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Blogging Standards

from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,

The Vancouver Canucks, who are hosting a six-team prospects tournament in this city on Lake Okanagan, say they will grant equal credentials to approved bloggers. But there will be a strict code of conduct that they must follow. Should bloggers - a contrarian, independent lot - breach those conditions, the Canucks say they will pull credentials and deny access. In short, bloggers will be held to the standards of MSM when it comes to libel, slander, seeking autographs etc.

That might be a problem as “blogger” has come to be synonymous for bending the rules on sourcing or taking liberties with research. Others complain that bloggers hiding behind anonymity don’t reveal their conflicts or connections to either management or players. Things that would never pass muster with an editor go viral on the internet.

Some feel that the threat of pulling credentials should suffice in keeping bloggers in line. Others, who note the lack of sourced material and accountability in many blogs, feel that more needs to be done. After all, if you sue a blogger for slander and win, what can you get? The person’s computer? The lack of risk and absence of assets as compensation makes pursuing a blogger moot. Hit-and-run has been the tactic of many blogs floating on the edge of respectability.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Media, Hockey Bloggers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

That might be a problem as “blogger” has come to be synonymous for bending the rules on sourcing or taking liberties with research.

synonymous for whom?  My personal synonym for “blogger” is “fan”.  I don’t automatically assume that somebody who blogs steals material or makes up facts.  There are tons of “unprofessional” blogs out there (and some even on this site), but those aren’t the guys hunting for access and their readership isn’t based on getting the scoops the MSM or other more journalistic-before-editorial-based blogs are. 

..if you sue a blogger for slander and win, what can you get? The person’s computer? The lack of risk and absence of assets as compensation makes pursuing a blogger moot…  Usual Suspects feels that if a blogger wants a place in a press box or dressing room environment there should be something more tangible at stake - say, a bond of $10,000 that a blogger would lose should a court or arbitrator find he or she broke professional standards or libel laws.

So the financial reward to the team for being a victim isn’t enough to risk giving access to “poor people”?  I thought punitive damages were designed to punish the person who committed the wrong, not reward the victim for suing them? 

I understand the business side of the game, and I would actually support this idea, it’s just I feel the way that problem and solution are presented ties to an issue I have with the entire civil litigation system.

Aside from those two nit-picks, the article does a good job of reiterating the concern that the teams have with credentialing bloggers, even if it does hide behind the same misconceptions the MSM holds about trying to fit all bloggers into a single category.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/15/10 at 01:22 PM ET

Primis's avatar

What amuses me most is how the MSM are the ONLY people that demonize bloggers.  Because they know they’re taking their lunch money.

Fact is, pretty soon NHL teams (and other sports) won’t have a choice at all, because the bloggers are going to have shut down many of the MSM outlets.  The news print industry is already all but dead as it is… and radio is dying a much quieter death than print (that’s a dirty little secret right now still).

Posted by Primis on 09/15/10 at 02:05 PM ET

Da lil Guy's avatar

The point is MSM still enjoys access that bloggers don’t get - because they’re known to adhere to a higher standard, and there is recourse against them in the courts and elsewhere.

Canuck’s are saying if bloggers are to be given the level of access the MSM enjoys (as they so often argue they should) they should be willing to adhere to the same standards.

This is a bit of an experiment, and even if you criticize the ‘nucks for putting rules and restrictions on bloggers they’re still out on the cutting edge of ‘new media’ compared to the rest of the hockey world. They’re also taking a big risk and it’s fair to call attention to that fact.

Posted by Da lil Guy from Guelph, Ontario on 09/15/10 at 02:47 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

This is a bit of an experiment, and even if you criticize the ‘nucks for putting rules and restrictions on bloggers they’re still out on the cutting edge of ‘new media’ compared to the rest of the hockey world. They’re also taking a big risk and it’s fair to call attention to that fact.

I agree that it’s a positive step by the Canucks to do this and that the point that bloggers should be held to the same standards as MSM when dealing with team credentials. 

What I get tired of is the idea that all bloggers are the same and that all MSM-types are somehow inherently better than bloggers because the punishments for indiscretions are greater.  There are bloggers who have credentials that I trust more than several writers.

The idea that MSM-types have more to lose isn’t what the author was talking about.  He mentioned that it’s worth more to the teams to go after somebody with money for breaking the rules than it is somebody who may not have those assets.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/15/10 at 02:55 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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