Mark Cuban has an interesting post on bloggers in the Dallas Mavericks locker room. As Cuban tells the story, DMN's blogger Tim MacMahon was denied access to the locker room because he was only a blogger, but is not a part of the print media, thus Cuban denied him access to the locker room. Cuban did continue to allow him to have access to the press conferences, just not the locker room.
The DMN's response was this:
I think that's pretty much the gist of the story. The DMN is claiming that MacMahon is being banned because of something he wrote, while Cuban is saying that he's banned MacMahon because he's just a blogger. For the most part, I agree with Cuban here. MacMahon is just a blogger. Although he does an excellent job of covering most of the local sports and being opinionated (although I tend to think he's opinionated, just to be opinionated), including for the DMN College Blog, he is now just a blogger. As a guy who would love to go to press conferences or inside the locker room, I think there is little to zero chance that I ever get the opportunity to do this not because I'm not a good writer, or because I don't have a decent pedigree, but because I'm just a blogger. I am lucky enough to have an incredible platform at SB Nation, just as MacMahon is at the DMN, but what makes him any different than me? The paycheck? (I do make some money off of blogging, so again, what's the difference?)
I also like how Bailon differentiates between bloggers as beat writers from newspapers versus bloggers who blog just because they love their respective team. Of course, I'm not sure if anyone has asked, but the Dallas Mavericks has their own blogger/writer in Art Garcia, Mavs Courtside View, and I'm almost positive he's full-time with the Mavericks. Is he allowed inside the locker room?
Besides the actual blogger v. writer argument, this does make a ton of sense for from a logistical standpoint. Imagine that you are part of the Mavs' P.R. department and you've got 100 guys and gals, all claiming to be Dallas Maverick bloggers and all of them want access to the locker room. That's a problem. I'd imagine that if any team, collegiate or professional, opened up their doors if you were a blogger, then those same doors would come crashing down with every fan claiming that they should be granted access.
Something else to think about. Fellow Texas Tech blogger, RaiderAde essentially blogs for the Houston Chronicle. RaiderAde has a major newspaper platform, what makes him any different that MacMahon, again, besides the paycheck?
I suppose all of this could easily be solved if MacMahon just started writing for the print side of the newspaper. And by the way, I like Tim, he's also talked with DTN on a couple of occasions and been more than willing to give up his time to email back and forth with me and not every newspaper guy will do this.
I've never thought that I should have access to any sort of Texas Tech events. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have the access, but that access can be denied as easily as it was provided and if I choose to write something about the team or a player that doesn't paint him or her in a favorable light, then I can probably kiss that access goodbye.
Besides, I figure that if you want news, you have outlets. I keep thinking that my "job" is to provide you the hub to access that information (links) and actually take the time to provide a little deeper analysis (this typically comes after basketball season, when there's not so much going on) of the team we love.
Any of your thoughts on the matter are greatly appreciated.