In Response

Dirk Hoag from the excellent Predators blog, On the Forecheck, left a comment in the previous post about bloggers credentials that I wanted to address. Please keep in mind that I know Dirk, like him a lot, think he’s an excellent blogger, and have met him in person. This isn’t snarking at him, and I asked if he minded me replying to his comments here. So this is all on the up and up.

Dirk’s comments are two-fold, so I’m addressing them as such:

1) Good luck on getting accreditation for bloggers. From what I understand, it was Colorado which led the charge to restrict credentialed bloggers in various cities from having access to visiting teams.

I don’t know if this is exactly the case or not. I know that I have heard the same things, and I know I have heard from people that have talked to the Avs that they don’t seem to keen on the idea. That said, I don’t know how it has been presented to the Avalanche, and I don’t know if there has been a group effort to do so. That said, it doesn’t hurt to try, and it might lead to all of the bloggers here upping their game. Which never hurts.

2) What would media credentials do for bloggers that would truly enhance their ability to counter what you see as failings of the Denver Post? Do they really need ‘we need to work hard and take it one game at a time” quotes to do that?

This is something I’ve heard from plenty of people, and I don’t buy it. Looking at the Washington Capitals experience, they have a rich field of content that goes beyond the stock quotes. I recently discovered the work done by Media Chameleon, and I would say their audio documentaries go beyond what most of the MSM would consider worth doing.

To address the specifics of the Denver Post, You would diversify the tone of the reporting,which is essential to any medium. We don’t just have Law and Order as the only crime drama on TV. We don’t just have on 24 hour news station. But in Denver, we have one newspaper, with two guys. That’s it. Terry Frei was the best of the hockey writers, but he doesn’t do as much Avs writing anymore. Just to spread the coverage out would help. How was the hockey media in Nashville before bloggers were introduced to the press box? That’s where Denver is right now.

I understand the concerns, but I would rather see the chance taken that things will change for the better than not at all.

Time for the Avalanche to Open Up

Today on twitter, I went on a bit of a rant.  And hey, that’s what twitter is there for at times, a bit of a rant. But once you get to around 10 tweets on the same topic, it’s time to close twitter for a minute and open up the old blogging software, dusty though it may be.

I read yet another sour-puss post in the Denver Post today, which I usually avoid at all costs.

Aside – I want you to think about that for a moment.  I’m a  fan of the Colorado Avalanche, and we have one newspaper in town.  And I try to avoid reading it because of the content.  One source with press credentials, and I TRY not to read it.  Isn’t that kind of telling?

There were parts of the post that bugged me, but none more than this:

When push came to shove, the Avs couldn’t win the big ones – again. It was right there for them: two out of three wins against Phoenix, Vancouver and San Jose, and they would have been in good shape for the playoffs. But they got one out of six possible points. Let’s face it, the Avs choked away a win the other day against Vancouver, the one game that stood out to me as proving these guys still aren’t ready for prime time yet.

The number one thing that bugged me was not the word ‘choked,’ but the word ‘again.’  Yes, again the Avalanche were not good enough to make the post season (most likely, as there is the mathematical possibility that they could sneak in).  It isn’t the gloom and doom of that word or that sentence that bugs me.  It’s that we have seen this before.  We have seen this perspective over and over.  It’s copy / paste every few games.

It isn’t that the Denver Post (and to be honest about it, Adrian Dater, the most visual of the Post writers) needs to be fans of the team.  That isn’t their job, and isn’t the way their writing should be structured.  But at this point, the emo message is that you are a fool to think this team was anything but losers.  You would be a mook to be a fan of this team.  And it was all inevitable, and is going to continue.

The Post needs to do it’s job, and that is report the news.  And they need to be given the leeway to state their opinions in the appropriate places.  It isn’t that the Post needs to conform to us, the fans.  But we don’t need to conform to their output either.

The overall issue here is a lack of choice on the part of the fans.  The Denver Post is the only credentialed media outlet that consistently puts out Avalanche material.  They don’t have to do anything other than what they are doing, because they aren’t pushed to do so.  They are the only game in town, and that’s the choice made by the Avalanche themselves.  The Avs are traditionally very closed off to the media.

But tradition has a way of falling when confronted with new successes, and as the blogoshphere has proven, success is available.  Examples like the Capitals, Predators, and Islanders have shown that bloggers can be healthy additions to the media availability.  They can provide what the papers can’t, won’t or don’t have time for.  They can be a positive addition to the ranks of the press box.  And now, more than ever, it’s time.

This summer, I’m asking for an Avs blogger summit.  A meeting of the bloggers who want to be granted credentials or given access to the Avalanche.  This would be an initial first step in collectively seeking to work with the Avalanche to get in the door.  I’m asking for this in the spirit of inclusiveness, to get many perspectives.

This will not be an overnight process.  Bloggers of many stripes have been around for years waiting for the opportunity.  But if the mountain won’t come to us, it’s time for us to go to the mountain.

If you’re interested, please let me know in the “contact me” link up above, or click here.  Lets do this.