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Blogger vs Mainstream Media

Sometimes I wonder where I sit in regards to covering sports on PSB. While I have never considered myself to be a reporter, I certainly have always tried to put up intelligent articles for discussion for all of our readers. So when the topic of credentials for media access to teams we cover came up with the recent revelations of the NHL trying to determine a ‘blogger policy’ it raised my eyebrow a bit.

We are extremely fortunate at PSB to have some excellent bloggers and also some fine mainstream media writers that contribute to the site. To be honest when I read a article from one of writers it never occurs to me to think whether it was written by a blogger or mainstream media writer. I just enjoy reading the articles and seeing the insight and opinions of the writer. So is there a difference between the two in your eyes? If certain members of the NHL have their way then the answer is yes!

Here is a leaked guideline obtained by yahoo’s puckdaddy website, that outlines potential restrictions in regards to access depending on if you work for a newspaper or are a blogger.
Proposed Guidelines

This came from the media relations office of the NHL in Toronto. Thanks again to puckdaddy for discovering and posting it for public consumption.

The New York Rangers and Edmonton Oilers outright refuse to give access to bloggers, while other teams are very open to having blogging members in their press box. In my own opinion I believe that teams have the right to grant access however they see fit, but the thing that concerns me is the idea of limiting access to people that don’t fit in to what is considered mainstream.

In regards to bloggers point one will disallow blogger access to the Visiting team. Which is insane in my opinion as if the Calgary Flames were playing the Los Angeles Kings in LA and our Eric Cooney wanted to get a sound bite from Jarome Iginla or Miikka Kiprusoff I see no reason why it wouldn’t be allowed.

Points two and three is just outright segregation. To me this is embarrassing and should be immediately reconsidered. I don’t recall too many points of human history where segregation worked out well. (perhaps a little over dramatic but oh well I’m just a silly blogger)

What does everyone think about this? I’d love to hear from the bloggers, main streamers, and readers on this issue!

Have a good one!

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Die hard Flames fan since 1980, and a closet baseball junkie. Also a big Dolphins, and Stampeders fan!

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In response to “Blogger vs Mainstream Media”

  1. Dan Rakusan Aug 27 20103:27 pm


    There has to be some distinction between MSM and bloggers. The reason being that any idiot with a computer and a few bucks can open a website and start blogging. So, to some extent, I can see their point. However, there is also a security issue, if that same idiot (we’ll call him a Rangers’ fan) decides he wants to help out his team and visit the opponent’s lockerroom. Let’s say Philly is in town, and this particular idiot (let’s call him me) decides he wants to exact revenge on Dan Carcillo for going after Gaborik last year. With full access, I can at least get close enough to do something.

    However, I think if you’re an established website, like PSB, it is easier to do background checks on people. With the amount of content available to peruse while doing these checks, you’ll be able to find the disparaging remarks, threats and other commentary that would make you reconsider allowing that individual to be credentialled.

    Just my 2 cents.

    1. Shane Hoopfer Aug 27 20104:12 pm


      Ya there is a significant difference between “The Hockey Guy” and someone who puts his own name to his own work as far as credibility goes too.

  2. Eric Cooney Aug 27 20104:54 pm


    Didn’t expect to see my name in your blog, Shane, but we might actually get an answer to that hypothetical this year. I’m currently in the midst of applying for credentials and it’s a very interesting process. I’m going to refrain from commenting at this time about the process, but I’ll make sure you know how it went once it’s all said and done.

    As for my opinion, it’s similar to many situations; they should allow people who are credible. To me that doesn’t mean a degree in journalism or even a job in journalism, but someone who takes it seriously, is honest, and treats reporting (or blogging) as a responsibility. Maybe it’s harder to determine whether or not a blogger is “credible” or has an honest history, but dismissing a blogger altogether isn’t fair. In this day and age where information is passed through different channels, it’s important for the NHL to keep up and shutting out the bloggers would set them back a decade. If I could go back and get a college degree in journalism, maybe I would do that, but I decided a little late that this is what I want to do and I’m doing it the way I perceive is the best route. By hook or by crook, I’ll prove I’m good at hockey-writing, no matter what title is attributed to me.

    1. Shane Hoopfer Aug 27 20105:41 pm


      LOL Well Eric you have one of the first blogs I look for when I log on, so that’s why you got mentioned!

      And I wholeheartedly agree it’s about treating it as a responsibility.

      I think the biggest thing to remember is a journalism degree does not equate to knowledge of a sport. It does however equate to proper use of punctuation LOL!

      1. Dan Rakusan Aug 27 20105:47 pm


        HAHAHA – TSN is one of the worst sports sites out there for grammar, spelling and punctuation. Guess bloggers are passing the MSM in terms of ability! And they have a STAFF of editors, not just me randomly correcting stuff… Go figure.

  3. Shane Hoopfer Aug 27 20106:03 pm


    I just love the idea of bloggers being herded into their own special cage. And wearing a magic shock beanie that goes off if they get too close to the visitors locker room. :)

    1. Dan Rakusan Aug 27 20106:56 pm


      Back of the bus for us blogger-types, huh? I don’t know, to be honest, if it’s really a relevant thing. Being credentialled essentially takes you out of the “blogger” world and into the “journalist” world.

      Don’t get me wrong, I would love credentials and whatnot, and receive the same access that MSM writers get, but the reality is that people like Eklund have kind of ruined that path for the masses.

      Not to say it can’t happen, but it certainly takes you into a different stratosphere of operations. Basically, I think once you get credentialled as a blogger, someone will syndicate your stuff, hence making you a MSM person.

  4. Brian Moore Aug 27 201011:29 pm


    “Segregation” is a bit of an evil word the last 50 years. It’s not wrong to separate the best media from the lesser media in an effort to make sure things stay organized and information is handed out to all. If the lesser media didn’t have as much info from the team, then maybe there’s a prob. “Segregation” makes me think of racism and…I’d have to dig more but initially I disagree with your assessment simply because what they’re trying to do is make as many people happy as they can. Everyone can’t get credentials and that’s the cruel reality here.
    Also most have never been in a pressbox to understand the climate in there so it’s difficult to discuss in just this comment space.
    Anyhow, in my experience, you can throw these rules out the window. Teams will take care of those writers with a big audience. If not for season passes, then for individual games.
    The bottom line here, IMO, is to simply get more of a following and be sure to include that a couple times in your credential application.
    I knew of a baseball writer/blogger that hated the Yanks, that was his blog’s topic. He was insanely popular for that. He got into games.
    You are not likely to get access with a blog that attracts 5k people over a guy that writes a blog that 5 mil people read. You’re just not.

    1. Dan Rakusan Aug 27 201011:34 pm


      Brian – I kinda think that was Shane’s point in the beginning. The word “segregation” was almost highlighted as a mis-nomer. I think we’re all agreed that there have to be two levels in all of this, but for teams to dismiss bloggers outright as a policy just seems stupid. Why lose an avenue for publicity based on the credentiality of the writer?

      Hell, I remember our credo for my now de-funct band —- “Any press is good press, at least it gets people talking about us!”

  5. Shane Hoopfer Aug 28 20102:23 am


    Brian makes a very good point on the touchiness of the word segregation. However in this case the definition of the word was fairly accurate for what is being talked about. Separating two groups.

    The main crux is to bring up a topic for discussion because unlike print media the one advantage we have as bloggers is a comment section IMO.

    I love the fact that I can write a piece and that someone can freely disagree with it, where as in print media there really isn’t a chance for the reader to input his two cents on what a writer says.

    In a perfect world you would see people with access that truly do understand the game that they cover and not because of a journalism degree.

    But again I agree with Brian that any team or league needs to be careful about who they hand out access to. Just because Joe Sportsfan starts a webpage that covers a team or sport does not mean he should immediately have access, however a blanket rule that covers all members of a certain group (in this case bloggers) doesn’t make a lot of sense either.

    And to be honest I don’t worry about a Canadian team (for NHL purposes) where we will have an insane amount of coverage anyways but I’m concerned about teams where the mainstream media doesn’t pay much attention to it anyways, and fans of that team need to find alternate sources for information about their team. Along the lines of an Atlanta, or a Florida where lets face it the NHL is #4 or #5 when it comes to the priority of coverage.

    I just hope for the sake of the NHL that they are not throwing away another good opportunity to showcase their game to another market they have never reached.

    I appreciate you throwing in your 2 cents Brian!

  6. Brian Moore Aug 28 20101:40 pm


    Another thing is accountability. A team’s game is it’s product. A major newspaper with a publisher and editors and a corporate office etc has a whole lot involved in whether somebody writes a quality article.

    Where is the accountability if it’s just one blogger for his own website? Sure he could offend his following, but it’s a less risky business proposition for the teams to go with a newspaper in this regard.

    1. Shane Hoopfer Aug 28 20104:23 pm


      absolutely Brian. there is also a big difference between putting your own name to your work and someone who posts as “The Masked Blogger”

      the main point I’m trying to make is that painting one group of people with a single brush just doesn’t make sense.

      As for quality, there is a reason there is only one person who I follow locally, and trust there opinions 100%

  7. Shane Hoopfer Sep 17 20104:00 pm


    The NHL is worried about Bloggers? How about keeping the french media that are reporting Pat Burns is dead under control!?!?!

    The poor guy had to hone TSN to tell them he isn’t dead!

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