They May Never Get It…

So ESPN released a memo to its staff (pasted below) that essentially forbids them, as ESPN employees, from posting on message boards, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

This is hysterical to me, because they are making the same mistake as newspapers. They think you are going to get all of your information from because it is, and that’s an ESPN personality delivering me the information.

What’s worse (for them), is that they keep moving content behind a pay wall.

They keep forgetting it isn’t about who delivers the information, it’s that there is information delivered. They don’t seem to understand we don’t need Andy Katz to tell us what Larranaga or Yeager said. ESPN cannot lock up information.

To be clear, Andy Katz is very good at his job. He provides excellent information. But that information, if it is valuable to me, will find me. It is distribution, and we have the means to distribute it ourselves now.

They are underestimating you. They are underestimating technology. They are underestimating the willingness of athletes and teams to offer the information. And they are underestimating this blog, this website, and my plans for us.

Anyway, I’m glad ESPN made this move. It is actually better for all of us.

The memo:

ESPN regards social networks such as message boards, conversation pages and other forms of social networking such as Facebook and Twitter as important new forms of content. As such, we expect to hold all talent who participate in social networking to the same standards we hold for interaction with our audiences across TV, radio and our digital platforms. This applies to all ESPN Talent, anchors, play by play, hosts, analysts, commentators, reporters and writers who participate in any form of personal social networking that contain sports related content.
ESPN Digital Media is currently building and testing modules designed to publish Twitter and Facebook entries simultaneously on,, Page 2, ESPN Profile pages and other similar pages across our web site and mobile platforms. The plan is to fully deploy these modules this fall.
Specific Guidelines
· Personal websites and blogs that contain sports content are not permitted
· Prior to engaging in any form of social networking dealing with sports, you must receive permission from the supervisor as appointed by your department head
· ESPN.COM may choose to post sports related social media content
· If opts not to post sports related social media content created by ESPN talent, you are not permitted to report, speculate, discuss or give any opinions on sports related topics or personalities on your personal platforms
· The first and only priority is to serve ESPN sanctioned efforts, including sports news, information and content
Assume at all times you are representing ESPN
If you wouldn’t say it on the air or write it in your column, don’t tweet it
Exercise discretion, thoughtfulness and respect for your colleagues, business associates and our fans
· Avoid discussing internal policies or detailing how a story or feature was reported, written, edited or produced and discussing stories or features in progress, those that haven’t been posted or produced, interviews you’ve conducted, or any future coverage plans.
· Steer clear of engaging in dialogue that defends your work against those who challenge it and do not engage in media criticism or disparage colleagues or competitors
· Be mindful that all posted content is subject to review in accordance with ESPN’s employee policies and editorial guidelines
· Confidential or proprietary company information or similar information of third parties who have shared such information with ESPN, should not be shared
Any violation of these guidelines could result in a range of consequences, including but not limited to suspension or dismissal.

~ by mglitos on August 5, 2009.

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