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Credentials for people who don't deserve them

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Monday Morning Sportswriter, Jun 13, 2006.

  1. Monday Morning Sportswriter

    Monday Morning Sportswriter Well-Known Member

    Let's say you knew that executives at your newspaper were obtaining credentials to major events for themselves and/or their friends under false pretences -- and, by the way, doing it without the sports editor knowing about it.

    For instance, let's say they apply for credentials for the U.S. Tennis Open, saying they're keeping an eye on 198th-seeded Joe Blow, who 10 years ago attended private school in East Podunk, a few towns from East Tuckahoe, where the newspaper is. But there are no plans to actually write about the guy.

    And let's say the executives either don't believe they're doing anything wrong or they don't care.

    What would you do?

    And what can be done?
  2. Freelance Hack

    Freelance Hack Active Member

    I'd tell the sports editor. And unless you're the SE's boss, I'd have him handle it how he sees fit.

    If you oversee the SE, I'd notify the organization that approved the credentials.
  3. EE94

    EE94 Guest

    If you aren't the SE, notify the SE.

    It is then the SE's job to move it up the chain of command with the ultimate goal being that it must stop.

    Why it must stop. Your paper risks losing its credentials for that and future events, for good reason. Press credentials aren't for "tourists" and organizers are rightfully pissed when they see credentials being abused. It costs them money to create media space and facilities that can accommodate the number of credentialed writers. If half aren't even working and just want a free ticket and a chance to "mingle" with the athletes, then that space and money is wasted.

    Most likely, the executives aren't aware of this. The SE's job is to make them aware of this. Go on record as making them aware of it and make a note of when you did let them know.

    It is then up to the executive to rescind the accreditation request, or the tournament organizers to refuse it once they become aware of it.

    It's not the SE's job to have the accreditation rescinded, it is the SE's job to make those above him/her aware of the situation.

    In laymen's terms, ratting out your boss will do you no good. Should the paper lose its credentials because the executive refused to follow the rules, it will be the exec's responsibility.

    "But what about covering the tournament should we lose the credentials?" you ask.

    Should that happen, let the exec know that he has just fucked the paper, and then phone the organizers, say this is why it happened, you as SE will make sure it doesn't happen again and will they please again grant you credentials.

    Everyone has a boss that does assholish things. The person you speak to at the tournament will most likely understand that and you will get your credentials again.

    And you're a hero because you saved your paper from the exec's stupid mistake.
  4. Monday Morning Sportswriter

    Monday Morning Sportswriter Well-Known Member

    Let me go a little deeper.

    This is a case of the editor getting the credentials for a friend of his who has an interest in the multiday event held hours away. Last year when a similar event came to town, the editor obtained credentials for the friend and himself. The friend wrote nothing. The editor, on the final day, wrote a crap column that he didn't tell the sports editor about until an hour before deadline. (Because 90 minutes before deadline, when another editor heard what happened, he called the editor out.)

    And on another instance a year ago, the friend was credentialized for an event in another time zone. I don't recall seeing anything then, either.

    The sports editor does know about it, but he only was told after the fact. He wasn't consulted or asked for input. That's uncharactertistic, given the amount of freedom the sports editor has.
  5. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    If it's the editor and the sports editor knows, I would tread very carefully.
  6. bydesign77

    bydesign77 Active Member

    things like this are why the Masters require submission of your work for credientials.
  7. expendable

    expendable Well-Known Member

    I had this happen to me once with a race event.  Publisher gets a credentials for a friend, before I sent in my letter.  Luckally, he caught me at the postage machine and told me then, rather than us getting egg on our face.  Funny thing (and it's not really funny) but the guy who would have received the credentials died before the event.
  8. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Must have been NASCAR. The Frances probably put a hit on the guy.
  9. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    This is not a good thing. But I'd venture to say most SEs, if alerted to it, would hesitate to confront a high-ranking newsroom executive on it. Generally, the two aren't on equal ground. I would probably equate it to you confronting your SE if HE did it. If he doesn't want to be called on it, you're the enemy to him.
  10. expendable

    expendable Well-Known Member

    Never thought about that. Got to watch out for the France Mafia. :D
  11. goalmouth

    goalmouth Well-Known Member

    C'mon people, think! You could leak it to the local alt daily, or to Romenesko.
  12. Keystone

    Keystone Member

    At a previous SE stop I replaced a guy who had been there for 35 years and was very open to getting his drinking buddies into various major events.

    The first sign was a baseball coach at one of the local high schools who asked me if I could get him U.S. Open credentials for him and his buddies.

    "Yeah, the (former SE) got us in a few years ago and boy did we get hammered. Man, I can't even remember how we got home."


    Then, during football season, some guy called up and said he would always get Atlanta Falcons credentials, even though Atlanta was a seven-hour drive.

    I asked him, "Are you going to write something for me?"

    His reply: "What? You want me to write something?"

    At that point I cut him off. But that didn't stop that assclown from trying again.

    I've got a million more of these stories.  :p
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