Thursday, April 15, 2010

Club Groucho

The Nationals have decided to make media credentials available to a select list of blogs.

What am I expecting? A proliferation of redundant game and daily news wraps peppered with the same player and manager quotes I already mostly skip over due to their overwhelming lack of newsworthiness. More interview transcripts. More pictures of SBF and TAQ in sycophantic and preening poses with Our Washington Nationals. More terrible writing from Federal Baseball. More bloggers with an inflated sense of self-worth.

What do I want? Smart opinion and analysis. Longer features. Accountability blogging. A willingness to call bullshit on everything the front office says. A desire to challenge instead of being a mouthpiece. Media criticism.

I have little interest in reading four junior beat writers (the invite to Nats Farm Authority is unnecessary for his blog). By defining it as a "trial program" and limiting participation to so-called "news-gathering outlets," (read: aggregators that don't offer much in the way of pushback) it's clear that the team wants the benefits of being seen as open to social media without any of the downsides of really engaging with their critics. Ask a few too many hard questions -- hey, it was just a trial program anyway.

The local media is pretty soft on the team, and I'm sure the team likes that. But other teams have shown a willingness to make themselves available to challenges from bloggers. And I'm sure everything wasn't sweetness and harmony when Loverro was showing up at games, but those days are gone.

I would rather one or two of those credentials were made available to those opinion bloggers who I think would be less likely to regurgitate what they're told and less willing to be used as a PR mouthpiece. (And, no, I don't mean me.)

So, good for you that you get to go to the press conferences and see games for free, but what's in it for the readers?

7 comments:

嘉雯 said...

I do like ur article~!!!...................................................

Positively Half St. said...

I caught your blog through Capitol Punishment. I love how Past a Diving Vidro could also be Pasta Diving Vidro, but I bet you did that on purpose.

Personally, I like the idea of the media passes so that they are challenged to produce more content. The possibility that they will improve and develop their own voices (yes, I know SBF has his own voice already) makes it worth it to me. That's because it costs me not a thing.

TBC said...

Too bad your boy Needham blew his gig at NBCWashington.com with that bigoted screed against the hillbillies. That gig would have qualified him for this trial program, since it would be hard for anyone to argue that he wasn't blogging for a legitimate news organization.

What do I want? Smart[ass] opinion and analysis. Longer features. Accountability blogging. A willingness to call bullshit on everything the front office says. A desire to challenge instead of being a mouthpiece. Media criticism.

Why do those bloggers need credentials to do any of that? They're doing it already. But really, I'd like to see them get the credentials for one reason and one reason only - because they'd all be exposed as the true wimps they are, able to call bullshit from their mother's basements but clamming up, flopsweating and stammering as soon as they get a mic in front of them with the opportunity to call bullshit in person. That would truly be entertaining. The MASN post-game show ratings would go through the roof!

WFY said...

"blew his gig at NBCWashington.com with that bigoted screed against the hillbillies."

This is one of my favorite comments in a long time.

UnPlugg said...

Wait a minute - the Nats actually have local people that blog about them? I thought the bloggers are located in the Philly area!

Bote Man said...

In my Walter Mitty moments I imagine myself calling Nats games from the lofty confines of the press box, but in the style of MST3K over an Internet audio stream. No-holds-barred calling of b.s. as it occurs. "Color" commentary from someone better situated than I to point out the idiocy of going to a pitcher who has a terrible history against the due batter. Like that.

Perhaps it would even last a while thanks to the front office thinking that all 3 listeners pose no threat to the dominance of the team's PR machine. Still, it would be a refreshing change from the banal interviews in the stands with the 3rd cousin twice removed of the guy who used to room with Stephen Strasburg in college.

Now THAT would be a fitting use of press credentials.

Mac G said...

I have low expectations for this endeavor as there is not really full media access at all.