Monday, June 11, 2007

Getting shut out in sports

Professional and collegiate sports have grown increasingly restrictive in trying to prohibit news coverage of their events. It's a battle we have fought in small ways for years, but it's growing increasingly troublesome, highlighted most recently by an NCAA decision to toss a Louisville reporter who was live-blogging a college baseball game. (They should, of course, be happy anybody's paying attention to college baseball ...)

A number of McClatchy editors and lawyers have been working on a response. So have sports editors, mainly through APSE.

I think we can (and will) make strong legal arguments about our right to cover public events being held in (mainly) publicly owned venues. But even though legal options are naturally limited, there's a lot more involved here than legalities. I think Dan Gillmor makes excellent points in this post at his citizen media site.

Here's a taste:

But the paper should go much further. For one thing, it should go around the control freaks, and buy a ticket for a reporter and have him/her blog the game from the stands.

Then it should get the readers/fans involved. For example, the paper should ask readers to blog the game themselves, from TV sets or from the stands, or both — and then point to the best reader game-blogs.

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