Those $%#@&# bloggers: what to do?

Robin Brownlee
September 02 2010 01:37PM

Hockey blogs and hockey bloggers aren't going anywhere. That's a reality the Edmonton Oilers and other NHL teams have to accept and come to grips with, and the sooner the better.

Thankfully, that's a realization that seems to be slowly taking hold as teams and their media relations departments tackle the issue of how to handle blogs and bloggers, specifically when it comes to access and accreditation.

What are the guidelines for issuing credentials to bloggers who aren't parts of mainstream media outlets, like The Journal, TSN or Sportsnet? What should they be? How do teams decide which websites are granted access and credentials and which ones aren't?

David Staples, at The Cult of Hockey in The Journal, has written on the topic more than once. So has Greg Wyshynski at PuckDaddy and Eric McErlain at Off The Wing.

As a member of the mainstream media who also blogs for a non-MSM website, this one, it's a debate I've been drawn into more than once at levels both philosophical and personal -- most recently this week, when I had a protracted discussion with J.J. Hebert, director of communications and media relations for the Oilers.

MSM AND THE OTHER GUYS

Hebert and I have disagreed often about access and credentials for non-MSM outlets. I've argued that some websites, Oilersnation among them, should be granted the same courtesy as their MSM counterparts.

Of course, my position on that, some would point out, isn't altogether altruistic -- I'm one of the fortunate few who gets paid as a blogger. Even with mainstream gigs like co-hosting the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260 and covering the Oilers and Eskimos as a freelance writer for the Canadian Press, it's in my best interest to take that stance. Oilersnation puts money in my pocket. So, my version of the discussion NHL teams are having about bloggers continues with Hebert.

The juxtaposition between MSM websites and non-MSM sites and how they are perceived and treated by teams like the Oilers came up again this week because of my personal circumstances.

For the 2010-11 season, I'll be writing for NHL.com and covering the Oilers much like did when I wrote the beat for The Journal and The Sun, at least for their home games. That means attending morning skates and writing game stories and features on the Oilers and visiting teams.

It's a gig I look forward to and one I'll be taking on while continuing with Gregor's show and writing for Oilersnation with increased frequency. At least that's my plan. If only it was so simple.

WHO GETS IN?

I'm not out to put Hebert on the spot here because he and his staff are doing their best to address the ever-increasing number of requests for credentials as they pertain to the proliferation of hockey websites.

With The Journal, The Sun, TEAM 1260 and CP, I've been accredited by the Oilers dating back to 1989. In terms of NHL credentials, I've had them since 1982, when I convinced the Vancouver Canucks to give me a spot in the parking lot and a seat in the press box.

Essentially, Hebert told me and my editor he'd be happy to issue me a pass for NHL.com (or TEAM 1260 or CP, for that matter), but that he'd have a problem -- one that's been ongoing -- if I was going to continue to use my access to gather material for Oilersnation because this site isn't recognized as part of the MSM.

One of the problems facing Hebert is that when Gregor and I write for Oilersnation, he gets calls from other bloggers: "If Brownlee and Gregor get a pass, why not me?" The argument is that if we get in, everybody should and that if they don't, we shouldn't. I don't buy that, but I get how the issue could be a pain in Hebert's ass.

Here's the Oilers policy, or lack of same, as Staples recently reported:

"Allan Watt, vice-president of broadcast and communications for the Oilers, says, "We don’t have a policy, only a position which is consistent with the other Canadian teams regarding bloggers. We take the position that we don’t accredit websites and bloggers not affiliated with or employed by a mainstream media. We also reserve the right to deal with these requests on a case by case basis."

MOVING FORWARD

I believe the position, as stated by Watt, is far too restrictive and needs to be reconsidered. There are a lot of bloggers producing well-written, thought-provoking and insightful accounts and commentary that draw millions of page hits and, as a bottom line, enhance awareness and interest in the Oilers, and all NHL teams for that matter.

Not all those websites, as has been pointed out before, have an interest in getting credentials. They can do what they do without them. But some of those sites do want access, and there's no legitimate reason in 2010 that those sites, including this one, be dismissed without consideration because they aren't affiliated with MSM outlets.

That said, the Oilers have every right to decide what websites and outlets they issue credentials to. They have a right to expect and maintain levels of professional conduct and coverage. It's their show.

What needs to happen is for the Oilers and all NHL teams to adopt a position that they will issue or decline credentials based on the merit of the website applying for same.

What is the history of the site? Is the content fan-boy trash or mindless gibberish laced with profanity, or does it resemble, at least loosely, what you find on MSM sites? How large an audience does the site reach? Is somebody just looking for a free seat in Rexall Place or a chance to get into the dressing room? Is the content and commentary being produced of a "professional" standard? On and on.

TIME HAS COME

Asking those kinds of questions, and others, in establishing policy for issuing credentials to non-MSM websites translates, at least initially, to a helluva lot of thought and extra work for media men like Hebert. But the time has come.

If an old-school, inked-stained wretch like me has come to the conclusion that there's a lot of well-written, worthwhile content and commentary out there being produced by people who have never been near a journalism school and who aren't employed by MSM outlets, it's likely long overdue that NHL teams recognize it as well.

Websites like Oilersnation aren't going anywhere. Hockey blogs and hockey bloggers are here to stay and they're going to have their say, one way or another. From where I sit, that's a good thing.

It's time for the Oilers, time for every NHL team, to open their doors and embrace that reality.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#1 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
September 02 2010, 01:43PM
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Good to hear you got another gig, but what are you technically allowed to do now at ON?

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#2 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
September 02 2010, 01:47PM
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I agree with what the NHL teams are trying to do as a whole. There is far too many mickey mouse characters out there with zero reliability.

You and Gregor make sense to get passes, but if other bloggers want passes they need to be more open about who they are and maybe lose the nicknames. Or at least don't guy by the nicknames.

The NHL is running a business and they need to make sure that who they let in aren't just going to be goofs. Maybe there should be some sort of course that the NHL offers to make bloggers more aware of what they want?

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#3 godot10
September 02 2010, 01:51PM
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I think the criterion for recognizing media credentials should be

1) a criminal records check 2) bondability

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#4 thebiggestmanintheworld
September 02 2010, 01:58PM
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I do not envy JJ Hebert's job in deciding this. Until a decent process of weeding out the "mindless gibberish laced with profanity" and the actual hockey fan's blog is developed, and I don't think it'll be that easy, the Oilers are doing the right thing and just keeping everyone out. I think the trickiest issue is when the guys like Brownlee and Gregor, the mainstream guys already with credentials, writing for the blogs. I'm not saying I think it's a problem(we at Oilernation benefit greatly from it, in fact) but it kind of contradicts the Oilers policy. This is definately an issue that the Oilers should be proactive on however. Maybe a couple of issues such as these should be brought up in the future R&D camps?

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#5 The Towel Boy
September 02 2010, 01:59PM
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NHL teams are foolish to not embrace the blogger phenomenon. I mean, it only serves to grow the game.

In the same breath, why wouldn't the NHL and its teams want that added exposure? I suppose the argument to that is that they get the exposure without offering credentials to bloggers - so why bother?

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#6 SirFozz
September 02 2010, 01:59PM
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How were Herbert and Watt able to hear you during your conversations with their ears full of sand?

I agree not all bloggers are worthy of pass, but to basically have a policy of 'no bloggers allowed' shows how out of touch these guys are.

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#7 thebiggestmanintheworld
September 02 2010, 02:00PM
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Also, congrats on the new gig Robin.

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#8 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
September 02 2010, 02:04PM
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This no blogger thing, isn't it a league wide thing that is happening?

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#9 Milli
September 02 2010, 02:07PM
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I think it is a tricky one for teams, but one that has been around for a few years. Time has come to embrace it. I think after about 5 minutes maybe less, you can tell if a site is worthy. Another note on this, doesn't the Washington Caps owner blog directly with the fans, that is the coolest thing.

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#10 Jay
September 02 2010, 02:18PM
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They could look at doing something like issuing credentials to those bloggers that meet certain credibility criteria, like a high rating on technorati, etc. It would push those bloggers interested in taking their coverage of the team seriously to build better sites and easily weed out the ones just trying to get into the stadium. Using purely subjective criteria only opens them up to criticism like the organization only allowing bloggers that pander to the team in - which would inevitably happen.

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#11 Robin Brownlee
September 02 2010, 02:26PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

This no blogger thing, isn't it a league wide thing that is happening?

Care to expand on "blogger thing" and "league-wide thing?"

The discussion is about how NHL teams deal with bloggers, so what's the disconnect in topic for you?

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#12 Sheldon Oilers Fan for Life!!!
September 02 2010, 02:29PM
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I rarely read the MSM sites any more as the blogs often have more up to date information and the person writing seem to care a whole lot more as it is his one gig. MSM writers often write an article a day or what ever fulfill the editors quota and move on. I also like stuff that is from the writers head and not filtered through an editor and slashed for content or to fit a given space. I have read so much great stuff lately that just never would have appeared on a MSM site such as stats analysis on the 72 Series and an interview with MPS translated from Swedish. I only have one vice I watch hockey, read about hockey eat sleep and breathe Oilers. It has been a lot more fun to do this since I started to pay attention to blogs. the Oilers ignore blogs at there at there own loss of revenue. Not to mention the fact that they will be sending there message through the established MSM system and ignoring a large portion of their most passionate fans. Not wise in my opinion and I am not alone of coarse.

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#13 DK0
September 02 2010, 02:31PM
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@Robin Brownlee

I think he was trying to ask "Isn't every team in the NHL doing the same thing and saying no bloggers, MSM only, for credentials?" I'm guessing the point he was trying to make is that its not like the Oilers are being pricks about it, they are just following the industry standard

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#14 Andy Grabia
September 02 2010, 02:33PM
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Good post, Robin. I would never want access, even if offered, but there's no reason some guys who want it should be denied. My only quibble is that I don't think this is about "professional" writing and reporting standards. Guys who get drunk on talk radio shows get access. It's about control. The first bloggers who do get access with the Oilers will be the ones who play nice. It won't be the ones who criticize the team, even if their writing and reporting is spot-on.

Andy

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#15 Rob...
September 02 2010, 02:36PM
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-Is adding bloggers to the scrum likely to improve/enhance the quality of the questions being asked already? -Asked another way: If bloggers ask different questions than the MSM, are those the questions the ones that cause speakers to clam up and scrums to be ended prematurely?

I can only assume that a MSM rep would be hauled onto the carpet if they kept asking questions that were considered stupid on many levels. What does a blogger have to lose unless they work for an organization with a hierarchical structure that results in a similar arse-chewing?

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#16 JJmorrocco
September 02 2010, 02:38PM
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What would it take for ON to be considered MSM? I have heard it referenced by the MSM this week, during the Habby story. that must give it some legitmacy.

How long will it be until the Oilers buy up the Nation and take control?

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#17 Lord Bob
September 02 2010, 02:40PM
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I realize it sounds pretty self-serving for me, a semi-professional hockey blogger about the Oilers, to agree with almost every word in this post. But I, a semi-professional hockey blogger about the Oilers, agree with almost every word in this post.

Even if I have no interest in standing in the dressing room talking to Jason Strudwick about giving it 110%, it would be nice if players could at least talk to us without having the kibosh put on by the Oilers' front office.

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#18 longbottom/P.Biglow
September 02 2010, 02:42PM
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I agree whole heartedly with you Robin. The Oilers should lead the way in creating the rules on bloggers who get media passes. That being said any creditable blogger can get enough information from the team website, news media, outher bloggers to be able to form opinions and ideas to create blogs. Blogs are informative but they are opinions and not competeing with media outlets to get a scoop.

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#19 Librarian Mike
September 02 2010, 02:43PM
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For people who think this blog is "Mindless Gibberish":

Have any of them ever picked up a copy of The Sun before?

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#20 Deep Oil
September 02 2010, 02:46PM
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DK0 wrote:

I think he was trying to ask "Isn't every team in the NHL doing the same thing and saying no bloggers, MSM only, for credentials?" I'm guessing the point he was trying to make is that its not like the Oilers are being pricks about it, they are just following the industry standard

Here is a comment from Ted Leonsis, welcoming bloggers......

www.tedstake.com/2010/08/27/let-the-bloggers-in/

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#21 Banger
September 02 2010, 02:47PM
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The thing i like about blogs is the fact that it is people giving their opinion and not just simple reporting. I mean of all the papers, radio shows etc in this town. How often do you get an article in the MSM that is different from the other guys at the next paper? Same quotes, similar takes etc. Are all those same quotes and interviews just getting expanded to multiple websites too?

I mean you watch TSN for example. You see everyone else mics in there getting the recording. You hear the same interview on every channel and radio station.

Maybe this has something to do with MSM guys getting more one on one access to players? Maybe then someone would get a take on a story that is different then the next guy?

Am i way out to lunch Robin? Seems to me with the current system it will just be more of the same information anyway.

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#22 Luke
September 02 2010, 02:47PM
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Robin, fantastic work as always

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#23 HottScarrison
September 02 2010, 02:47PM
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@Librarian Mike

The Sun? U mean the local auto trader.

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#24 Lord Bob
September 02 2010, 02:49PM
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I should also point out that the NHL itself, as in the league office, is fairly warm to bloggers. I, personally, was credentialed for the NHL Entry Draft last summer, along with other members of my network, and that's just my own personal example. Bloggers have been invited to the NHL Awards, various All-Star game events, and other events that the league itself can control.

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#25 Soft Hands McSteeley - FIST Movement
September 02 2010, 02:50PM
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DK0 wrote:

I think he was trying to ask "Isn't every team in the NHL doing the same thing and saying no bloggers, MSM only, for credentials?" I'm guessing the point he was trying to make is that its not like the Oilers are being pricks about it, they are just following the industry standard

The Oilers are one of the most strick teams when it comes to bloggers getting press passes. It is not league wide, as some teams like the Washington Capitals do actually embrace the Bloggers. Ted Leonsis has spoken about the issue at hand and actually has his own blog.

I do really think the policy should just be to review each application case by case. If a blogger applies for the press pass and can provide data to prove his readership and the legitamacy of his writing/blogging, then they should be approved, which would be the case for guys like Brown Lee and Gregor.

I would love to see the numbers on readship and hits on this site in comparison to the standard MSM sources.

If it comes down to a #'s game... pull John Mackinnon's press pass, he's a joke.

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#26 Robin Brownlee
September 02 2010, 02:50PM
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Andy Grabia wrote:

Good post, Robin. I would never want access, even if offered, but there's no reason some guys who want it should be denied. My only quibble is that I don't think this is about "professional" writing and reporting standards. Guys who get drunk on talk radio shows get access. It's about control. The first bloggers who do get access with the Oilers will be the ones who play nice. It won't be the ones who criticize the team, even if their writing and reporting is spot-on.

Andy

Fair comment, although feel free to replace the word "professional" with whatever term, for you, reflects what separates the obviously outrageous/just-for-laughs kind of sites from those offering statistical analysis, commentary etc.

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#27 Librarian Mike
September 02 2010, 02:50PM
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HottScarrison wrote:

The Sun? U mean the local auto trader.

Haha. Exactly, because apparently sticking a camera right up in the face of someone who just found out their husband/wife died is considered 'journalism'.

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#28 Soft Hands McSteeley - FIST Movement
September 02 2010, 02:50PM
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Damn Deep Oil, you beat me to it!

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#29 BUCK75
September 02 2010, 02:54PM
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I agree with Robin's take on some of the blogs are really good. Some are not so good. Blogging takes up a huge part of a person's time, as any of the people on here who do blog could attest to. The people who put the most time into their online work is pretty easy to spot.

The problem with the blogging phenomenon is that you have to be really good to make a living at it. The other thing is that there must be 40-50 oilers blogs/bloggers at least....

So I guess what the Oilers brass is telling us that if we all paid a nominal subscription fee Oilersnation would be considered MSM?

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#30 Robin Brownlee
September 02 2010, 03:05PM
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@BUCK75

There are a lot of blogs that are really good but that wouldn't necessarily qualify for credentials because of content etc. Many of those don't want or need credentials.

I laugh out loud at goofy videos the Knob Hockey folks produce, but I'm not sure you'll see that gang in a pressbox doing "research" any time soon. Doesn't mean they aren't good at what they do.

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#31 Ducey
September 02 2010, 03:10PM
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I think the Oilers are doing the right thing.

The MSM is slow but they have editors, lawyers and assets. If a writer says something defamatory or outside the ethics of the profession then there will be consequences. Editors will say no, the writer/ paper can get sued, etc. In most cases the MSM edits what they say, and for good reason.

Lets say bloggers have access to a dressing room, or team flight etc, and they overhear a conversation or see something that is outside the realm of professionalism to write about.(Rumours for example) Lets say they want the nice juicy headline to boost hits to their site and they go ahead and report it.

What is the consequence for that blogger if it turns out not to be true or is tabloid type stuff that impacts a player negatively. Not much. He likely has few assets and may not even care if he gets sued. He has had his 15 minutes of fame.

There is a level of trust and accountability between teams and the MSM that makes the system work and allows the Oilers to feel comfortable allowing professionals like Brownlee, Matheson, Gregor etc to have access.

Robin, I think you underestimate your profession. You have off the record conversations, hear rumours, see things that you will not report on - you have said that many times here. I can't see the average blogger with no editor or training doing the same.

If bloggers get credentials, the result will be that the Oilers and other teams will need to protect their players and will grant even less access to players - to everyone.

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#32 Hemmertime
September 02 2010, 03:11PM
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Article boiled down to as few words as possible.

"Give CoppernBlue access, do not give jeanshortsandbaggedmilk access."

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#33 rubbertrout
September 02 2010, 03:12PM
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I just want to know what has happened to my Reader's Digest subscription.

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#34 rubbertrout
September 02 2010, 03:14PM
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Hemmertime wrote:

Article boiled down to as few words as possible.

"Give CoppernBlue access, do not give jeanshortsandbaggedmilk access."

I would love to see what would happen if Jeashorts and Bagged Milk got access.

That would be worth a subscription fee.*

*nominal

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#35 MSM
September 02 2010, 03:14PM
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It only figures the Oilers do this. Look what they did to Stauffer. They won't allow him to Twitter.

Is anyone stupid enough to believe that in spite of your writing for other organizations, because you blog, you can't be accredited?

Tell Watt that John MacKinnon, Dan Barnes, etc. blog. Is their access denied?

I think this is more about bloggers being able to call a spade a spade. It isn't done often in MSM because you have to travel with the players and management for so many months of the year.

Perhaps it's because JW was against public money going into the downtown arena?

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#36 BUCK75
September 02 2010, 03:19PM
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@Robin Brownlee

For sure, but like I said there must be at least 50 Oilers blogs. A handful of them don't live in Edmonton & say another handful can't justify the fact to even get the press pass with their "real jobs". I think that I could only think of 5 or 6 guys that would even fall into the category of requiring one. I just don't think it would be a case of opening the floodgates & having 400 requests from bloggers.

I think that if some of these people who got the privilege of even getting the pass, they might like it better not having it & carving/commenting on the people that do have it. It's the classic case of the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

I don't see the harm in allowing a person like yourself or Gregor to be allowed to have a pass that says Oilersnation on it. Wouldn't you think that if they were even entertaining the idea they would start with a "blogger" who has a body of work & they have worked with in the past?

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#37 Travis Dakin
September 02 2010, 03:20PM
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Hemmertime wrote:

Article boiled down to as few words as possible.

"Give CoppernBlue access, do not give jeanshortsandbaggedmilk access."

HAHAHA Uh.... yeah.

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#38 Rick
September 02 2010, 03:28PM
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Good article Robin, there are more than two shades of colour to this debate but one thing that is undeniable is that blogging isn't going away.

Without hashing and re-hashing the same tired arguments that never get you guys anywhere why not look for a solution?

The way I see it is that there are a number of bloggers that probably have proven they can handle the responsibilities that come with team access. There are also a number of bloggers that have a professional journalism background and are open minded enough to recognize who those guys are and what those responsibilities require.

Based on that and speaking only from an NHL blogger perpective, wouldn't the most progressive approach be to establish some sort of association?

I know it sounds formal but if blogging has truly grown up to where the people in question no longer wear bunny pajamas and hide form the sun light for days on end then perhaps it is time to treat it as such. You know small beginnings and great things or something to that effect.

Such an approach seems to solve all the problems. The quality and so called ethical issues then become self governing as well as it releives NHL teams and guys like Hebert the impossible task of wondering if this guy or that guy is simply looking to score free tickets and get a glimpse of how an NHLer lives.

They can provide a set of standards that the association members needs to abide by and the association takes responsibility for it's members for risk of losing access.

Sorry, long post but in short if bloggers want the perks of professional perhaps it is time the show they can be professionals.

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#39 Ender
September 02 2010, 03:28PM
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The scary thing about the Oilers deciding that "this blog writer gets a pass and this one doesn't" is that there will always be the unspoken threat hanging over the head of the blogger that gets one: play nice if you want your pass renewed next season. I know that it exists right now for the MSM guys, but the thing is that they already expect to be nice (for the most part); an MSM outlet can't get too carried away with what it writes. A blogger can write anything and everything they feel like.

Just found out about a player trade that went sideways? A blogger has that up inside of five minutes. Someone with a press pass asked to keep it quiet? I'm guessing they don't have quite as much lattitude.

The big question, then, is will having a press pass change the type of content that some bloggers currently have? This may not be quite so applicable to the Nation since there are several contributors here and what Gregor or Brownlee might not be able to touch, Wanye can spout off about to heart's content, but even here what one writer posts may have an impact on the access afforded the others as touched on by Brownlee today. Other, smaller blogs with two contributors or even a single writer could be held to a much firmer ultimatum; take the 'correct' tone or forfeit inside access. For some blogs, I think it's far better not to be held hostage by the almighty press pass. It's like a drug; everything is hunky-dory until you get a taste, and then you can't live without it - until you've realized how much it's changed you from who you were before you had it, anyway.

I trust Brownlee and Gregor will continue to offer us the same fine content they have been, even if they have to watch who their words impact. And for the really juicy stuff? Well, maybe they can leak it to Towel Boy who can disguise the important leak in comment #63 prefaced by a big ol' "Who saw this coming!!!"

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#40 BUCK75
September 02 2010, 03:33PM
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@Ender

@Towel Boy

"Who saw this coming!!!"

Hey! There is a blog called that too....isn't there? ;)

Case & point right there. A guy who has a good take on things & doesn't have time to even hardly post on his own blog....

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#41 PaperDesigner
September 02 2010, 03:40PM
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I think there's an aspect of discomfort with losing traditional standards for determining the legitimacy of a writer. It used to be very simple; go to journalism school, become good enough to be hired by a widely distributed publication, get credentials. It's a far murkier world when it comes to blogs. All you need is a command of the English language, steady content, and a following. The blog world's "do-it-yourself" nature is probably an uncomfortable thing to deal with for anyone used to traditional ways of information transmission.

Accepting blogs also necessitates some difficult, gray-scale decisions. Oilers Nation is by far one of the more sophisticated members of the Oilers blogging world, with its frequent breaking stories, quality writers and between you and Gregor, some mainstream credibility. But how would you handle a blog like Black Dog Hates Skunks? Its emphasis on personal storytelling doesn't exactly fit the profile of someone you'd want covering the team, even if the writing is strong. Do the stat guys belong, if they're trying to analyze the game through numbers rather than personal analysis? I think there are some tough decisions to make.

I will say that I'd love to be able to read Lowetide interviewing Stu MacGregor or Kevin Lowe, or have David Staples have a conversation with Tom Renney about the disconnect between the expectations on a big man like Dustin Penner versus the reality of what he is. The whole point of allowing coverage, from the point of view of the organization, is to encourage fan interest. It's time for them to recognize that their best and most dedicated fans often process their information through blogs, and to respond accordingly. If they don't, they might miss a whole generation born into the information age.

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#42 Ender
September 02 2010, 03:50PM
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@PaperDesigner

Well said. And just important as deciding whether Lowetide should interview K-Lowe is ensuring that Lowetide stays Lowetide while he does it.

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#43 baggedmilk
September 02 2010, 03:52PM
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rubbertrout wrote:

I would love to see what would happen if Jeashorts and Bagged Milk got access.

That would be worth a subscription fee.*

*nominal

You're damned right that we should have access. I would ask the cut throat questions, the stuff you need to know, like who's banging who and what color their nipples are.

Yeah.. that will be sweet.

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#44 baggedmilk
September 02 2010, 03:53PM
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We deserve access though, right? Right?

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#45 Ender
September 02 2010, 03:55PM
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[reads what baggedmilk has written]

OK, forget everything I've said today. It's just too dangerous. MSM only. Case closed.

(oh, the humanity . . . how close were we to the apocolypse just now?)

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#46 bingofuel
September 02 2010, 03:55PM
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The whole point of allowing coverage, from the point of view of the organization, is to encourage fan interest. It's time for them to recognize that their best and most dedicated fans often process their information through blogs, and to respond accordingly. If they don't, they might miss a whole generation born into the information age.

This is really what it boils down to for me. "Fan" bloggers — those who take what they do somewhat seriously (and maybe even those who don't) — provide tremendous value to teams like the Oilers, even if it makes those teams feel uncomfortable some (or all) of the time.

I've been astonished at times how poorly Oilers treat their fans, and look to Vancouver and even Calgary as good examples of teams who get it — their comms departments host tweet-ups, invite bloggers to pre-game events, etc. I think this is the smart way to wade into this strange new world.

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#47 Robin Brownlee
September 02 2010, 03:56PM
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Hemmertime wrote:

Article boiled down to as few words as possible.

"Give CoppernBlue access, do not give jeanshortsandbaggedmilk access."

Uh, no . . .

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#48 Jonathan Willis
September 02 2010, 05:19PM
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Naturally, I'm with the consensus here and in agreement with Robin's article, even though access wouldn't do me personally much good.

I would like to make one side point, though: my interactions with the Oilers have been through J.J. Hebert, and while Hebert hasn't been able to do much for me he's always spoken both to me both professionally and politely, and I've appreciated it.

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#49 smiliegirl15
September 02 2010, 05:23PM
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Considering how many people actually read the blogs here, the Oilers would be well advised to continue to foster some kind of relationship with the Nation. There are a lot of people (me included) who come here for Oilers news, what's really going on in the team and updates on current happenings - signings, the draft, etc.

Ignoring the power of the blogs would be like saying the internet is just a fad. It's the way of the world now; jump on the bandwagon or get left in the dust.

I know you've said before Robin, the Oilers are very much aware of the Nation but do they have anyone who wades through the inane comments to see what fans are really thinking and feeling? There are a lot of posters who post worthwhile comments. There are a lot of other people who should actually read what they typed and/or what the original article said before they hit Post.

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#50 Ryan
September 02 2010, 06:04PM
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I agree that the Oilers could grant OilersNation access to the team without little worry about professionalism. Gregor and Brownlee are basically running the MSM in Edmonton for the majority of hard core fans now.

TSN and SportsNet don't have the content to satiate us and the papers are too interested in keeping the Oilers happy.

But seriously one had not need look any farther than Wayne here at the Nation. Would you let him get a press pass? Is he considered professional enough? I laugh out loud thinking of him being offered a press pass.

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