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mlb press credential restrictions

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by mustangj17, Aug 28, 2007.

  1. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    Im working on an internship with scout.com covering the The Toledo Mud Hens, the Tigers AAA affiliate.

    I wanted to go to a game and interview some of the minor leaguers that had been called up to the Motor City but the MLB wont grant us press credentials.

    My editor doesn't know much more about the situation than I do. All he said was the mlb has a monopoly on the press credentials.

    So my question is why can a website not cover the teams but newspapers can?

    And if the stadium was funded with tax payer dollars would this be a first ammendment violation? Since it is a public building? And they are keeping specific reporters/media outlets out?
  2. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    I don't know why they won't grant a credential; but no, it's not a first-amendment violation. It's not a public building, even if it was funded publicly. Credentials are issued at the pleasure of MLB or the specific team. You'd be better off going through the team, anyway.
  3. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    I've been made to believe by our editor that we do go through the team, but they really make it difficult on us.
  4. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    Well, then that's something you'll have to deal with. But it's not a first-amendment issue. They can issue credentials to whomever they like. Sounds like you're SOL.
  5. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

  6. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    You're not allowed to walk into the White House for an interview with the president either. Doesn't make it a first-amendment violation.

    I think, honestly, you have a tough row to hoe. If every guy writing for every minor-league team's Web site could get credentials whenever he wanted, it'd be a clusterfuck. Now, where you might have more success is in asking the team if they can set something up for you where you can talk to those guys at another time. Might work, might not.
  7. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    The First Amendment argument does not hold water because then anyone can demand to see a game for free if they have a blog. Second, since Detroit is still in the hunt for a playoff spot, the press box may be full as it is, so Web sites are second-fiddle to the papers.
  8. Mustang,

    Granted, this was a few years back, but hopefully my advice will help.

    I also was in your position covering a Double-A team for the Scout sites and had a number of players in the organization I covered playing in the Futures Game at the ASG in Houston. We had an application to fill out and fax in, but we also sought help for our team's media guy to give us a good word to MLB and Houston. I would say that if you have a good working relationship with your normal MR person, ask them for assistance with the organization.

    I would call the DET MR staff and explain your situation, what you'd like to do and offer to show them your coverage and ask them to speak with your local MR staff about your professionalism as a journo.

    A little leg work goes a long way... just be cordial and professional. You're going to have to do it when you're not in an internship, so learn to do it now.
  9. Deskslave had some great advice, too. If there are any players on the team now that you have contact with, call them up and ask if they would help arrange something. A personal list can always come in handy.
  10. blandcanyon

    blandcanyon Guest

    A) Exactly how many guys for one specific organization are going to seek one-time creditionals for a story that serves the MLB club? Clusterfuck? Not hardly. Well, not in this case. Daily? Yes. And it isn't like 30 people are going to try every day. Tthat's just silly.

    B) Fax/e-mail that the story, to be used on a Web site that is of great interest to that team's fans, is about the success stories of the minor league system, in particular from that market. I doubt 30 other guys are looking for the same story at the same time.

    Helps to do so on a slow week/weekend, and that it's "at a time that's conventient to" the big boys. Why you apparently tried MLB means you're around some not-so-smart people. You may need to split up your visits. "If I can get in on (when) to get (a couple players) and maybe another time to get (a couple players), that works OK for us." Flexible, polite and professional is the way to try all.

    This isn't always the place where flexible, polite and professional are modus operandis.
  11. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    I don't know if you'll get in, or even if you should, but what he said about being polite is correct. Don't get indignant or try to make it a Constitutional issue, because as an intern for a website, you're going to need at least a measure of benevolence for this to happen.

    I'm not making any promises, mind you, but this demeaning and shabby treatment may be the start of a lifelong grudge for you (Hello, BYH).
  12. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    you are getting fucked. don't forget you have a right to free speach. keep focusing on your first ammendment. TJ wouldn't.
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