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?