Monday, December 10, 2007

Discussing Sports Blogs at Princeton

I had the opportunity to attend the Princeton University Sports Symposium last Friday, Dec. 7, which featured an impressive collection of speakers including the keynote address from Brett Yormark of the New Jersey Nets.

One of the panel discussions was "Sports Media Today - Connecting with Fans on Multiple Screens" and featured Joe Favorito of the International Fight League, Rick Harmon of, Scott Novak (soon to be of SI Group), and Peter Stern of STRATEGIC. The panel was moderated by Sean Gregory, a '98 Princeton grad and Time magazine staff writer.
I asked the panel their opinions on whether blogs were journalists and under what circumstances a blog might accredited by a sport organization. Joe conveyed the notion that emerging sports, such as IFL, should embrace blogs for coverage and Sean agreed that blogs are indeed journalistic, pointing out the many Time writers who engage in blogging. The discussion evolved into questioning the credibility and validity of bloggers and the "no accountability" nature of the medium.

During a breakout, I talked with both Joe and Scott further about this. Both are public relations practitioners and we all agreed that, under certain conditions, blogs should be accredited by sport organizations.

My belief has been, and will continue to be, that blogs deserve many of the same privileges and preferences as mainstream media. Blogs reach a core audience for an organization - its fan base. I think the New York Islanders' Blog Box is a unique way for a sport organization to reach out to its fan base, without comprising the integrity of the mainstream media. More organizations should consider adopting this practice.


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