Live blogging and the old guard

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Incidentally, I really enjoyed Nick Bradley’s live blogging of the Ron Paul speech. Live blogging is a new art form, and will become increasingly important in the future of journalism.

Everyone can see this, of course, but the senior managers who still think the internet is a fad. Consider this recent live blogging incident at a U of Louisville baseball game:

About an hour before Friday’s first game, the NCAA sent U of L a memo and had it circulated through the press box. The memo said that no one would be allowed to blog during the games, which came as a pretty big surprise since I blogged throughout the Columbia Regional (and saw at least three other media representatives doing the same) and no one said a peep. Also, this restriction was not included on our credentials, and we never signed anything agreeing to this limitation.

You see, the NCAA decided that live blogging constituted a type of “live representation” which would infringe on TV rights. So they ejected the blogger. Now, I don’t know about you, but if I were College baseball, I would be paying people to blog something -ANYthing- that might make people actually interested in College Baseball. Not the NCAA. But there’s nothing new about live written updates for sports games. As Hamilton Nolan of PR Week noted:

“…has the NCAA noticed in the past 100 years that the Associated Press posts live stories during sporting events, offering the latest updates?”

You can just see the scene in the NCAA meeting:

“Blogging? What’s that”
“uh, something that teenagers like to do. It’s a fad, like the horseless carriage and women wearing pantaloons.”
“oh, well, pull the plug. I don’t like those juvenile delinquent types anyway.”

Along the same lines was a fun letter to the editor in a recent issue of The American Conservative. Writes a Dino Drudi:

Editing is much more than sentence structure and punctuation; the editor plays a social role as a gatekeeper for public discourse, a mediating role between writers and readers…[sour grapes alert!] Does blogging exist because editors have abused their power of because journalists are spoiled brats who want everything their way?

In other words, we must have editors. There must be “Gatekeepers” who decide what the readers want to read. The readers can’t be trusted to read what they like and what they want. Without editors, there would be chaos. Chaos!

6:47 pm on July 1, 2007