The Blogger vs. Mainstream Media debate continues and still there's no end in sight. Sometimes there's respect and sometimes there's not. Basically the main difference is one gets paid to do a job, one does it out of pure passion. The new debate circles around if bloggers should get media credentials and access to players etc after a game, for the N.H.L.'s position on it read below (care of puckdaddy):
Now what does having media access really get a reporter? A lot of garbage sound bites we can recite at will and often do as a joke. How many times after a game of pick up have you joked, "yeah Jim, if we just knuckle down and give it 110%, play all 60 minutes and not worry about what the other team is doing, I'll think we'll re-bound and be fine."? (feel free to add your canned after game speech in the comments) I can almost guarantee you a hockey player is going to say that or something close this year and it will be a guy with "media credentials" that reports it. Great. Give him popcorn and a ticket.
In a time when Twitter can disseminate information way faster than a newspaper, rumor or not, the issue with mainstream media is that it has become reactionary while bloggers are proactive. All of us are looking to write some new thought that no one has done yet and we dig and research for it. When I open up the paper today I read stuff about how much Flames will be aired on TV. Doesn't that feel like last weeks news? They have a blog section which is great but isn't it also indicative of where people are going? I follow more than a few mainstream media types on Twitter and I can tell you that their opinions are first rate, well written and generally interesting. The only problem is I'm reading them after I've already written about the same thing and you've already commented two days ago.
If the NHL, who is actually ahead of the curve in this regard, really wants to get the ball rolling they would invite "bloggers" for their own little presser every week. We like information, not a guy in a towel reciting the same cue card he did two nights prior. If you combine the passion of a fan with the inquisitiveness of a writer you get a blogger. Most of the bloggers on here for the Flames will get more comments than the Calgary Sun articles, again these are people who care one way or the other about a team, and that should matter to an N.H.L. club.
While everyone who has passion and a computer to blog on will not be given, nor should be given credentials, I think each NHL club should come to sites like this one and invite their bloggers for a sit down with a key center of influence to ask a few questions. It keeps us out of the locker room, the media happy, and us getting and deliver information in seconds. The information you really want though, not a canned speech. Imagine getting access to Darryl Sutter for 10 minutes? He's not my friend, I'll probably never see him again, so why not ask what we want to know?
p.s. on twitter you can follow
@shaunevetter @bradleybwindsor @eklund and many more guys from hockeybuzz there.