Let’s Get Serious

I’ve updated the below copy. As I perused the blogosphere while eating a roast beef sandwich, I found this issue has blown up. In fairness, it may have blown up yesterday but I watched the local news, allowed the weatherman to again explain why he lied in yesterday’s forecast, and hit the sack. And I’m no morning person.

The guy over at Sea of Blue has a self-proclaimed rant, but it also contain a ton of fact. I recommend it highly, with the knowledge that a Kentucky guy is wishing a Louisville team luck. You know something is up.

But I digress…

This story caught my eye last night, as it represents a slippery slope.

The short version, for those too lazy to click: a reporter was booted from the press box and covering the NCAA baseball super regionals–losing his credentials in the process–for live blogging during a game. The NCAAs stance: there is a rule prohibiting live Internet updates from its championship events.

It isn’t a minor quibble. The NCAA can pass whatever rules they wish and enforce them as stringently as they desire–this is their right. This is going to fire up bloggers everywhere, as well as those looking to protect their rights and free speech and all that jazz. My take is a bit different. I worry about the tentacles on this action.

Lost in this, perhaps, is the NCAA choosing to determine what is game action and what is analysis. Honestly, I have no issue with a stance that forbids reporting game action–people pay rights to have that. We all have the capability to sit in the stands and provide a pitch-by-pitch report of a game. The advancements in technology have been astounding and are cause for everyone to rethink previous norms.

But analysis of what a reporter sees on the field, bringing the flavor of a game, describing what he sees on the floor is all part and parcel to providing the “bundle of information” the public demands. It may well be a very large First Amendment issue, but we don’t need to debate that here.

The slippery slope, in my mind, resides in the stance of the NCAA. They are clearly an organization that just doesn’t understand the changing role of “media” and how people choose to get their information in 2007. Technology has permitted inforamtion to flow freely. The distributed nature of the Internet allows people to decide how they want to get this information. To try to horde it, in my opinion, is a mistake by the NCAA.

Their rule worked in 1990. It is outdated now, and instead of looking at how the rule could be altered to better configure to a changing media landscape, they instead chose to redraw lines based on the rule. Backwards, in my estimation.

In fact, if they embraced it–perhaps throw all of the columnists from all of the different venues into one giant NCAA Baseball Community so that everyone could get a macro and micro analysis of the tournament’s goings-on–they could be better for it.

The solution is not so hard if they begin with the notion that content delivery is getting easier and more ubiquitous. It isn’t a bad thing to say your rule is outdated. In fact, some people might find them progressive.

Besides, it’s not like the reporter was some schmoe from campus, sitting in the bleachers blogging back to his buddies because they were dying for information–you know, the motivation behind why Mark Cuban started Broadcast.com.

How did that work out?

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~ by mglitos on June 12, 2007.

One Response to “Let’s Get Serious”

  1. Thanks for the link.

    You have an excellent take on this story, I enjoyed reading it.

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