Mark Cuban Likes Sports Blogging But Bans Bloggers From Locker Room

Unfortunate news for those in the sports blog community, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has decided to ban any and all bloggers from the locker room.

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.

Cuban does go on to say, on more than one occasion, that he is supportive of the blogging community but it seems that this is such a new form of media that standards do not yet exist. In an effort to remain fair (in his eyes), he came to the conclusion that no blogger would be allowed to enter the locker room.

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.

While I can understand that bloggers are somewhat of a new animal, the medium and format is obviously catching on. Blogs are some of the most popular and enjoyable destinations on the internet. Everyone these days is starting a blog, and thats a good thing. Heck, just about every mainstream media outlet now has some form of blog.

I don't know what its going to take for bloggers to get some sort of credentials or credibility in the eyes of the big ball clubs. Perhaps some sort of collation should be formed?

Because, as Cuban accurately states, the barrier of entry into the blogosphere is so low, its difficult for the sports teams to keep track of who's legit and who isn't. Instead of making a catch-all rule as drastic as the Mavericks, perhaps a ball club could have a review process in which they decide whether to credential a blog or not?

All I know is that this format is catching on. People like to get their news/opinion fix in an on-demand, digestible form and blogs are one of the best ways to do that. Going forward, I hope teams take a more open approach to bloggers...

You can read more at Cuban's blog.

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March 11, 2008

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