Friday Followup: Credentials & Credibility

It's Friday, so that means 2 things: I get to wear a T-shirt to work, and you get a bunch of links from around the blogs this week!

Normally, I tend to go through stuff we've posted here at The Cannon, then other CBJ bloggers, then stuff around the NHL.

I hope you'll forgive me for breaking from pattern this week, but it's for what I feel is an important reason. Yesterday, a story was posed on Puck Daddy about some NHL teams wishing to deny access to their team to bloggers, even if that blogger was credentialed by the NHL, or another NHL team. Not surprisingly, this sparked quite a bit of reaction, particularly here at SBNation since one of the teams involved (The New York Rangers) specifically cited one of our blogs as the reason they wished to prevent that access. (Jim from BSB has also responded to the story, and the Rangers position, here. I encourage you to read it!) Later in the day, PD followed up with a leaked email detailing the draft of the NHL's new policy as a result of that request.

Since the story broke, a lot of bloggers have been discussing the issue of how much access bloggers should have to the sports teams they write about, and what's appropriate to expect in that coverage. Some of the best have come from Justin Bourne,  The Goalie Guild, a pair of very good entries from Tapleg, and Eric McErlain, one of the groundbreakers in establishing guidelines for bloggers working with pro sports teams. I don't 100% agree with all of these (Tapeleg and I had a very good back and forth over Twitter last night on some of his ideas, in fact), but I think all of these are worth reading to get a good look at this whole thing.

(Edit: SInce I started writing this, another notable opinion came out - a blog entry by Ted Leonsis, owner of the Washington Capitals.)

I'll freely admit that I'm a biased opinion here - I love writing about the Blue Jackets, and the more I've been writing here at the Cannon, the more the idea of being able to attend press conferences, potentially interview members of the team or front office, speak with staff around the arena, and find new angles to write about as a result of increased access is very attractive. I'd enjoy getting the chance to attend a game from the press box, write about the experience, and then possibly get a chance to ask the coaches or or a player for a direct reaction to an event in that game.

On the other hand, I also recognize that the team has a right to ask me to show that I can behave responsibly if granted that privlege, and that they have a right to look at what I write to make sure I will handle that information appropriately. If I ask for credentials to attend a game in the press box and then go into the post game scrum and locker room afterwards, and they look at my blog and see that it is almost all rumors that I've made up and pictures of players that I've been stalking around town, the team is probably right to tell me they're not going to give me access.

By the same rights, the press credentials also aren't a license to go to games for free in exchange for filing a story afterward. If I just want to go to a game to cheer my lungs out and act like a loon, I pay the Blue Jackets plenty of my own money each year for that privilege, and I can do it perfectly well from my seat in 207.

Are press credentials the new status symbol among bloggers? Yes, I'm sure some people will view them that way, and I'm sure plenty of others will say "I don't want them, and I don't care." But I view them as an opportunity, and one that I hope that I will have a chance to earn at some point.

Thanks for reading. On to the rest of the Followup after the jump.

Here at The Cannon this week, we opened our fantasy hockey league, and response has been fantastic! We have 3 slots left open - sign up if you're interested! We also talked about how Rick Nash upped his game in the second half of last season, talked a little bit about the Flyers and Jackets with the guys at Broad Street Hockey, took a look at when the CBJ will appear on national TV this season, and took a look at how Antoine Vermette stacks up as a first line center.

On the CBJ front, the Islanders posted a great piece from Lindsay Kramer on former Islander and new Springfield Falcons assistant coach Andy Hilbert. (Stick tap to EPlagge over at Light the Lamp for pointing it out on Twitter). Speaking of LTL, here's 10 things he thinks the team needs to do to make the playoffs, and his own wrap up of news from last week. The Jackets Blog continues his countdown to the first day of the regular season with guys like Grant Clitsome, Tom Sestito, Max Mayorov, David Ling, Peter Samo, and more guys you may or may not have heard of. Last but not least, The Green Seat View continues their Case For Columbus with part 2, Arts & Entertainment, and put up a nice post on terms used for different styles of hockey players.

Out in the big wide world, aside from all the credentials kerfuffle, Icetethics thinks they've found a clue to Buffalo's new third jerseys, something called Dustin Byfuglien is moving to defense next season, the Florida Panthers are hiding part of their arena under tarps, and today's the day we all find out if Nikolai Khabibulin is going to jail.

Also, there was a fantastic fanpost over at Mile High Hockey about the Avs' First Half Scoring chances that I thought was worth promoting.

Last but not least, apparently all 82 of the Minnesota WIld's games will be televised this year. I know that the reason most of the CBJ's untelevised games are being blacked out is due to Versus' exclusivity window, but really? Seriously? The freaking WILD?

That's it for this week. I'm going to Mars.

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