Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Good Night, And Good Puck

Man, I'm just owning it with the cheesy titles lately.

Anyhoo, Mirtle has a great link up about media credentials for hockey bloggers. It seems to be deteriorating into a thread about Eklund, but there is some interesting stuff in there from some of the American hockey bloggers who have been picked up by the MSM. I'll keep my own thoughts on the issue to myself for a while, but I'd be interested to see what the admittedly biased readers of this site think about the issue.


Depends on what the issue you're alluding to is. I read the thread and a lot of it devolved into mudslinging against particular bloggers and/or the MSM. If the issue is "do hockey bloggers serve the fan better than the mainstream media" then my answer is a resounding no.

Because you can't paint with that wide a brush on either side of the room. Just as there are lazy reporters, there are some truly atrocious bloggers out there. Most of whom have no readership, but some still do.

I'm tired of the refrain and don't really see why I have to choose between the two. Reading mudcrutch shouldn't mean I'm not allowed to read my Duhatschek, Campbell or Lebrun and vice versa. I think both sides need each other. And frankly, the blogger battle cry that reporters should be held to a higher standard of accountability and accuracy sounds like a cop out to me. There's not a doubt in my mind that the general calibre of the bloggosphere would take a nose dive without hockey beat writers and columnists doing a lot of the legwork, sometimes wrongly.

But if the issue is should bloggers have media accreditation, then my answer would be a resounding "sure -- but who cares?"

If I'm a reader/consumer of hockey news, I want the NHL to open the floodgates to as much material-creation as possible -- whether it's shite or not. Any blogger who gets in bed with the league or would soon lose the readership they've accumulated on the outside looking in anyway. I'm no more or less likely to read a hockey blog because I know the blogger was in the press box last night. If it adds value, I'll read. If not, I won't.

But if the league bars access to bloggers, I'll still read them, because I read them now when access is spotty league-wide and non-existent in my home market.

Media access for bloggers could be a good or bad thing for the league, for the media, and for bloggers. But as a fan, the worst it could do is have a net-neutral impact. So I vote yes.

Oh, and:

I'll keep my own thoughts on the issue to myself for a while

When has that ever been the case?

When has that ever been the case?

Way more often than anyone would ever imagine. I think most writers walk the line between their own views and the views of the persona they've created/evolved into.

Beauty comment kwyjibo.

I thought that the whole "blogs vs MSM" battle meme was long dead.

The MSM reflects the views of their parent corporation and often (with hockey coverage) the team that they're covering. Hockey bloggers in general reflect the ideas of the Average Joe Hockey Fan. I don't think that hockey bloggers should be treated any differently than Average Joe Hockey Fan. I think it would take away from how the blogs are read.

For example, reading about Matt's difficulty with PPV reminds me that he has the same problems as the rest of us - had his post been critical of the type of pizza that was being served in the press box, it would have sent a different message, one that I don't think would appeal to the readership.

So, I disagree with the notion. Now if a particualr blogger is successful enough to be invited 'inside', good on them. But they'd have to think about how it would affect their readers, and what made them so popular in the first place.

There's not a doubt in my mind that the general calibre of the bloggosphere [sic] would take a nose dive without hockey beat writers and columnists doing a lot of the legwork, sometimes wrongly.

The test is this: do the beat writers and columnists ever tell us things that (a) the teams don't want us to know and (b) we couldn't find out just from watching the games on TV?

And honestly, I couldn't cite a hell of a lot of examples from the Edmonton press that suggest the answer is "yes." We know today that MacT is approaching the end of his rope with Lupul, for example; a beat writer told us, so in that sense he has a function. But if the press didn't exist wouldn't MacT find a way to send that message publicly anyway? Dressing down Lupul in public is obviously something he chose to do, and he could have done it on a simple call-in show or on the packaged interviews on the team website.

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