10.18.08

Blogphobia In Edmonton

Posted in Blogged Down, Hockey, Sports Journalism at 11:37 am by

Covered In Oil‘s DMFB says he’s bailing on the hockey blogging, partially because of disillusionment with sports in general, but in large part down to his recent treatment at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers.  During last sunday’s Oilers/Avalanche tilt, DMFB had press box access due to a gig with a MSM outlet he’s not identified. Apparently, his hosts took umbrage to a little bit of live blogging on the side.

All went well until just before the start of the third period, when one of the Oiler press guys pulled me aside and informed me that I’d no longer be allowed in the press box, and that if I didn’t have a job to do, he would have had someone escort me out of the building right then and there. I was understandably a little confused as to what was going on, and after a little questioning, he told me that I was not allowed to blog in the press box, as I was there on another media pass. I apologized and explained that exactly no one had told me about this, and I’d be more than willing to stop doing it in the future if they had a problem with it. That didn’t seem to help at all: he got more agitated, reminded me that he could have me thrown out right now, and told me I wouldn’t be welcome back. I pressed for a bit more of an explanation, and I was eventually told that the Oilers didn’t grant press passes to bloggers unless they were employed by the organization or the NHL, and that I had abused my press pass and wasn’t allowed back.

By the time this finished, the game had re-started, so there wasn’t much more I could do but go back, stop the blog and start covering what was happening. A few minutes later, he came back and actually stood over my shoulder and demanded I remove the post entirely, also reminding me that I wouldn’t be back. I did so without arguing, until he also demanded I shut down the chat window I was using to keep in contact with my employer (I have a feeling at least part of the problem the Oilers have with blogs is that basic computer literacy in the organization seems to be on the level of grandmother with a Nintendo in the basement, but I digress). He let me keep that after I explained what it was. Aside from that chat window thing, though, I cooperated without argument, and even managed to sneak in some apologies, some explanations that absolutely no one had told me I couldn’t do this, and some promises that I wouldn’t do it again, all of which were met with, roughly, “You won’t do this again because you won’t be here again.” (Note: he didn’t actually say that. I would doubt he’s that eloquent. But you get the jist.)

I talked to their head media guy after the game (and by “I talked to their head media guy” I mean, “Their head media guy pulled me aside”), where he explained basically what I’d already been told. I explained basically what I’d explained already a few times, to which I got basically the same response I had before. Through both sets of conversations, there were a few mentions made to “when the guys upstairs see what you’re doing” and “writing stuff like that,” which led me to believe the content of the blog was at least part of the problem, but the official reason given was that I had misused my press pass and that the Oilers didn’t allow bloggers.

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