playing a 3-game mid-week series at the Podunk Palookas. We run the Axe Murderers' wire stories daily.

    Staffer offers to (legitimately and professionally) cover, gratis, the Podunk-Anytown series while he is away and requests credentials. The Podunk PR person initially accepts the offer over the phone, then withdraws said offer the next day after contacting his/her Anytown counterpart, who says they've never seen anyone from the Smallville Sentinel.

    When my staffer clarifies to the Palookas PR person that the reason this is so is because Anytown is 500 miles away from Smallville (as opposed to 400 miles from Podunk), the Palookas PR person responds with a condescending re-denial.

    My point is thus - is this SOP for MLB and other Big Four sports? Has this changed over time? My executive editor, himself a former SE in this region, said he has done this in the past (even with the Palookas) and had no issues. Could there be other variables in play?

    I'm not too worked up about it. Disappointed for my staffer, sure, but more curious if this is something standard.
  2. Dan Hickling

    Dan Hickling Member

    You might have had a better shot by going through the Axe Murderers' PR dept, which would have sent its list of cred requests to Podunk ... perhaps you still can ... although it would be helpful to show up for a home game every now and then ...
  3. cyclingwriter

    cyclingwriter Active Member

    What kind of dumbass p.r. guy for a minor-league team denies credentials? Seriously. This helps his brand more than anything. Even if you're guys sits in the stands and not the press room. If the MLB team doesnn't help you, call the GM of the Palookas.
  4. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    I'm not seeing a minor league team anywhere in this scenario. I think he's talking the big leagues.

    That said, even in a slightly revived economy, I can't imagine that pressbox space is at a premium in Podunk, and basically, the person is turning the request down simply to be a dick, and because he can, which translates into: simply to be a dick.

    Did you, the SE, jump in there on the writer's behalf? That, to me, is the next step. I'll bet if you call and say, "Hey, what's the deal, here's what we're after, some feature game coverage," they might say yes.
  5. UPChip

    UPChip Well-Known Member

    Honestly, SF, no I didn't. Didn't even think about it. So I fail there.

    I am referring to an MLB franchise, and (not that it has to do with anything), the person who he said denied him was actually a woman.

    Dan: I'd love to show up for one of their games, but unfortunately, the Axe Murderers are 500 miles away. The irony of it is that Podunk is significantly closer (though because Podunk is two states away, its professional teams have only a fraction of our coverage's audience).
  6. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    It's not professional to cover a team for free. I hate the practice and it's illegal. I know the team in question and understand why the credentials were turned down. Without outing UPChip, there is a legitimate reason for denying a credential.
  7. tagline

    tagline Member

    If the Anytown Axe Murderers and the Podunk Palookas are both in cities hundreds of miles from your small-time shop in Smallville, do your subscribers really care to read about these teams in the first place?
  8. UPChip

    UPChip Well-Known Member

    Our readers definitely care about the pros. It just so happens we're not located near any of them.
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