Behind The Scenes…A Blogger’s Dream

7/18/10

I guess when you stumble across a can of worms and it relates to you the only thing you can do is open it. Wouldn’t you? can of worms.jpg

The other day I was reading the Rockies blog of a guy named Daniel “Redhawk” Dayton called Blake Street Baseball. Daniel is the writer of several Rockies blogs and recently contacted the Rockies requesting a Rockies Media pass.

This intrigued me as his only published work thus far was online in blog form, something I’m quite familiar with. Daniel wrote a spicy article entitled “Is Major League Baseball Stuck in the 1950’s?  

          Please take the time to read it so you understand where I’m going with this.

   Is Major League Baseball Stuck in the 1950′s?…By Daniel Dayton

FcyXqQoB I’ve been writing about the Rockies on several sites, including My Team Rivals, My own site, the Rockies Reporter, as well as the Bleacher Report.

At the Bleacher Report, I’m already moving up the list of top writers and eventually hope to be a featured columnist in the future.

I’ve also been contacted to cover the Rockies at several sites all ready in my short time doing this.

I’ve actually enjoyed writing about the Colorado Rockies so far, but I really want to do more, and have better stories.

One of my personal goals as a Rockies writer is to get press credentials. It would give so much legitimacy to what I’m doing. It would also allow me to get better access to better stories. Stories that would help the Rockies connect to you the fans. Stories that would give you the fan and reader a better understanding of what is going on with the Colorado Rockies.

SO….I called the Rockies today, and got Irma Castañeda Assistant to the Vice President, Communications/PR (whose information I got….ONLINE!) I asked her about the steps of getting press credentials.

She was very rude. She was short when she said, “WELL….who are you with?” I said, I write for 3 online sites covering the Rockies. She said, that the Rockies do not and will not credential anyone that writes online. The only press credentials they will even consider, is through established main stream media such as print or radio.

I said, “well, I understand you don’t really know how to handle all the online writers asking for credentials, but….” She cut me off, and said very bluntly, “WE DON’T KNOW HOW TO HANDLE IT?!?!?! OH WE KNOW HOW TO HANDLE IT……we don’t credential online writers……PERIOD!”

I was very pleasant, and asked, “Were you aware that the Washington Nationals credentialed several online writers?” She said, “No, I was not aware of that, but the Rockies do not, and that’s what the Rockies have decided. I have to get ready for a game. Good-bye”

It wasn’t the denial that bothered me. It wasn’t even the tone and attitude, though that did put me off a lot.

What I expected to hear, was, something like, “where do you write? Let me get your information. We currently don’t give out press credentials for online writers, but we might, as it’s something we’ve talked about. I’ll let you know if your site is one we’d consider if we change our stance in the future. Thanks for calling.”

What I got was a complete denial that anyone that writes online doesn’t even exist and certainly adds nothing to the value of the Colorado Rockies. That anyone writing online, was beneath the notice of the Colorado Rockies. That there was no value to anything anyone wrote if they did it online only.

I fully understand that handling online writers is an issue. If everyone that wrote online were to get a press pass, literally every fan could throw up a site, and PRESTO…they would get a free press pass. I understand that teams will have a hard time figuring out which writer is legit and trying to be a serious journalist from those that are not.

But has Major League Baseball missed the boat on the changing media world?

The world and the media is changing fast. Newspapers and magazines in print form are dieing out left and right. Locally the Rocky Mountain News went under just last year.

What has stepped up to take the place has been the internet, and bloggers.

The Democratic Committee at their National Convention here in Denver in 2008 allowed unprecedented access to online writers and bloggers giving credentials to over 200 “bloggers”.

The NFL just this year invited bloggers to their draft in New York, and many NFL teams have allowed online writers to receive press credentials and access just like their newspaper brethren.

But Major League Baseball has been slow to adapt. Only the Washington Nationals, a team that is in need of exposure has allowed press credentials to online sites. The Nationals granted press passes to five sites, just this year. The Nationals are the only one that I’m aware of that has given press credentials.

Today’s media is not print. I’d argue today’s media is NOT radio even though Denver has three sports talk radio stations. Today’s media certainly is not local TV stations whose local sports is 5 minutes in length, and they give no more than a score and one highlighted play.

Today’s media IS online, and will continue to only grow in importance. But media relations for MLB and the Colorado Rockies are stuck in 1950′s. MLB, you need to join the NFL, and get behind the new media. You need to give out credentials to those actually covering the your teams. You need to support the writers that are actually writing about you.

For the record, I can understand turning ME down as I’m fairly new at writing online. However, there are several legitimate sites, that do a great job covering the Rockies on a regular basis that deserve to have media credentials. They deserve it more than the Woody Paiges, and the Mark Kizla’s of the world.

I’m not as big of a fan of the Rockies as I was before. access denied.gif So my initial thought was Daniel needs a few more years under his belt. But then I started to think..What exactly does it take for an online sports blogger to get a Media Pass.

What are the requirements? It’s not like the Rockies organization is unfamiliar with MLBlogs.

Thomas Harding (Rockies beat writer) maintains an MLBlog called: Hardball in the Rockies.
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thomas Harding Rockies.jpg                     Huston Street writes an MLBlogs called: Huston Street’s Blog 
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Huston Street Head.jpg.        
Also Catcher Michael McKormic has one too called: Rockies in the AFLThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Michael McKenry head.jpg

 Here’s a related article about this by written Courtney Gross of GothamGazette.com

March 2nd, 2010

For all those “new media” journalists out there, the city revealed new press credential rules today — rules that are “for the online age,” officials say.

For years, the Police Department has pretty much denied a press pass to any working journalist that works online only — including reporters here at Gotham Gazette. Not having a press pass for us has restricted our access to important events integral to our coverage of city government — like the last mayoral debate. Meanwhile, reporters from more traditional newsgathering outlets — regardless of beat — were given unfettered access simply because they had press credential cards hanging around their necks.

These new rules would for the first time explicitly include online journalists as part of the city’s working press. If these rules are enacted, a reporter will now have to show six stories he or she covered within the last two years where the city restricted access.

The public comment period on the new rules starts today and continues through April 7, 2010, when the rules will have a public hearing at police headquarters in Lower Manhattan.

The full release is after the jump. The rules were published in the City Record today.

Here is the release:

New York, March 2, 2010 – The City Law Department today announced the publication of proposed new rules for issuing press passes to members of the media in New York City. The rules proposed to be adopted by the Police Department modernize the City’s credentialing system to reflect changes to the media industry and, for the first time, expressly incorporate online-only media such as blogs. The new rules, which were published today in the City Record, also address the major contention in a lawsuit filed in November of 2008 that challenged the existing credentialing system.

“This is a press credentialing system for the online age that can serve as a model for governments around the country,” said Administrative Law Division Chief Gabriel Taussig. “The rules were drafted in a collaborative process with input from numerous interested participants, together with extensive research and a public listening session with members from all segments of the media.”

“We have streamlined and improved New York City’s Rules for Press Credentials,” said Norman Siegel, one of the attorneys in the lawsuit. “The new rules will enable journalists to gather and report news in a more successful manner than before. Online journalists will now be considered as 21st century journalists and be treated equally to print, television and radio journalists.”

Under the proposed new rules published today, to obtain a press credential, an applicant must show that he or she has covered, in person, six news events where the City has restricted access, within the two-year period preceding the application. In addition to employees of traditional news gathering organizations, the new rules cover self-employed newspersons and other individuals who gather and report the news. The new press card will be issued every two years.

Cool Beans.jpg

                                                           Well…Sort of…

Did you notice that it says you have in order to get the Media pass you have to have covered in person six news events where the City has restricted access within a two year period preceding the application?

How can you accomplish that without a Media pass to cover those news events? See my point, there’s a lot of grey area out there.

Most people realize that the future of sports writing is blogging. Why don’t most baseball teams? It’s faster and more creative than news print. Don’t get me wrong, I realize that anyone can maintain a sports blog. 

                     But… not everyone can maintain a multi-year top ten blog.

                       Times change, people change, media platforms change.

          Case and Point…When I started blogging I wasn’t in it to get a Media pass.

MLB.com media pass.gifAll I wanted was a video diary of my family’s baseball adventures. To tell the truth I wasn’t exactly a “people person” back then and I remember after my first couple of blog entries how freaked out I was about entering Coors Field as the Ranter.

I was sure I was going to bump into a Rockies fan who would then tell me what a horrible writer I was and how I shouldn’t insult the Rockies by blogging about them.

That never happened. My first contact with anyone who read the Rockpile Rant was Dan. He asked me straight up if I was the “Rockpile Ranter”. At that moment I figured it was do or die. I was waiting for Dan to ask “What the hell I thought I was doing”…Again that never happened, the next thing Dan asked me was..”Where’s Hunter”.

Dan never knew it but that conversation was a defining moment for me personally and for the Rockpile Rant. My first interaction with a reader and it was extremely positive. Had that not happened and my first interaction with a reader been negative, I do not believe the Rockpile Rant would be what it is today.

I changed, instead of avoiding people (something I was quite skilled at doing), I was hoping that people would come up and talk to me. I craved the interaction of Rockies fans. I still do.

                                           Rockies fans are a great bunch.
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Rockies Fans 21.JPG We don’t have a lot of history yet so each game we attend there is a good chance of something historic happening (at least in Rockies history). That in itself is exciting.

I’ve gotten a bit off track but my point here is that at some time in the near future the Rockies will have to “change”, re-think their position, and give a bit of credibility to online bloggers. Especially ones with a few seasons under their belt. 

    I’m “D” The Rockpile Ranter and this entry is my 399th blog entry. In front of the scene, behind the scene or somewhere in the middle, you can bet your a-ss I’m here to stay. 

Rockies, you’ve got to start somewhere, How about with the #1 Rockies Fan MLBlog two years running? 

By the way, I called the Rockies about a Media Pass, I got the answering machine and I left a message. Rant Regulars, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. 

                                        I’ll keep you posted. Go Rockies..D

                                                               Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Green Floppy Ha

              My “Pitch Your Team” Video is finished…Look for it on Monday…D

6 Comments

I’m glad you’re gonna keep doing what you do. :) I know you’d like to have the respect that a media credential would bring, but I also know that you do what you do because you love the Rockies and you love baseball. Perhaps someday you will be rewarded with that respect and credential, but in the meantime I know you do it because you love coming up those steps from Gate A and seeing batting cages on the sunny field. I know you do it because you love the hunt for batting practice balls, and snagging them over the guy who wasn’t quite fast enough. I know you do it because you love getting action shots from different parts of the stadium, and sharing them with readers who weren’t lucky enough to be in the moment. I know you do it because you love the camaraderie of Rox fans and sitting in the Pavilion eating a hotdog and watching our boys do their thing on the field while the sun goes down on a warm July evening. And because of those things, I know you’ll keep doing what you do, which is it’s own reward. And ours. :)

Well said by all 3 of you! Daniel stated his frustration, Ranter stated his agreement, and luvmyrox stated how all of the Ranter’s Readers feel. You all get an ‘atta boy’!

One of the reasons why I work there is that I do like seeing what’s ‘behind the scenes’ – what goes into making a Major League Baseball game work. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and reporting them all to us! Someday we’ll have to list our favorite moments from reading your blog! I have a few in mind already . . .

Hey D,
I think it’s sad that Daniel was treated that way. I’ve always had really positive encounters with the people who work for the Rockies and it’s sad that Ms. Castaneda couldn’t treat him with more respect. People like Ms. Castaneda need to remember that the Rockies fanbase is a critical reason for them having their job.
It seems to me that the Rockies could give out a press pass, say, once a month to a blogger of their choosing. That way they can give it to someone who meets some predetermined criteria and in turn generate additional publicity for the team and I think you should be the first one to get a press pass :)

LUVMYROX-Wow, thank you Joy, you couldn’t be more right but reading it from you was really touching my friend. It’s an honor to blog for you and the rest of the Rant Regulars….Baseballs best fans.
QUEEN GERI-That would be cool, I’ve always loved the passion you have for your job with the Rockies.
R-LUV-Sad but a necessary stepping stone I guess. I like your idea of “Blogger of the month”.

D: Thanks for sharing my story. I’m glad it made you think. I don’t envy the Rockies or any sport teams having to deal with the new media.

I thought when I called there would be a sign, you can’t ride this ride unless you are THIS tall, with the line being some where like 8’6″. A bar set so high it would keep out everyone.

But I did expect there to be a goal, a criteria of SOME sort. Like, so many years existing, or so many readers/hits. So, my call really was to find out, exactly what standard I needed to shoot for to be accepted down the line.

It’s coming….It’s just going to take a lot of us dedicated bloggers getting the “screw off, loser” reply before some one goes, “You know..it is free publicity….let’s figure it out”

Keep up the good work!

You’re exactly right. It’s free publicity. No worries, I’ll try one more time to call the Rockies. If I’m to be refused I’d like to be refused by a person with whom I can ask questions. That way the denial can be more personal…Blog on brotha…D

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 323 other followers

%d bloggers like this: