Should bloggers be allowed in the Mavs locker room ? Conceptually its not a big deal. A blogger, a beat writer, a columnists. The medium they use to deliver their content should be irrelevant. No question about it.
But then there is the question of realworld constraints. This is a picture of our locker room. This is the area the media conducts their interviews post game. As it is now, between reporters, photographers (both still and video), trainers and the players, it gets pretty full.
Right now we have a situation where a blogger that works for the Dallas Morning News would like continued access to the locker room. Prior to last week, I had no idea this person’s primary job at the Morning News is to blog. I hadn’t seen or read it. He was just one of the 4 or 5 people from the Morning News in the locker room post game. When it was brought to my attention I immediately made it an issue. Why ?
Not because I don’t want this blogger in the locker room doing interviews. What I didn’t like was that the Morning News was getting a competitive advantage simply because they were the Dallas Morning News. I am of the opinion that a blogger for one of the local newspapers is no better or worse than the blogger from the local high school, from the local huge Mavs fan, from an out of town blogger. I want to treat them all the same.
Unfortunately, there isn’t enough room to allow any and all bloggers in the locker room. There also are no standards that I have been able to come up with that differentiate between bloggers to the point where I should or should not credential one versus the other. My experience in reading blogs has favored bloggers not affiliated with major media companies, but that could be my unique bias.
When I told the newspaper we would no longer allow their blogger in the locker room (he would still have access to everything else), they got upset. They took the path that their live blogger was no different than a feature article written on a website. They used Marc Stein of ESPN as an example. i explained to them that Stein not only wrote primarily features on ESPN.Com, but also was a TV commentator, and those two elements of his job differentiated him from what their blogger did. Do they not know the difference between a blogger and someone who actually writes feature articles on a destination website ?
A blogger is a blogger is a blogger. If I were to ask for media credentials as a blogger on this blog, I would expect to be treated exactly the same as any other blogger. No better or worse.
Of course my “discussion” with the Morning News did not stop there. As a blogger and a sometime commentator on the newspaper business I had to share my opinion. So when presented with the following:
” Gilbert Bailon, president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, says blogging is now “part of the base job of being a beat reporter” at a newspaper. He acknowledges your need/right to control press credentials but thinks you’re off base when it comes to banning bloggers from major news organizations from your locker room. He says this seems like a policy aimed at one reporter, Tim MacMahon, because he wrote something you didn’t like.
(Note: Bailon is editor of the editorial page at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and previously was a top editor at The Morning News.)”
“If he is correct and blogging is part of the base job of being a beat reporter, thats a sad commentary on beat reporters. They get 500 words in a story about a game or event, if readers are lucky. If there is excess time, I would imagine that time could be spent offering indepth analysis and access rather than throwing up hundred word commentary on a blog. If there isn’t space in the paper, then in depth analysis that takes advantage of the minimal marginal cost of publishing feature stories, IMHO, would be a far better use of a beatwriters time and serve as a far stronger differentiation that would attract readers.
Instead , we get bloggers from mainstream media. Newspaper blogging is probably the worst marketing and branding move a newspaper can make. The barriers to entry for bloggers are non existent. There are no editorial standards. There are no accuracy standards. We bloggers can and do write whatever we damn well please. Historically newspapers have set some level of standards that they strived to adhere to. By taking on the branding, standard and posting habits of the blogosphere, newspapers have worked their way down to the least common demoninator of publishing in what appears to be an effort to troll for page views.
As far singling out mr MacMahon, I havent read what he has written, so that is not the case. its an issue of fairness. As a blogger, and someone very familiar with bloggers and the blogosphere, I recognize that a fair policy would apply to all bloggers. There is nothing superior about a blog produced bysomeone in the employ of The Belo Corporation. So there is no reason to give them preferential treatment. Where there is physical room to fairly credential any and all bloggers, Mr MacMahon is welcome. Where we can not accomodate all bloggers, he will be excluded.”
So post my little newspaper rant, it comes down to something very simple. A blogger is a blogger is a blogger and there are millions of us. . The name on your check, if you get a check, is irrelevant. BlogMaverick, Belo, xyz.blogger.com, we is what we is, and as long as there is limited space in our locker room, we is going to be outside in the Press Interview room getting comments
One last little thought. Some out there will take this as my not “liking” blogs. Ridiculous. its the exact opposite. What I don’t like is unequal access. I’m all for bloggers getting the same access as mainstream media when possible. Our interview room is open to bloggers. We take interview requests from bloggers. I’m a fan of getting as much coverage as possible for the Mavs. What I’m not a fan of is major media companies throwing their weight around thinking they should be treated differently.
As has been the case since this blog started, I wont pull any punches in sharing my feelings or starting conversations about how media does its job. Its a topic I find interesting and fun. It’s a reason why I enjoy HDNet so much. Expect more of it.
135 thoughts on “Bloggers in the Mavs Locker Room ?”
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i am a professional blogger and writter, i would LOVE to get into that locker room and let those guys see a reel woman. i started bloging last week and i can tell ya that it is a tuff job. and i would aprecheate if you could tell mr cuban im single and i am better lookin in person than those pictures on my website.
Comment by SUSIE -
first of all I like your style, but on this one I disagree. For international fans it is just hard to get the dallas moring printed newspaper and I am reading this particular DMN-Blog every day – what about international fans like the dirk powered german fanbase – who is 90% informed trough the Internet and is furthermore not able to watch the games – also not on pay TV – Mark? A German Fan
Comment by MrReflex -
I love the post-modern types who think they can apply different rules to everyone else but themselves. You say there are no standards for accuracy in blogs as you write a blog. So is that an accurate statement? I guess we can\’t know – it was just a blog post.
Comment by Dave -
I come away from this \”ban\” feeling like I, as a blogger, just had someone stand up for me. For that, I say thank you!
I agree 100%, a blogger is a blogger is a blogger. As much as I would love the credentials to be in the locker room of my local sports team, there are just way too many of us bloggers these days to make it fair or feasible.
Rock on, Mark. Rock on.
Comment by Michael Beck -
Im actually fine with this point of view. Us fans, bloggers, etc want to get as close to the players as we can. This imposes pressure on those that work in the media to do the same. However, we fail to consider THE PLAYERS! Would you want to be bombarded with a TON of interviews after playing a highly competitive game? Now multiply that by 82 games!
I blog, but as a blogger we can\’t take ourselves too seriously in thinking were right up there with the Stewart Scotts or Mark Steins (of ESPN) when were just in our PJs writing posts bout what we think is cool, rght, wrong or otherwise.
Comment by Tito Vaselina -
Congratulation to the NBA for forcing bloggers back into the locker room. Please note ONLY NBA sanctioned media should be in the locker room since there are after all security issues that need to be taken into account..
Seem to me that Mark has turned into Jerry Jones… Nothing more than a petulant child who wines if he doesn\’t get his way.
Comment by Kris -
That\’s great, I don\’t think it would be a good idea to allow bloggers in the locker room, because then just about anyone could get in. I for example could set up a blog site and beging blogging about the Mavs, and get in. What would stop any and everybody from doing the same just so they could meet the guys. I have been a Mavs fan since my first game back in middle school.
I see the problem with letting them all in, our high school girls coaches office space (about 3 offices) was almost that the size of what the locker room looks to be, and with me in there year round (I was manager for 3 of the sports), plus the 4-6 coaches at any given moment, we barely had space to breath, much less talk. I applaud the consideration.
Comment by Laura -
I actually agree with Mark here, not only do I write a blog but I also work for a newspaper. There is a vast difference between the way a story is written even by those who do so professionally. You are looking at it from a more personal view many times, looking at the comments you can\’t say in print and brining your take on what is happening with a flare that can be read by your average joe with a short attention span.
In print, you are more factual and base your stories on what is considered to be more of the who, what, when, where and why of the events you are covering. There typically, especially in larger media, isn\’t room for personality. Print media a lot of time archives their official stories online under the umbrella of blogging but it isn\’t really blogging.
To those who are airing out their vices be it for a paycheck or not, if it is a personal blog, you are told up front no online only media is credentialed at games. Why would the curtain of a newspaper be the validation for the same thing to be allowed? If you are doing the archiving of your factual stories online I can see why you would be credentialed, but otherwise why would you be outside of the box all together?
It is like with everything else, each newspaper is now just trying to keep up with the advertising jonses, and while it is providing a service to readers, don\’t fool yourselves, trust me it isn\’t done with the intentions of brining mass media to more people, it is about making a larger bottom dollar. And in this case, the DMN along with who knows how many other media outlets is doing so at the expense of others by over cluttering and thinking they are once again above and beyond the rules and regulations.
Comment by Crystal Carroll -
While I understand that you are dealing with physical constraints, I expect that you are somehow able to manage much larger media contingents during the playoffs with the same space limitations. Why not do what you do in those circumstances and have a specific number of credentials that you can issue. Once that number is reached, tell them they\’ll need to work out arrangements from a pooling source.
As a person whose business is to help manage journalists, I don\’t think you (or anyone) will be able to continue excluding citizen journalists for long. Already, research indicates that news organizations (which are increasingly reducing staff) are using the work of citizen journalists to shape news decisions and do a fair amount of the research up front. The policy is very 2007.
Comment by Dan Keeney -
You probably won\’t even post this, since you have such a demonstrated history of not accepting any criticism whatsoever(regardless of validity). Here\’s the thing: these guys had locker room access for a while, and none of this became an \”issue\” until people started writing things that you didn\’t like. Journalism is changing, and like it or not, blogs are a well accepted and valid part of the field. You\’re making a distinction based on semantics. This whole thing comes down to one issue your decision to support technology, internet innovation, and a new (and possibly better) ways of doing things… when it is conveinent, of course.
Comment by jake -
I was going to say bloggers are reporters, too–they\’ve been responsible for breaking a lot of stories in recent years (one reported on guy that the White House planted in their press pool to lob softball questions, another broke that the leader of the ex-homosexual group Exodus was hitting on dudes in a D.C. gay bar, etc.) that \’mainstream\’ media then glommed onto. They\’ve led the way in several stories. However, your locker room is teeny. Maybe you should limit the number of reporters from an outlet allowed into the locker room, rather than the TYPE.
BTW, I love you, man. I would absolutely love it if you bought the Cubs–Chicago could use a team owner that gives a flying frig about the fans.
Comment by Spinner -
This isn\’t a blogger issue at all, or one of credibility. It\’s an issue of full access for someone who opines for a living.
Tim MacMahon is a columnist for the Dallas Morning News, someone who is paid to express his opinion in print or online and is fully backed and supported by his paper to do so. An extension of this in today\’s journalistic world is \”live blogging\” (Sad commentary, Mark? I really don\’t think so), giving the online readers even more access and in-depth coverage to the Mavericks than they had ever had before.
I\’m sure that Mark Cuban doesn\’t want our opinions or solutions to the \”blogger problem\” because he doesn\’t want to do anything about it past what he\’s already done. What he did and the explanation he gave for doing it simply do not sync up. It could only have been in response (doesn\’t mean that it\’s personal) to Tim\’s in-locker room \”live blogging\” coverage of the Mavs that was TOO in-depth and revealing – raw opinions of what was seen and heard that don\’t go through the corporate PR ringer to come out all nice and fresh on the other side before being read by you, the consumer. Which is a shame… because we want our full-access – as much coverage of the Mavericks as we can possibly get our grubby little hands on, pretty or not, so that we feel like we are actually there ourselves. Nothing makes you feel closer to the team that you love with all of your heart than knowing every little piece of inside information. The Dallas Morning News knows and understands this and wants to give us what we want. It\’s the same reason people come here to read Cubes blog. They weren\’t trying to strong-arm anyone.
It\’s true, Mark wants media coverage for the Mavs, but not unfettered, opinionated coverage where anyone\’s dirty laundry can be revealed in real-time – or possibly blown out of proportion just as quickly. There will be no live blogging in the Mavs locker room, unless Cuban employs (and thus can control) someone to do it for them. I wouldn\’t be surprised to see this happen way down the road.
But for now, we\’ll have to go back to being on the outside of the locker room just like everyone else. And for that, I am truly sorry for the rest of us.
Comment by Todd Murray -
I read your blog everyday when I get to work. I like to see what new ideas you have for me to think about. I read this post last week…..Last night I was on the phone talking to my mom and the fox 4 news came on – sports sunday, i think – and they had the blogger on from the dallas morning news discussing being banned. I told my mom about the blog of yours that I read last week and explained why you felt the way that you did. I just thought it was awesome to have read this and understand your viewpoint before I heard it on the news! Just wanted to let you know. I think you are a very intelligent man and I think that your viewpoints are very interesting and have helped me look at situations differently.
Comment by Jennifer -
I have seen Kelvin Sampson at the last two Spurs game.
One a home game and the other out of town. What is going
on? Is he a coach?
Comment by Karen Williams -
I\’m a casual reader of blogs, not really a blogger myself, though my employer does some blogging and confronts issues of who it will and won\’t credential for the events it oversees…
I\’m not outraged over your policy – I think reasonable people can have different perspectives on the topic. You make some good points, as do your critics.
I do, however, feel the timing of this was not ideal. Changing media access rules mid-season invites criticism and suggests ulterior motives. It\’s also doesn\’t consider the realities of the media covering you. They\’ve mapped out their strategy for coverage of the Mavericks for this year and devoted budget, staff and other resources to it accordingly. Changing policy mid-season throws that out of whack. Perhaps they would have devoted more space in print for their bloggers, so that these media would have a legitimate reason to be in your locker room and have a role more similar to the Marc Stein example. You may not care about that, and that\’s your right, but it doesn\’t make you right.
I respect any organization\’s right to control access to what is ultimately their private property to invite or uninvite \”guests\” into that space. I just think this policy change comes across as reactionary and punitive. I think you could have announced it now for implementation after this season and the outcry would have been at a lower volume. I certainly wouldn\’t have had occasion to find a very targeted aspect of it to critique.
Comment by Chris -
I can understand not allowing access those who run their own blogs. However, there is no excuse for not allowing access to those bloggers who write for credentialed newspapers and news/sports media.
Since bloggers are now verboten, does this mean you (Mark Cuban) are not allowed access into your own locker room?
Comment by Anthony M. -
What a pity, Mr Cuban. My comment was deleted two days ago on the position of #40, on where is t-mac now. I\’m just kinda confused for that, why, may I ask ? You deleted my comment just because I\’m from P.R.China ? If so this is discrimination absolutely ! You know, sport is just sport, it\’s nonbusiness of nationship. And honestly, I didn\’t give offense at all, I think. As a Maverick\’s fan, I was pretty upset for this matter. I hope you everything goes well anyway.
Comment by Cross Feng -
Great Post, and at the end of the day I would not be surprised if you only allowed independent bloggers in the locker room, and leave out the \”Paid Media\”
Comment by LasVegas -
I agree with you, and have no problem with the fact that you don\’t allow the bloggers into the locker room. If you start allowing that then where does it stop. I love blogging, but I would never dream of considering myself at the same level as a professional journalist. I hope this all goes away for you, what a pain over nothing.
The Baked Blogger
Comment by Rachel Duncan -
Wow. This is a new low, even for you Cubes. I\’m confused as to why you would even bother publishing this post since obviously you must think your \”fans\” are so stupid that they can\’t even possibly be literate if they are to believe this tripe. You\’re simply not a very good liar. Nobody believed you when you said you weren\’t going after Jason Kidd, nobody believed you when you said you didn\’t think the deal would get done and nobody believed you when you said you wouldn\’t trade Van Horn to make the deal work.
You lie to protect your business interests constantly and this is no different. Nobody – REPEAT NOBODY – honestly believes that you didn\’t read this guy\’s blog before you banned him from the locker room. You could tell that whopper a thousand times and swear on your children\’s lives, and nobody will take the bait on it, so quit trying.
Your motives are transparent here, so just fess up. You can\’t handle criticism and neither can your coach. You\’re a phony and a hypocrite and I don\’t know how you expect to keep long term good will with your fans by constantly trying to deceive them and get one over on them.
The truth of the matter is that by now, most people, even the so-called \’MFFL\’ (and starting any acronym with an \’MF\’ is an interesting choice, by the way) have come to understand you\’re just a rich douchebag who happens to own their favorite team. They don\’t love you, they don\’t idolize you, they simply tolerate you. They love the players, their team and their city.
And it is THEIR team, not yours. You just sign the checks.
When you do small, petty, self-serving things like this, it just makes everyone cringe and roll their eyes and gives ever more material for non-Mavs fans to make fun of their Mavs fan friends. \”Our team might be x, y, and z, but at least our owner doesn\’t __________.\”
Thank God I\’m a Spurs fan, and truly I feel sorry for everyone who has to root for Dallas and put up with your never ending barrage of boorish, loutish, insolent behavior.
Comment by Michael -
I\’m a Laker fan but I agree with you. They were talking about it on the radio and the host had chopped your comments up so much they made you not make sense. But after reading your blog, your right and i agree with you.
A big difference in Blogging and Journalism. Blogging has editorial content and Journalisms is who, what, where, and how.
However they did bring up the point that everyone has to apply for a locker room press pass and not everyone can get one. ESPN will get one before the Sundial (Campus newspaper for Cal St. U Northridge) or any little journalism outlet.
I would think you dont have to limit it to bloggers but more that you can admit anyone at your discretion. Since your media relations job is to police whats said about your team and who has access to what.
I understand your point, but I feel you can say no bloggers to your media relations dept and not have a written rule, but have the rule say you reserve the right to admit access.
I would think you research everyone who enter the lockers for security reasons. I just mean if I paid people millions of dollars to work for me, I would provided the with all the protection possible, thus knowing a little bit about the person sticking a mic in their face and their not a joker trying to harm them or squirt water in their face as happen to Tom Cruise.
But none the less your the man. And the NBA should be proud to have you.
Comment by Malik Basurto (Mayor of CSUN) CSUNHoops.com -
Mark, it\’s ridiculous for you to claim you can\’t distinguish between a professional employed by a daily paper and Joe Q. Blogger – this action simply makes you look petty and spiteful. It\’s sad to see you taking such a Neanderthal approach, rather than embracing an MSM attempt to adopt the new medium. But seeing you\’ve got a blog, I presume that you now have to ban yourself from the locker-room too? After all, \”A blogger is a blogger is a blogger\”!
Comment by Jim McLennan -
This is the most egregious bit of bullying I\’ve ever seen. Say what you like, but it\’s obvious to anyone who\’s been paying attention to this story that this act of banning bloggers is purely directed at this one particular writer, and in response to the specific story that he wrote. Your logic is extremely flawed – treating all bloggers the same is ridiculous. Just because your locker room wouldn\’t accomodate every sports journalist from every newspaper across the world, does that mean you should deny ANY newspaper journalist from a press pass? of course not! A guy who blogs for a major metropolitan paper is NOT the same as a guy who blogs from his basement – one is a hobby, and one is a job. It\’s EXACTLY the job of your media department to figure out who is a legitimate media source and who is not, and your broad-brush policy of banning all bloggers removes the decision-making from them entirely.
I find it extremely unlikely that someone who made a billion dollars off the internet wouldn\’t understand this fundamental fact about blogging, which leads me to believe that you are being less than genuine with your reasoning. Do the world a favor and grow up.
Comment by Vince Klortho -
Are you telling me a man who has made billions running businesses along with a media relations staff he is paying god-knows-what a year cannot come up with a simple policy on how to credential bloggers?
Comment by Isaac -
You pull the right trigger, Mr.Cuban.
Comment by Cross Feng -
Mark, doesnt it seem that you are taking this out on Tim for the article he wrote dogging Avery?? Just a thought. Man, im a seaonson ticket holder and love what you do and LOVE the mavs. But Tim writes some great stuff and its interesting when Im not at games to pay attention to his blogg. He usually has the most up to date and most accurate information about your team. Im just asking you not to punish him for an article he wrote dogging your coach. The entire nation, me included dogged your coach after that move. (and honestly, you probably were too) Understand keeping people out of the LR but you know Tim\’s purpose and if he still wrote a column and his blogg, you would still let him in. No worries, BRING HOME THAT RING!!!!!
Comment by Trent -
Comment by Ajax -
I don\’t think there\’s anything wrong giving the local paper more access than others. The DMN is trying to adapt in an industry that is quickly going by way of the Compact Disc. They probably invest more in mavs coverage than any other media outlet. Bloggers like MacMahon give us fans an insiders look when we can\’t make it to the game. That he\’s with the DMN, to me, makes it more personal. My case in point is my current situation. I\’m currently on a business trip in Miami, turned on the Mavs game via Slingbox, and read MacMahon\’s Blog to catch up on what I missed the first quarter and a half. That\’s after texting all my Miami friends that the Heat SUCK! That\’s pretty cool.
Comment by John Alday -
Normally I don\’t take issue with anything you do. In fact I admire the way you run things from a PR standpoint. How soon do we forget what a decaying franchise we had a decade ago. I thank you for making the Mavs a class organization. However, I think you are being excessive in this situation. Although, I understand you couldn\’t allow every Tom, Dick, and Harry who writes a blog access to the players. He works for a newspaper and in my opinion Newspaper Blogging are where entry level journalist starts today. Everyone needs an entry level position to their chosen profession. Wouldn\’t you agree? Newspaper\’s are loosing market share everyday. I know it is a sad state of journalism, but it is where the market is heading. I read their website everyday but never purchase a paper. It is their attempt at forward thinking. Truthfully I never even heard of blogging until you started it a few years ago. So I think it is ironic you not allowing them into the locker room. In my opinion you contributed in a large way to the current popularity of blogging. You were the first \”public figure\” to have one or at least the first many of us knew of. When I thinking of blogging the first thing I always think of is blogmaverick. Thanks for being a great owner and always making the Mavs a good team and fun to watch.
Comment by Jimi Stuart -
Mark, While I don\’t agree with your decision, I\’ve posted my thoughts about it from a fantasy sports perspective at RotoNation.com.
The Fantasy Sports Take on Mark Cuban Banning Bloggers
Comment by Derrick Eckardt -
What about a hired \”Team Blogger?\” Would you employ someone to write a blog on the Mavericks as the team\’s \”Official Blogger.\” He can do interviews with players, rumors, and give fans the \”inside scoop\” with the Mavericks. He won\’t have to be in the locker room to do it either.
Comment by Nate -
Well, you got me. I expected less and got more. Well thought out and makes some sense. Of course, I could be wrong. But at least you told us why and that works for me.
Comment by DCScrap -
So, if the Mavericks make it the NBA finals, you will not be increasing the number of press credentials issued because there is no more room. Correct?
Comment by Greg -
Mark. I love you as an owner and your dedication to the Dallas Mavericks. But, you are way off on this one.
I think DMN could certainly make the argument that they promote your product to the most followers of Dallas Mavericks fans. The medium in which they and the fans chose is up to the marketplace. It only makes sense to support this because of all the publicity it provides for your team. I thoroughly enjoy the DMN\’s Mav Blog daily and rely on it for a lot of my information. I hope that you will revisit this new change in policy.
Comment by Daniel -
funny thing – I was comment #76, but now I\’m gone. WTH?
what I said was is that mark was a breath of fresh air – a guy who knew he was a dork, but he lived the dream and stood up to the man (stern) with both style and flair. Now, He\’s acting more like the man (stern) than like the radical dork. Its sad to see him deal with challenge in much the same way stern would.
Also, a lot of folks are saying this is his team, he should do what he wants. It is his team – but it\’s only worth money because of my interest in it. I am a shareholder in this – I watch the ads and I buy the hats – the feelings and thoughts of the fan base should be considered.
Comment by rhett -
As a fellow blogger, I do agree with your assessment. When I go to read up on last night\’s game, be it through the net or the newspaper, I want raw facts, stats, and the outcome. If I want opinions or discussion, then I go blogs, editorials, etc.
Comment by Tommy Buettner -
I won\’t comment on the space constraints of the Mavs locker room, but I do strongly disagree with your points about newspaper beat reporters and blogging.
I really think blogging is a very smart move for newspaper Web sites and newspaper reporters, not, as you said, bringing newspaper Web sites down to the \”least common demoninator of publishing.\” On the contrary, blogging is a great way for the newspaper to connect with the community, share more information with readers and take positive advantage of a now-common and quite effective technology.
I wrote a more detailed rebuttal on the Digital Edge blog here http://www.naa.org/blog/digitaledge.
Comment by Beth Lawton -
I don\’t see the point in allowing the bloggers in. Bottom line, I\’m under the age of 35 and I read most of my news online, but in online stories, not on blogs. I read your blog because I like to read your insight and your stance on different issues.
I don\’t think blogging is journalism and I think you made the right choice!
Comment by tiffany -
A blogger is a blogger is a millionaireMark Cuban\’s recent ban of one Dallas Morning News blogger from the Mavericks locker room raised some interesting questions about the shifting grounds of journalism in our internet age. His assertion, in short, is that bloggers have no reliable journalistic standards and that just because blogger Tim MacMahon works for the Dallas Morning News does not grant him special privileges, i.e. Blogger X-Man from South Africa should have equal access to the Mavericks as McMahon does.
When Cuban was informed that almost all beat writers maintain blogs, he replied, \”Ifblogging is part of the base job of being a beat reporter, thats [sic] a sad commentary on beat reporters. In depth analysiswould be a far better use of a beatwriters time and serve as a far stronger differentiation that would attract readers.\”
His use of the term \”differentiation\” is bewildering. How does a blogan on-line phenomenon featuring short updates and insightsfail to \”differentiate\” from a beat writer\’s typical story? Am I missing his point, and if so, what is it? How would more \”in depth analysis\” be of service to readers already inundated with so-called expert advice? Most beat writers already repeat themselves ad nauseum, often falling back on fluffy player profiles when the news slows to a trickle.
Blogs have countless attributes that are of use to beat writers. Injury updates. Lineup changes. In-game analysis. Trade announcements. Anecdotes. All fantasy sports nuts know how important it is to have frequent updates on player injuries, something blogs make possible. When Ben Wallace was traded to the Cavaliers, how many NBA fans do you think found out about it in the following day\’s newspaper?
Cuban makes the mistake of assuming that \”A blogger is a blogger is a blogger.\” Compare the quality of the Washington Post\’s \”Wizards Insider\” (maintained faithfully by Ivan Carter and Michael Lee) to the quality of your average schmo on Blogspot, rambling about which movies they love and which they hate.
Cuban also complained that he could think of no standards \”that differentiate between bloggers to the point where I should or should not credential one versus the other.\” To use Cuban\’s term of choice, there is no differentiation between journalistic standards just because one person\’s writing appears in print and another person\’s appears online. The differentiation comes in who is holding the writers accountable, and in this case it is the well-respected Dallas Morning News.
A \”print reporter\” is no less susceptible to subjectivity and error than a blogger, and the distinction between the two is largely semantic. Reporters have universal tenets they should follow and if a newspaper chooses to accredit a writer, even a lowly blogger, then that individual may be held to the same standards as the company which employs them. It is no guarantor of objectivity and grammatical tidiness, but neither are there any guarantees when you read reports in a paper or watch a report on TV (thank you, Fox News).
Weakest of all was Cuban\’s assertion that this whole episode was incited by a lack of space in the team\’s locker room. I don\’t at all doubt that it gets crowded, but do wonder how the absence of one blogger is going to alleviate the situation.
Newspaper circulations are slowly waningit\’s sad but it\’s true (Dallas Morning News circulation dropped 7.7% during the six-month period ending September 30th, 2007). If Cuban continues his self-righteous crusade against the culture of online journalism and newspaper-accredited bloggers, fifteen years from now he\’ll find himself in a locker room with ample space and zero reporters.
Comment by Ryan Knaus -
To me one of the greater distinctions is that a writer would have paid their dues. They would most likely have a degree in journalism and/or related experience. Wherease any one can blog. Even Mark Cuba!
Comment by Apoorva Patel -
I\’d say I agree with 90% this: In a space-constrained environment like a locker room there needs to be some way of limiting the number of bodies in the room, and drawing the line at bloggers seems a clear-cut, reasonable (if perhaps short-sighted) way of doing it, especially since it sounds like the Mavs credential bloggers for other types of coverage.
The part I do take issue with is this:
\”Newspaper blogging is probably the worst marketing and branding move a newspaper can make. The barriers to entry for bloggers are non existent. There are no editorial standards. There are no accuracy standards. We bloggers can and do write whatever we damn well please.\”
While the barriers to entry for blogging are non-existent, the barriers to entry for blogging for the NYTimes or the DMN are essentially the same as for writing for the papers themselves: you need to convince the paper that you\’re worthy of their time and space. As for accuracy, if a NYT or DMN blogger is writing inaccurate or offensive posts, I\’m sure they\’d be excoriated by the press and the blogging community just as severely as if they were writing for the Op-Ed page.
Comment by Carlos -
Great post. A newspaper journalist is a professional writer hired by a reputable newspaper. A blogger is a blogger. He or she may be a journalist and may be an outstanding writer and very informed on his/her 91smw b2b subject. The problem is, how do you know when anybody with an internet connection can start a blog. I agree, newspapers do themselves a disservice when they mix blogging with journalism.
Comment by 91smw b2b -
This makes no sense. Your objective shouldn\’t be equal treatment of all reporters or bloggers. Do you pay all of your players equally? Do you invest in every company and stock equally? It should be exclusive, completely unabashed, unfair treatment in favor of the reporters and bloggers that you benefit from most.
Your perspective of marketing is completely devoid of any supporting metrics whatsoever. Basing any element of a marketing or sales strategy on a broad-brush assumption about the worthiness of a communication channel is a mistake.
Marketing and sales activities are measurable. Therefore, strategy and decision making should be based on numbers.
Effective marketers invest in the communication channels that generate the greatest desired response or reaction at the lowest cost. These are the marketers that are figuring out how to integrate and leverage multiple channels across physical and digital media to maximize the return on their marketing investment.
Ineffective marketers select communication channels based on their \”wow factor\” or traditional perceived value without thought to which channels actually work best for them. These are the marketers that blow half of their annual marketing budget on a SuperBowl commercial and the other half on a PR agency that works for 6 months to get them a 20 word quote in Wired magazine, then can\’t understand why nobody has heard of them and sales are abysmal.
Before you condemn all bloggers outright, you may want to have your media/PR folks do some homework on your behalf to figure out which specific media outlets, properties, and journalists (blogs and bloggers included) are generating the most positive sentiment. I\’d be shocked if there were zero blogs in the top 20 list.
Comment by Nolin LeChasseur -
I\’m sorry Mark, I have to say I think you are making a mistake by singling out bloggers.
If the problem is overcrowding, them limit the number of credentials allowed from a given organization. If the DMN can only send one or two guys, isn\’t it their right to decide which one or two guys to register for press credentials and locker room access? If they want to send Steve Blow or a blogger instead of a sports reporter, isn\’t that their business?
Obviously, I assume you don\’t provide press credentials to just any so called publication. So you can still prevent every random joe blogger (like me) from having access and nobody would think twice about it. I wouldn\’t. I haven\’t.
This is a bad solution that opens an needless debate.
It smells like the Mavs weeding out journalist they don\’t like. What\’s next, are you going to deny access to Sam Smith and Randy Galloway just because they are clueless? (Okay, I know they would never bother to actually go to a game or press event… but hypothetically speaking)
Comment by Brad Cranford -
I think if you own something, You own it and you can do what you want. Keep up the good work Mark, Be vocal about anything you want. I am the same way. I just wish I could be you for one day or follow you around for one day, Just to see how you work so I can take it to my house, and learn from you. You are a Great person. And to see you work and move is a Great thing to see and do. Thanks again for coming to Dallas Texas, So a person like me can see a person like work. Thanks again…..
Comment by Lee Griffin -
You are right on. I am an avid sports fan and a blogger. Does that give me the right to go and talk to the players? Absolutely not! Boundaries have to be established if order is to be maintained. There is a huge difference between a blog and writing an article that is to be published in even an \”online\” news source.
Stick to your guns!
Comment by Tammy -
Comment by Grim -
Mark, I know you receive a million comments a day probably, so what I am about to post is not really unique. But, I want to say thanks! You are a passionate sports owner who is living my dreams. Your passion for your team is admirable and refreshing. I enjoy your blogs (my first response) and although I am not a Mavericks fan (Raptors, I live in TO). I really wish that your way of conducting business is the future of sports ownership. Your risks are admirable and I say \”Take a Bow\”. ALL THE BEST! DEREK HARLEY
Comment by Derek Harley -
Mark, when I first read about this today on another forum I was like wtf? Why would you, as a blogger yourself, prevent a \”blogger\” who has been there for a long time, no access to the locker room?
Truth is, I have seen the Mavs locker room and I could only imagine how full it must get especially after games. And I respect your stance that you feel all bloggers should be treated the same. And I also like the fact that you are refusing to let big business, i.e. Belo via the DMN, dictate anything to you.
I have often wondered if the players, after playing their game and sweating and wanting to shower, how uncomfortable it is for them to have folks in there that are not part of the immediate team. I mean, where the players dress, there are no walls up. It is all open. I would want privacy too, yikes!
Hell it\’s your building, it is your team and it is your locker room. The players and personnel use it, but you own it. And if you are truly not comfortable with a blogger in there for whatever reason, than so be it.
Like you said, in the press room, bloggers have access so it\’s not like they have been cut off. You could do that too and you have not.
I don\’t usually understand some of your decisions but I do this one. Keep on keeping on.
Comment by Erica -
A blogger is a blogger is a blogger only because you say so…
Comment by JG -
I understand that this particular blogger also assists the normal DMN Mavs Beat Writers in obtaining quotes for their stories — if true, then the blogger performs the dual role of reporter and blogger. One can then differentiate the DMN blog/reporter from a \”blogger\” without any major affiliation and allow him access to the locker room. If this is the case, Mark, I think you need to re-evaluate your position on this particular reporter/blogger and allow him access.
Comment by Michael G -
I\’m not in a locker room . . . I\’m on my couch, watching my Cleveland State Vikings take an ass-whipping from Butler.
I\’ve interviewed the Great One, MJ, the Rocket, and Tiger in locker rooms . . . and I can\’t remember a single quote that wasn\’t pablum (despite my brilliant, probing questions).
Comment by Ken Carpenter -
then as a blogger you should ban yourself.
Comment by blake jessup -
Full disclosure — I was an inside editor at four daily newspaper sports sections, managing editor at a sports weekly magazine, owner and operator of a sports news Web site, and now I teach journalism at Valencia Community College in Orlando.
My 2 cents — While I agree with your policy on bloggers, I think you would be better served to limit locker room access to TWO credential members of ANY organization. Why does the Morning News need four people (other than the blogger) in the locker room? The quotes can be gathered by two designated staffers, and then shared with everyone who needs them.
Personal opinion — The news media does not belong in the locker room at all. Post-game locker room quotes are rarely newsworthy, unless somebody goes ballistic because of nonsensical questioning or overcrowding. I\’ve worked locker rooms for United Press International, the Associated Press, and the aforementioned news organizations, and the practice really serves no \”news\” purpose.
The locker room is the players\’ haven. Interviews should be conducted in interview rooms — reporter, columnist or blogger.
Comment by Ken Carpenter -
It seems to me you are a fixing a problem that doesn\’t exist. I don\’t recall that this is in response to an overcrowding problem that the Fire Marshall is concerned about. What ever happened to \”if it ain\’t broke, don\’t fix it\”?
It isn\’t tough to see that Tim isn\’t some random blogger from Podunk. I hope Tim is able to get his insights outside of the locker room now. I eat/sleep/breathe Mavs on the net and the \”feature\” articles are simply not enough for me.
Comment by Mike Marquis -
As a fan, I like your ideas about blogging and open-access. Allowing bloggers equal access to your players opens the door to a wider range of stories told in a wider range of mediums. It makes life interesting.
As a marketer, I think the idea and its viral applications (particularly for video blogging) are pure gold (please infect Mr. Colangelo with your ideas and Raptors fandom will toast you for eternity).
As a writer and blogger, however, I disagree that all bloggers are created equal. Some have more technical training as writers; some tell better stories; some are disciplined in their approach; some have a following; some belong to professional organizations and more are accountable to an ethical standard of writing practice; and some are bat-shit crazy.
I read many Raptors-related blogs with great enjoyment, some by players, some by fans and some by newspaper writers. While I take everything I read with a grain of salt, the grain is much bigger when the writer is not a professional affiliated with a recognized news outlet.
Comment by MW -
A newspaper-based blog leverages the editorial standards of the newspaper. I tend to read such newspaper-based blog because of these greater standards, which are usually represented in the content of the blog. Therefore, newspaper blogging is NOT the worst marketing and branding move a newspaper can make, because it makes the newspaper website stickier and more informative, and thus attracts readers.
Whether you wish to let newspare bloggers in your (private) locker room is of course your decision. But I would think that free publicity for your team would encourage you to make room for any legimiate blogger with a reader base. And that most certainly includes newpaper blogs.
Comment by Jeff -
A blogger from the DMN is the same as any other blogger? What crap! Just like every other Mav fan that reads the DMN, Tim\’s blog is the most interesting thing on the entire Web site about the Mavs. If the DMN stopped covering the Mavs would they be just like any other paper? Do you view them just like the Boston Globe when it comes to Mavs coverage? Of course not. Trust me, when Dirk is gone or gets old you will need every angle possible to keep people interested.
Comment by Chris Price -
I appreciate you\’re being forthright and honest in your reasoning for this blogger issue – but I urge you to differentiate between a blogger (like myself who just writes what I want, when I want) and a blogger who is a frequent and continual contributor to an established media outlet.
I dont see any reason why a blogger who is from the Dallas Morning News should be treated any differently than their \”regular\” counterparts.
Maybe you should just institute a policy whereas only X amount of reporters, from news agencies are allowed in. Why does the DMN need 3 reporters in your locker room anyway??
Comment by Andrew -
You didn\’t address Bailon\’s claim. So if MacMahon writes a positive blog about Avery instead of a lead to fireavery.com, this policy change doesn\’t happen. Instead, you ignore the claim and say its about space in the locker room and preferential treatment of bigger news outlets. Perception is key, Mark. Do you really think this doesn\’t make you look any less than a petty tyrant?
Comment by Rich -
If you want to be a baby about Tim that\’s fine. Just tell the DMN that he can\’t come back. But don\’t flat out lie to the public about there not being space in the locker room for bloggers. It hasn\’t been a problem for 2 years until he writes something that you don\’t like.
You wanna go on national television and embarrass yourself, go right ahead – but don\’t embarrass my Mavericks. Just because you spent a lot of (stolen) money on the franchise doesn\’t make them yours to tarnish. Winning isn\’t everything, there\’s something to be said for class.
Comment by Jason -
Good Job Mark.
I bet half these posts are from or were from the DMS.
It is your company and team. By not having a blogger in the Locker Room is not going to lose you any fans.
I would not want a blogger in my locker room either unless it was a special event that you wanted documented.
The Media needs to learn they can not be every place.
I will no longer read ESPN\’s NFL Hashmarks now by Mosley. He slammed you in an NFL Blog.
Comment by Jeremiah Boughton -
Is the Belo Company going to hire just any hack to write a blog. Don\’t you think that the DMN is just as economically interested in their investment when it comes to a blogger? How many people own cameras? How many photos are posted on the internet from a Mavs game? Do all photographers have the credentials to access the locker room post game? Of course not. But the one\’s who do have the credentials usually based upon their employ (who the work for). I could show up to a Mavs game with a $4,000 HDV camcorder and shoot the game in a professional manner, but would you let me in the locker room aftward to interview the players? No. Why not? Not because I can\’t shoot video professionally, but becuase I don\’t work for anyone.
Comment by Kenyon -
When did you become such a hypocrite, Mark? You used to be such a – pun intended – Maverick. Now you\’re just a bitter man with too much time and money on his hands watching his team quickly fade into baseketball oblivion.
Comment by Dave -
You need to define mainstream media. Better question
might be, does it need to be re-defined? What happens when \”stop
the presses\” literally means stop the presses and our
access to information is web based only? Do the reporters
all become bloggers?
Comment by Jim -
Well the bottom line is, a blogger is not the same as a journalist …although many would like to be (or think they are).
Until this issue is properly addressed by the writing profession and distinctions are made… you have to draw a line in the sand somewhere.
Maybe this incident with the Mavs will serve to motivate more examination, discussion, and professional demarcations concerning bloggers.
It\’s going to keep coming up again and again otherwise…and not just surrounding sports.
Anyplace where a press card is required…..and a blogger wants inside.
Comment by whatever -
All bloggers are created equal: all you need is a computer, an Internet connection, a keyboard, a website and a brain. There are absolutely no roadblocks to becoming a blogger.
Whether someone is a SUCCESSFUL blogger depends on his or her skill level- talented writers with interesting things to say will be generally more successful than an idiot that types random nonsense. But, no matter how you slice it- they\’re both bloggers.
This differs from the major media outlets- to be published in a newspaper, you have to get hired. The newspaper weeds out the \”good\” writers from the \”bad\” writers by their hiring practices.
Basically, Mark is put in an unenviable task- people are asking HIM to be quality control for the blogosphere. He is being asked to weed out the \”good\” bloggers from the \”bad\” bloggers, when in fact- it\’s the readers who are supposed to make this call.
So his choices are:
1) Let in only \”credible\” bloggers and then get blasted for his clear favoritism for the mainstream media
2) Allow every blogger press access and then get blasted for allowing idiots to cover Mavericks games
3) Not allow anyone in and then get blasted for his clear anti-media bias.
Personally, I favor auctioning off a certain number of press passes for all bloggers. This would be the most fair way to do it…but more likely than not, Mark would get blasted by some media outlet for being unfair. Such is the life when you\’re successful- you can never win.
Comment by Chris -
I\’m sure this has been recommended previously, but I don\’t have the time to troll through all the comments:
Why not hold an auction for press access, open to any and all bloggers? You could have an application form on the Mavericks website since bloggers have ready access to the Internet.
There wouldn\’t be a need for quality control either (potential cheating by ticket hungry non-blogging fans)- simply just check the website the fan provided as proof of their blog (for even additional protection, part of the application could require them posting a blog entry on applying for the press pass).
Simple solution, right?
Comment by Chris -
i\’m a skeptic, but lets say you\’re 100% on the level here. this is just about fairness, access, and realities of physical space. if there was room for tim before, this isn\’t about tim – but about the *potential* flood of bloggers looking to get into the locker room.
why not rotate, queue bloggers, or use a lottery for a \’blogging spot\’ that maybe rotates every game? with 40 home games, and maybe 10 legit blogs, each one could get 4 games… this would (a) keep bloggers around which is ultimately better for fans of blogs and (b) respect space constraints and (c) actually make in-locker room time much more meaningful – and therefore valuable to each blog…. Suppose 10000 bloggers want access, you\’re a smart guy. it would take 10 seconds to filter out 90% of them (# of updates, is the blog for mavs fans, etc.)
Comment by mike -
One newspaper has four or five credentialed reporters that can access the locker room? No wonder it\’s crowded! Why don\’t you spread those credentials around to other media (including bloggers) and let the Dallas Morning News share the limited space.
Comment by Rebecca -
I think your wrong. A blogger is not just a blogger. There are remarkable differences. A blog by a professional observer or reporter has much more weight in my eyes than an amateur observer. First they have access to areas that I do not have privilege and have the opportunity to observe what the casual person does not get to see. Second, they are taught and learn how to observe accurately. Third, they do more than just hear the words someone says, they \’see\’ how it is said and can provide a better judgment of the situation.
The way I look at a blog by a reporter is: it is the same information that may make it to the article and may not make the final cut. So it provides an immediate viewpoint and assessment of what may be written later on.
Professional bloggers have value that a common blogger can not provide and they deserve press level access.
Comment by Mike Walker -
Mark Cuban is right on target. MacMahon has long used the blogs to try to settle personal vendettas against anyone that he personally finds distasteful — Tony Romo, Dirk Nowitzki, Brady Quinn, Roy Williams and on and on and on.
MacMahon has become a proficient blogger — but he doesn\’t amount to a pimple on a Journalists\’ ass.
Comment by ernest t bass -
I\’d agree with some of what you said, but blogging for a paper can give great information. You should check out the clarionledger.com from Jackson, MS. The Mississippi State blog by beat reporter Kyle Veazy is pretty great. It gives a great look as to what didn\’t make it in the 500 words, and what is coming up in future stories. In-game blogging is also nice. I think a beat writer who blogs for the paper gets let into the locker room, a person who just blogs, is out. Unless that blogger is unaffiliated and has a large mass audience. I mean if the paper says they are one in the same then they probably should get paid the same, and I bet the beat reporter gets paid more.
Comment by lance Cooper -
From, ESPNs Bill Simmons Article: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/080310
I defended Dallas for passing on Nash because (A) he hadn\’t looked good in the previous two playoffs and (B) $60 million seemed like an obscene amount of money for a 31-year-old point guard with serious back problems. What I didn\’t defend was Dallas subsequently using that money (and even a little more) to spend $73 million on Erick Dampier. If you\’re throwing money around, throw it at Nash over a dog like Dampier, right?
to make matters worse, the Mavs made a fatal mistake by underestimating the aforementioned rule changes that transformed Nash into the two-time MVP. Had they kept Nash and Antawn Jamison (sent to Washington for Jerry Stackhouse and the rights to Devin Harris) and still made the semi-brilliant Jason Terry trade, that\’s suddenly a monster roster: Nash, Nowitzki, Jamison, Terry, Josh Howard, DeSagana Diop, Veteran Free Agent X and February Buyout Guy X year after year after year — as well as the league\’s single-most entertaining team.
(One other note: Looking back, it\’s fascinating Mark Cuban played the \”fiscal responsibility\” card as his reason for not re-signing Nash, then quickly overpaid for Dampier and started spending more recklessly than ever. Did you know, for the 2007-08 season, Dallas is the only team to spend more than $100 million on its payroll? Incredibly, the Mavs are checking in at $105 million this season, a good $17 million more than the second-place Knicks. I have a great deal of respect for Cuban as a businessman and a thinker, but other than passing on Nash, he has spent the decade making it rain like Pacman Jones — only coming close to a title in 2006, when the Mavericks were robbed by some incredibly poor officiating — and now he\’s stuck with a nine-figure payroll and a static roster that might be quitting on its coach as we speak. We\’re at the point when the Mavs might need to be reinvented. And soon.)
What do you think?
Comment by tone -
Don\’t you think that both you and the main stream media are using the blogging community as a tool to facilitate your own agenda against one another. Neither your argument, nor the one presented by the main stream has anything to do with blogging. It is a battle between owner and main stream media that is taking place on blogging battlefield and you are both recruiting troops to fight your battle for you. Neither you nor main stream media gives a damn about bloggers in this particular situation – this is a special interest battle. Please leave us out of it.
Celtics Stuff Live
P.S. – I do a live weekly webcast on the Celtics, have press credentials, and podcast a recap of every game. Not all bloggers are created equal and it is your responsibility to determine credibility and viability of the media who cover your team. You have the right to make the call against any and all bloggers as you wish and I respect that the decision is yours, but if your argument is genuine, then I think you are lazy in regards to the lack of attention you wish to pay the issue. You could be leading the way, and instead you are copping out behind a \”simple\” solution.
Comment by Justin Poulin -
I\’m a MFFL and former season ticket holder who has recently re-located to Virginia. Since I can\’t get the North Texas papers here, the DMN Mavs blog was about the only way I could get the Mavs minutiae I crave.
Realize I am someone who used to spend every lunch break at Eatzi\’s, pouring over the latest tidbits in the paper related to the Mavs.
By banning McMahon, you\’ve cut off that source of news from me claiming it isn\’t journalism. But seeing as how I received my news from that source, I can\’t see what else you\’d call it.
Comment by Ryan -
Mark – normally you are bang-on. But you are not for this one and boy what a topic to be in error on.
First of all, the Dallas Morning News (which I have never read, being from Canada) stated that their blogger is a \”Live Blogger\”. You did not address this at all! There is a clear distinction between being a live blogger and not being one and I am sure you know what it is. That\’s why I\’m surprised that you didn\’t comment on it.
For those who don\’t know, a \”Live Blogger\” is someone who will report back from the scene of an event or story WHILE IT IS HAPPENING. The reader is treated to a play by play of is happening in near-time, with a timestamp in front of every quick post and photo (or real-time if streaming audio or video is ever widely available for the masses).
The point is I really enjoy that brand of blogging and I can guarantee that not all bloggers do it – so your room is too small argument does not hold water. In fact it is quite rare on a local scale.
In essence I am disappointed because I know, you know what I mean. What\’s left? You didn\’t like the guy? I don\’t know and it would be unfair for me to make any statement on it.
You are a blogger yourself Mark. That\’s how we first started conversing and how a potential business deal has come up between us and other parties. So I am surprised.
Simply state that up to 2 \”Live Bloggers\” are permitted on a weekly, scheduled basis in the locker room. That covers it! You would have to do the same thing in the playoffs when there are dozens of news crews banging down the door.
Great controversy though! That drives blogs doesn\’t it?
3D Movies and Technology
Comment by Jim Dorey -
What is the difference about how news makes it out. I guess Drudge the Smoking Gun and Annanova and other are NOT news outlets either. If a person is reporting news and is considered credible they are a news source. If not they are a crackpot.
Is Hanson considered credible only because he is on TV ?
Is Galloway credible because he is on the radio ?
What defines credible… The answer is NOT MARK CUBAN !!!!!
Comment by Kris -
I guess this is the only reason that Paul Shirley will never wear a Mavs jersey.
Comment by glenn -
Hey Mark I have a blog anychance I can get in the locker room?
Comment by Mitchell -
Excellent post, Mark. I just returned from SXSW Interactive. Here\’s a nice writeup by a fellow attendee on the blogger vs journalist issue: http://ruthward.wordpress.com/2008/03/09/when-is-a-blogger-not-a-blogger/
Comment by Steve -
Mark, I am with you on most things but not this. I don\’t read the DMN blog often but I regularly look at a couple of others. Lately there has been criticism of Avery and hints of a dust up between him and Kidd. Talk of lack of confidence in the team for Avery. This smacks of punishment for these comments. I am a long time fan and season ticket holder (the check is in the mail) so I hope I am wrong on this. It makes me think there is more to these rumors than I thought before.
Comment by Bob -
Wow! I didnt know this many people were interested in the NBA outside of Stephen A, and my dimwit brother-in-laws. And further….interested in how the NBA is reported for their favorite team. Don\’t you think we have enough information…is there such a thing as too much information? My wife tells me TMI all the time.
Mark~ Make a decesion and go with it. People dont stop liking or start liking a team based on any of this.
Comment by Jason Honey -
Will Gilbert Arenas still be allowed in the locker room? He\’s a blogger I think.
Comment by Tim -
You say a blogger is a blogger. That\’s simply not true – at the top of Mr. MacMahon\’s blog, it says \”The Dallas Morning News\”. When I read his blog, I put it far above a typical fan\’s blog. Because DMN puts their name on the page, there is an implied supporting of journalistic standards that does not apply even to your own blog. Don\’t argue that DMN might not extend their support to this blog. It\’s implied because of the use of the name and until that implication is proven false, I\’ll assume it is.
Comment by Andrew -
Good for you Cubes. Tim McMahon loves to sensationalize stories to the extent that he has become irresponsible at times. While you admit up front, that this was not some form of retribution, I wish it was.
Comment by Mr Pirate -
Personally, I can see merit in both sides of the argument, but your approach of all or none is a fair approach, and difficult to debunk. Very nicely written post, which strongly backs up your methods. Enjoyed it!
Comment by Ryan Hukill -
So there was overcrowding in the locker room so you instituted a new policy that will restrict *one* person from entering the locker room? Yes…we all buy that.
Comment by Wes -
\”The barriers to entry for bloggers are non existent. There are no editorial standards. There are no accuracy standards.\”
There is it…..bottom line. It\’s your team and you have EVERY right to set standards of your own. Stick to your convictions, Mark. Great post!!
Comment by C Hansen -
BleacherReport.com says \”shoot me an email…\” HAR. Like all he has to do is sit around and do your work.
The Mavs have always been very open to \”non-traditional\” interviews. My daughter was sports editor for her high school paper in Indiana and they rounded up Steve Alford for an interview!
Comment by Mark -
I like your view on this Mark. I really appriciate you kinda putting your neck on the line for the Blogging community to some extent.
Comment by Blaise -
Fairness schmairness – who said it locker room access for press/bloggers/etc had to be fair and equitable ?
You own the place, Mark. You can be as egalitarian with locker room access as makes sense for the competitiveness of your team. Why not select bloggers and reporters you like, and turf the rest. To ban bloggers because \’you don\’t know what\’s fair\’ is a cop out. Pick the ones you like, screw the rest.
Comment by ColinToal -
Damnit! I *knew* I should have snuck into the locker room when I had a chance. Now I\’ll have to go to journalism school. Thanks, dude!
Comment by Spamboy -
Mark!I think you\’re right for your team!Very good!
Comment by t-mac -
This is analogous to saying a ski instructor isn\’t a pro skier. Try walking into a ski/snowboard school locker room and telling everyone in the room they aren\’t \”professionals\” like Bode Miller or Shaun White. I that won\’t make a darn bit of sense to most people in Texas, but…
A blogger isn\’t a blogger isn\’t a blogger. Some are better than others. Some are journalists. You have look at the context.
Comment by Mike Sharp -
Mark, you\’re a spoiled little billionaire. I would\’nt piss on you if you were on fire.
Comment by Hank Hanker -
Interesting. I dont disagree if that is Mark\’s Opinion. I do agree that this might be a change that should wait till the end of the season, not in the middle as BELO is planning their covergae throughtout the season. I will miss the locker room updates. I did have 1 question, do the bloggers still have access to the press conference room media gangbangs?
Comment by eric -
I see two sides of it. It is your locker room and you have every right to decide who is, or is not, allowed in. I\’m not sure this policy is fair, unless all media members of any newspaper are allowed in. Can my students on my high school newspaper staff get in and the blogger can\’t? Black and white decisions like this are usually equal, but are rarely fair, and less often right. Take the time and make the tough decision. Take a look at the quality of writing. If the DMN sends over a terrible beat writer and they cannot effectively reflect your product then keep them out and let in the blogger who can. There should be a procedure for obtaining permission into this limited space and it should give preference to those that will make the best use of the resource. I believe there was a time when newspapers were real journalism and TV was not – did we keep the camera crews out? They are surely there now. This is a new dynamic, and one not to be ignored.
Comment by Hank Thiele -
Let the bloggers in. You can\’t and shouldn\’t be the one deciding where and to whom the First Amendment should apply.
Comment by Tim -
what happened to the days when lockerooms had benches. and towels.. comon.. geeze .. \”nice chair\”
Comment by Kboy -
Nice try, Mark. Your reasons for excluding MacMahon from the locker room are incredibly weak. It gets too full? How many people were unable to get into the locker room during the NBA Finals two years ago? No way your regular-season games get more attention than that.
DMN gets an unfair advantage by having an extra guy there who only blogs? Unfair advantage over who? If it\’s over regular-guy blogs, I would have to say they get an unfair advantage BY BEING THE FREAKING DALLAS MORNING NEWS! More resources, more talent, more everything beats out the guy who blogs after working his 9-to-5.
Methinks this is a punishment being doled out to MacMahon for something that no one would have known about had you not drawn attention to it by doing this.
Comment by Mike -
Please continue to remain as open and direct as you are.
You\’v been good for professional sports and you have my support.
Comment by Paul Benjamin -
Simple. Hold a lottery for blogger credentials for every home game. Give out 1 or 2 credentials per game.
Comment by Ken -
I\’ve been in the locker room on several occasions and have never found it to be too small. I\’m sure there are occasions that I\’ve missed where it\’s fairly full, but it\’s nothing like the Cowboys locker room after one of their games.
I agree that there needs to be some kind of standards set as to who qualifies for credentialing and access, but a blogger/writer for a local paper should be given access to perform his/her job. I believe that a blogger from the Dallas Morning News is different that a blogger from johndoe.com. The paper\’s bloggers all write feature articles and other stories. The paper itself has presumably done background checks and other due diligence before hiring the writer. While it would be nice to treat all bloggers as the same, it\’s just not the case that they are the same. Besides, the practice of treating everyone the same has been tried before, it\’s called communism and it doesn\’t work.
(From Jim in KFalls If the Mav\’s organization doesn\’t like what a blogger writes, then don\’t credential them again…If they don\’t have a problem with the blogger, keep them in a pool and draw names.) This is not the way the media works. The media is there to give the reader the story whether or not the subject of the story likes it. I don\’t want to get into a civics lesson here, but the job of the media is to act as the watchdogs. The Mavericks have their own media outlets (game telecasts and websites) to get their version of the story out, they don\’t need to try and censor the media. In fairness to the Mavericks and Mr. Cuban, as far as I know, they have never tried.
Comment by Will -
I really don\’t see the point to this, mavsblog.dallasnews.com is the #1 source for Dallas Mavericks News for many people in Dallas, I just dont see the point in banning a blogger from the Locker Room if they work for a MAJOR newspaper (DMN), that is actually getting Paid, to be a blogger!!
If you want to ban all the Other bloggers that do this for Fun, or just to have a blog its OK!!!! My point is that the blogger form The Dallas Morning News, is doing his JOB and the other bloggers are doing it for FUN!!
That my Opinion, I understand that you\’re the owner and you have the right to do as you please. but like I said its Just my OPINION!!!!!!
Comment by Raul Garza -
Bad move Mark! This isn\’t a decision to keep some \”joe blow\” who happens to blog out of his basement from claiming to be a \”real news reporter\” — instead you\’ve decided to not allow a legitimate reporter into your locker room. That smacks of retaliation — not \”space considerations.\” The DMN blog is one of my daily reads — I like it much better than \”regular\” articles. You\’ve made one MFFL angry with your decision — change your mind please!
Comment by Barry Crook -
Really weak. That blog was the best source for Mavs information. The fact that he did his reporting through a blog doesn\’t make him any less of a reporter. The medium is not the key here. If this were the 1950\’s, Mark would be keeping out TV reporters because only newspaper writers are real reporters, and a TV Personality is a TV Personality is a TV Personality.
I\’m a huge Cuban fan. He was a breath of fresh air for the NBA and he resurrected my team, but I\’m very disturbed by this act.
Comment by Joshua Wells -
\”A blogger is a blogger is a blogger and there are millions of us\”
Sorry, Mark. This is completely off the mark. Bloggers for major newspapers/outlets get tons more traffic and views, which clearly doesn\’t make them equal.
Do you let every newspaper writer in Texas into your locker room just because they are a journalist/reporter and not a blogger? Every school newspaper? Every pirate newspaper (so to speak)? Every newspaper that might exist? Everyone who reports, not blogs?
Didn\’t think you did. Your point doesn\’t make any sense.
Comment by Moonshine -
Seems like the answer is to open it up.
Keep everyone out of the locker-room, but then give access to all the players in a press room, which will hold more people and make it so the camera guys don\’t have to schlep everything in and out. Your press agent could even take questions from those in attendance AND submitted over the website.
Comment by Scott Yates -
First off, I agree with the second commenter: it\’s your team, you can do whatever you want. But since you asked, I think this is a lazy solution to a problem that\’s not going to go away. I like the solution of having a cap for news organizations (based on size?), to allow them flexibility in how they allot their spaces. To use the medium as the basis for exclusion, rather than the organization, is ultimately your loss: you won\’t have the most qualified people getting access to your team. To say \”a blogger is a blogger is a blogger\” seems like something of a cop-out; it\’s obviously not true, it\’s just a massive problem of determining which bloggers are qualified to cover the team and which aren\’t. Instead of being part of the solution, you\’re keeping the status quo in this area.
Comment by Bryan -
I am always intrigued at your critics. You must have so many ulterior motives they are hard to keep track of if I believe all the conspiracy theorists. The legitimate media have their place, but my guess is that if the league did not mandate access to the locker room, the press room would be the only place the players would like to see reporters.
Heres my thought: if they have to meet a broadcast or a publishing deadline then let them in. If they can post whenever they feel like it (bloggers) they should be relegated to the press room.
In additi9on, I agree with the posts that point out that a blogger is supposed to be giving opinions and perceptions while the reporters are relied on for quotes.
Keep doing what youre doing Mark, if I ever get to be a billionaire I want to be just like you.
Comment by Mike Genette -
I guess you have to know your audience. How can you reach the most fans?
Comment by Reed Smith -
To me it seems that any restriction of locker room access is a good way to go. There\’s virtually no point in having a blogger in the room since the whole point of having a blog (which is to say what\’s on your mind) is defeated by the fact that the players can\’t tell the complete truth anyway.
Dirk can criticize his boss, but not the league. Given that the team\’s comments will center on the night\’s game, it makes little sense to extend the time spent giving answers that Stern won\’t fine you for (the juicy stories the reporters are after). Bloggers can speculate equally from a distance.
Comment by Jon D -
I am a fan of the Mavs and the DMN. However, I am appalled at the news medias treatment of blogging. Since when is blogging considered journalism? And yet, many major papers (including the DMN) often use blogging as the lead story for the online edition of their papers. It would be like me using Wikipedia for the main sources of my term paper. My Professor would rip me.
Comment by JDP -
Hey Mark. I thought Jim in Kfalls had a good point. If a reporter from a high school newspaper wants access to the locker room, do they get it? You may allow that already but i could see that getting out of hand quickly.
The bottom line is…its your team and I\’m thinking if DMN already has 3 other people in the locker room…that\’s plenty. Maybe the answer is just setting a limit per media outlet.
Comment by Steve -
Some time soon, youll have to probably let some bloggers in. I guess youll start to develop your measuring standards rapidly.
Good post Mark, letting us know more
Comment by Guillermo -
Great post. A newspaper journalist is a professional writer hired by a reputable newspaper. A blogger is a blogger. He or she may be a journalist and may be an outstanding writer and very informed on his/her subject. The problem is, how do you know when anybody with an internet connection can start a blog. I agree, newspapers do themselves a disservice when they mix blogging with journalism.
Comment by Dave Klonke -
Tim\’s blog on dallasnews.com is the only way I keep up with the Mavericks. Blogging for reporters is the new future Mr. Cuban. The public wants short info very quickly. If you place restrictions on selective reporters than you are violating first ammendment rights which is illegal. But more importantly you loose invaluable marketing. I\’d rather read the Cowboy blogs anyways. Keep up the good work DMN staff!!!!
Comment by jeremy -
Just curious – if you did open up the locker room to all bloggers how many would come? As large as Dallas is there can only be so many who have a blog read by someone other than their friends and family; if fans/bloggers start coming in from out of town they\’re at least showing a certain level of commitment.
Of course you wouldn\’t want to have people registering on wordpress the day of the game just to get in and talk to the players – but between the age of the blog, the number of posts, the traffic level (not too hard to verify independently for a large enough site), and the main subjects of the posts it shouldn\’t be too hard to find a way to tell who\’s really serious about it. You would still need a way to verify this and give access to the right people but if you can automate checks for the basic stuff it doesn\’t need to be an overwhelming amount of work.
Based on some of your past posts I\’m guessing that you\’d like if if you could use this to encourage bloggers who take reporting seriously and try to show an insightful angle, but that\’s a more subjective thing… right?
Comment by Silicon Pairie -
Mark, I think if you looked into it that over half of your fan base under the age of 35 reads a Maverick blog daily. This is because it is so much more convienent to us, we get the information we want and get it fast. I personally was down on the team until I started going back to the DMN Blog earlier this year. I hope that you are not allowing your pride and personal feelings for one individual to get in the way of something enjoyed by a lot of your fans.
Comment by Roy -
So…what was the inciting incident?
From what I can tell, there\’s only two or three bloggers in the locker room – have they been overeating recently? What made you suddenly notice this swarm of blogging reporters?
Sorry, but this sounds really silly. Do you have enough room for every other kind of reporter out there? If a hundred people start up a hundred baby newspapers, each with a circulation of one, are you going to let them all in?
I\’ve always wanted to meet the Mavs – now I\’ve got a great plan!
Comment by Hermy -
So it has nothing to do with any content you disapprove of or any recent flare-ups with other sports bloggers. Got it.
Comment by Matt -
\”A blogger is a blogger is a blogger.\”
False. Some are better than others. Some take it more seriously than others. Some of the blogs I read have the same or better writing quality and at least as much integrity as newspapers. To say that bloggers are the lowest common denominator of writing is a grand simplification.
Just because someone gets paid to write articles doesn\’t mean they are automatically better. Some bloggers get paid too. To draw a line at the method of delivering content isn\’t like you. The quality and integrity of the content should be what matters, not what the type is printed on.
I think you should issue credentials for a handful of bloggers, and let your media relations department decide who is most worthy.
Comment by Mike -
The medium isn\’t the message here, Mark. Blogs vary in quality, depending on the same sorts of factors that affect newspapers and TV news departments — how good the individual staffers are, how many resources they have at their disposal, that sort of thing. And stylistically, they\’re all over the map. You have people writing well-researched pieces filled with original-source reporting on one extreme, and others zipping out top-of-the-head musings at the other. I think you could justify saving space for some bloggers — do it on a pool basis, if you\’d like, or pick a few based on their audience size or Technorati authority ranking. Heck, their readership might be larger than some of the newspaper folks you welcome. And just because someone\’s a blogger doesn\’t mean he/she doesn\’t have a great sense for your franchise\’s history, its players, or the league as a whole.
Comment by Jon Healey -
I think we all find it hard to believe that someone who is somewhat of a pioneer in the blogggg world, 1) is doing something this stupid, and 2) doesn\’t read the DMN\’s Mavs blogggg.
If it\’s your goal of shutting down all the growing criticism of Avery, then your only act should be to fire him.
Comment by Wes -
Not that it matters, but I\’m hung up on your statement: \”Where there is physical room to fairly credential any and all bloggers, Mr MacMahon is welcome. Where we can not accomodate all bloggers, he will be excluded.\”
Does this hold true for reporters as well – Is there room for any and all reporters in the press room? If not, shouldn\’t you exclude them too?
I read several blogs, most about the Trailblazers, and I typically ignore the ones that are poorly written or don\’t offer up anything I feel is interesting. I don\’t subscribe to the Oregonian hard print newspaper, simply because 90% of the information I read I can get online. I imagine there are thousands of fans like myself who have a ritual of reading their favorite sports blog to get the information they want versus buying a hard copy news paper.
Considering you credential those who get into the pressbox anyway – perhaps you should let the market dictate which blogs end up being successful and which ones aren\’t? If the Mav\’s organization doesn\’t like what a blogger writes, then don\’t credential them again…If they don\’t have a problem with the blogger, keep them in a pool and draw names. This way makes it fair to the blogger/reporter and still provides your fans with a medium in which they can read about your team…
just my two cents…
Comment by Jim in KFalls -
I\’m pleased to see you think this through in the way you have, Mark. ESPN and others have been using the words \”blogger\” and \”podcast\” as a way of conducting media business as usual–to create more silo\’ed content and to squeeze more money out of their customers. Fact is that Marc Stein no more \”blogs\” than do any newspapers\’ daily columnists. And I\’m guessing that we could count on a couple of hands those \”bloggers\” who can get the president of the ASNE to interfere on our behalf. It\’s nice that the DMN and Belo recognize the value of digital content, but they can\’t have it both ways–if their writers have the privilege and access accorded to mainstream media, then they\’re not really bloggers. They\’re columnists, and shouldn\’t pretend otherwise.
All that being said, it might be a nice touch to credential one or two bloggers per home game, spreading that wealth of access to folks who normally wouldn\’t have it. There\’d be some potential for abuse, I suppose, but also a lot of upside for everyday fans…
Comment by Collin Brooke -
The Dallas Morning News is your number one free publicity source for your local ticket buyers. If you let their regular sports reporter in, it just makes good marketing sense to let their blogger in.
That\’s really a \”no-brainer.\”
Comment by Bill Millan -
The three pictures you posted in the blog entry are not showing because they are linked back to your local hard drive in the html of the blog entry. Will you please upload them to the website and link to them again?
Comment by MavsFan -
Great post, Mark.
You are good.
Comment by Imobiliaria -
I read the DMNS blog daily and will greatly miss it!!
Comment by Polly in Dallas -
It`s your team Mark. Do what you want. But it`s the players locker room, ask them how they feel. Would they like it if their family members or people they gave passes to, where the only ones allowed to come into their locker room. From the picture it looks like a small intimate space, and what is the point of allowing the media in there if you have press room? Has anything ever been reported missing from the locker room? If so, my suggestion has merit.
Newspapers are doing anything to cut cost these days, my question is- are bloggers paid a lower salary than someone who is hired to write full featured articles? The media, having always twisted stories in order to attract an audience, are now lowing their accuracy standards and that is a shame.
Comment by Gregory Rueda -
Great post, Mark. This subject has been coming up a lot recently (interesting to get your perspective vs. Ted Leonsis), and has been a hot topic here at Bleacher Report.
We\’re actually working on a set of standards and criteria for certifying and credentialing sports bloggers, whether they publish their work on Bleacher Report, independently, or elsewhere.
Would be interested in getting your feedback/input on our efforts. Shoot me an email if you\’re so inclined.
Comment by Dave Nemetz -
Comments are closed.