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MORE help with class!

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Moderator1, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    My classes are several sessions old and they've been great. The book recommended here has been a great resource and many of your ideas have been excellent.
    I come hat in hand again.
    Next week's lesson is on the explosion of "new" media and how it has changed YOUR job and OUR job. How should it be handled?

    I've written several schools and leagues for their policies on Web sites getting credentials, bloggers, etc. Some are very restrictive, some not so much. Virginia Tech, for example, doesn't credential TechSideline.Com because, it says, of the anonymous message board. Virginia, meanwhile, credentials TheSabre.com - the sites are owned by the same company and are generally the same (specific to the schools they cover, for instance). Check them out: Why can one get in and the other can't?

    Best line about blogging comes from a colleague: blogging is an exercise in personal expression, not journalism ... toss them.

    Where do you come down on Web sites, bloggers, etc.? Please share your reasonable and rationale thoughts. If you can't post on this thread without ranting or cursing, please don't bother to post.

    Thanks again, this has been a great resource for a new instructor.
  2. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Member

    I think all "alternative mediums," such as blogs, fan sites, etc., should be issued credentials based upon three things:

    1.) Demonstrated success
    2.) Professionalism and quality of work
    3.) Established readership

    No blog or fan site should be given credentials without proving themselves. It's like anything else in this world: if you want something bad enough, prove it. Just because some hotshot blogger purchases a catchy domain name that ties in with the school does not entitle him to credentials. You earn that.

    If, after a period of time -- say two, maybe three years -- you feel that the work being done is solid and reputable, then maybe you give credentials to cover games. But only once that trust is established.

    You can start them off small. Maybe grant a few interview requests after practice, or maybe let them sit in on a conference call, just to see how things go. If the blogger or fan site is serious about making a commitment to real coverage, then they'll be glad to have any interview opportunity they can get.

    As the site improves, and as traffic and/or membership at the site begins to form, then that will show that they are serious. Too many times bloggers or fan sites want nothing more than great (free) seats to the game.
  3. nibs price

    nibs price Member

    Much of it comes down to the scope of the new media outlet, and if it offers something that is not available elsewhere.

    For example, if the outlet has a narrow scope that borders on fanboidom (for lack of a better phrase), denied. If it is broader in scope and offers up more in-depth coverage of more material, good chance to be credentialed.

    A blogger who focuses on just the hurdles may not get an Oly Track & Field Trials cred, but someone who has a larger specialty audience (preps, for example) would get strong consideration in my experience.

    In sports with wall-to-wall mainstream media coverage, I can't see a real need to credential bloggers who are not affiliated with an established company.
  4. pseudo

    pseudo Well-Known Member

    Not to jack Moddy's thread, but in the current business climate, how much longer can we expect "wall-to-wall" coverage? Case in point: Two decent-sized metros cover "my" NFL team. The one in the team's home city recently sent one man to staff a road preseason game. The other has cut back to a single full-time beat writer, with a second guy chipping in at home games, and one other paper in the region travels with the team ... but neither of them went to the game mentioned above. (ESPN's Tim Graham noticed the lack of coverage here.) True, it was just a preseason game, but one story plus the AP gamer? That looks like the throw rug on my kitchen floor, not wall-to-wall carpeting.

    But I digress. Back on topic. Looking at it from the fanboi side of the pressbox door, I agree with Bullwinkle -- any thought of credentialing an "unofficial" site should be taken with great care, and only after said site has proven it can meet a certain level of quality. (Should that also apply to certain parts of the traditional media? Perhaps ...) I wouldn't mind the opportunity to snag a few one-on-ones at the local NFL training camp, but based on what we currently do, it would be hard for me to justify applying for game credentials.

    Moddy, this topic was touched on at the last Joyce Symposium at SBU. The Rochester D&C's Leo Roth makes a good point about beat writers having to spend (waste?) their time chasing down fanboard/blog rumors:
    (More coverage here and here.) One of the other panelists, Mike Vaccaro, posts here occasionally; maybe you could give him a call?
  5. nibs price

    nibs price Member

    Pseudo, I am afraid you are right about the trend toward less and less manpower on coverage. The part about wasting time tracking down 'Net rumors and debunking them is also very true, as I discovered several times this summer.
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