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Sports bloggers get no respect

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Controversy has reached the world of sports blogs and news Web sites recently, as influential people are beginning to take notice of their impact on professional and college sports.

These bloggers are still journalists who should get the same access and treatment as print, TV and radio media representatives.

But lately they have not been given the same access and freedom to cover sports on their blog sites, as several sports leagues have begun to restrict access to bloggers not affiliated with more traditional news media outlets.

For example, Major League Baseball has issued rules on how the media can post photos, video and audio files onto their Web sites.

Because of many contracts that sports leagues and teams have with major media outlets in addition to their own Web site, these rules were made after concerns that exclusive content was featured in other places as well.

Independent bloggers or reporters from smaller organizations can simply transfer their content faster on their sites in comparison to other media.

An interview with a prominent player or coach can be edited easily on their laptops and posted within seconds of it being completed.

Pictures can be uploaded much faster following a game and play-by-play action can be posted almost simultaneously with the on-going action in a sporting event.

Since these new reporting tactics have been implemented, information and content that is usually only found in one spot is offered in other mediums like blog sites and newspaper Web sites.

Within that lies the problem for all major sports organizations and the NCAA. These entities are not able to control what or where the content from games or matches is published.

This makes it difficult for them to keep sponsors, advertisers and major media outlets who generate money for their leagues, while still maintaining their obligation to provide coverage opportunities to traditional media, bloggers and new media reporters.

If that is not enough, there are plans for the media law resource center, a group that includes many members of media organizations, to challenge the restrictions placed by these leagues on certain media.

In one of their plans, they intend on taking the MLB to court and contending their anti-trust exception.

In other words, the media is trying to strike back against these leagues who are not allowing the media the access they need because of their own personal agendas which affect income and contractual obligations.

On the NCAA front, it is setting their own standards on the amount of updates bloggers can post on their blog sites on sports like women’s water polo and fencing.

Clearly it is unethical to have strict limitations on what some media are able to get access to and be able to publish while others are not given the same treatment.

Staying loyal to revenue makers is important but there must be fairness when media is trying to report about sports, especially on the college and professional levels. If there is going to be a requirement to follow certain guidelines when posting exclusive content related to a sports team or association, they must be consistent and coherent across the various media.

Beginning with the earliest reporters, there has been a standard for allowing media to cover sports in the traditional ways of print, radio and television.

Now with the inception of the Internet, professional and college sports must be able to adapt and allow opportunities for coverage by these technology savvy reporters and bloggers.

These sports league and associations must be able to act soon and be able to be fair to all, no matter where they are reporting their news

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