11 June 2007

Drop the laptop and step away from the modem

NCAA revokes the press credential of a Louisville Courier-Journal reporter for...

wait for it...

blogging. At a baseball game.

Apparently "live blogging" is too close to a live description of the event, and they've received a lot of money to grant exclusive rights to live descriptions of events to TV and radio.

I think the NCAA better strap on a helmet. They've been a convenient target for any number of issues, but they'll be hard-pressed to find friends on this one. Essentially, they're telling journalists that they'd really like them to cover sporting events, just not so quickly.

And the NCAA's antagonists here really are journalists, not commonfolk bloggers. Journalists who write for media outlets that have money and hire lawyers. A quote popularly attributed to Tommy Lasorda, among others: "Never pick a fight with anyone who buys ink by the barrel." In 2007, the rule should be updated - Never pick a fight with anyone who has wireless internet access.

On the merits, I've read "live blogs" before and IMHO they're not play-by-play descriptions of the game, they're more analysis. Sure, the pace of baseball is slow enough to include plenty of details, but the courier-journal (and countless other publications) have "live-blogged" other NCAA events without a hiccup.

I think we're seeing another instance where the pace of citizen-enabled technology is butting up against larger corporate interests. The pace of technology is going to force the NCAA and other sports organizations to change the way they share information about their product. It may even force them to change their business model. As more people log on to live-blogs for content and analysis they can't get anywhere else, the NCAA will no doubt demand a piece of the action. They may start their own live-blogs of events. Anything's possible.

Innovation will save the day, as it almost always does. But I think we may be in for some very heated discussions about free speech, about public accomodation, and any number of things.

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