Gannett And AP Tell SEC They Won't Sign Up For Restricted Reporting

from the pushback dept

Well, we've already joked about how the Associated Press seems to have a bit of a double standard in complaining about the Southeastern Conference's (SEC) restrictions on journalistic activity during SEC sporting events, but it's nice to see the Associated Press and the Gannett chain of newspapers both take a stand and tell the SEC that it simply won't sign the agreement. It's not entirely clear what happens next. The SEC is likely to change the policies and try to come to some sort of compromise, but I'd love to see news organizations get a backbone and tell such sports leagues that there's no compromise and no deal to be had. They're reporters and they'll report as they see fit.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2009 @ 5:47pm

    Well, then I suppose we need to add Gannett to the list.

    Go ahead and keep the content behind a paywall. It goes against the democratic rule of the interwebs. I suppose this is fine, because people who don't lock content up, will become the de facto record of source.

    I wonder why it's only US news outlets that are complaining. Wouldn't it be a reasonable assertion that European counterparts would also be experiencing similar growing pains? Have newspapers outside the US experienced these issues?

    Recently, the Nieman Lab of Journalism published an interesting perspective of the
    world according to the AP. It's an interesting read that attempts to tie the recent passing of Michael Jackson as a lost revenue opportunity. In the document, it's described how 4.2M people a minute were searching for info on Jackson's death and how the news accounted for 25% of all web traffic. Tragically, the article fails to report over what time frame. An hour? A day?

    Between the lines, one can almost read the internal debate that ensued at AP. Perhaps the AP was disappointed at not being able to monetarily capitalize upon the news of the late star's death. This is a poor decision indeed, but it seemed to have fueled some sort of internal discussion to implement DRM to reporting. The very containerized DRM which was and continues to be rejected on a wholesale level by music customers.

    Probably the most interesting piece was AP's vilification of Social web 2.0 platforms such as Twitter, and Wikipedia. But in doing so, they appear to have a fundamental misunderstanding of the technology and understanding of the interaction of people over these platforms. Without experiencing how a user can create/add/provide value, the platforms will inherently be seen as a threat.

    DRM and paywalls will not do nothing to increase the debate, viewership or distribution. But instead, will serve to create a value-wedge for a new entrant to service ex-AP and ex-Gannett customers. These types of managerial decisions will have long term effects. One of the first DRM experiments claimed it's largest victim to date a few months ago but only after $114M was invested into the DRM black hole. Arguably, it may have been responsible for the company's demise. If they would have invested in innovating, chances are they would still be around.

    DRMed News and paywalls may.. no.. will have a similar effect. Probably have DRM'ed music, and may very well have the same effect as Circuit City's experiment called DIVX.

    Is reporting dead? Perhaps in the traditional sense.

    As for the AP3P strategy, well, it looks good on paper.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2009 @ 6:12pm

    So I hope you've budgeted a lot of money for this.

    Let's say you've budgeted $100M in gross revenue. Well, once you've lost $75M, I'd say stop and find some way to scower up $25M from your already bleeding balance sheet. You'll need $25M to replace the customers you lost. It will be hard, uphill battle, but the alternative is to go for broke and call it a day.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2009 @ 6:19pm

    I'll tell you this-- you can find a better way to find $100M in revenue by not being a jackass. But, if you want to be a jackass, the interwebs can easily make you that. But what the hell do I know?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2009 @ 7:15pm

    LPGA

    The LPGA tried to control what the press wrote/photographs taken at the tournaments. The reporters simply didn't write anything, except that they weren't going to report until the tour relaxed the restrictions. Eventually the restrictions were dropped.

    It really set the tour back for a while.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Dark Helmet (profile), 26 Aug 2009 @ 6:21am

      Re: LPGA

      "The LPGA tried to control what the press wrote/photographs taken at the tournaments. The reporters simply didn't write anything, except that they weren't going to report until the tour relaxed the restrictions. Eventually the restrictions were dropped.

      It really set the tour back for a while."

      ...Yeah, that and the fact that the LPGA by definition takes a sport that translates relatively poorly to television and includes ONLY players that largely are unable to perform the most exciting and televisable(word?) aspects of their sport.

      But, yeah, it was the reporters...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    fogbugzd, 25 Aug 2009 @ 7:20pm

    Where will it end

    I would just be excited to hear the media use the term "Superbowl."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    r_f_o_t (profile), 25 Aug 2009 @ 9:34pm

    IHSA

    This sadly reminds me of the stupidity of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illinois_High_School_Association#Media_Usage_Restrictions which almost led to legislation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2009 @ 4:24am

    the reporters have another big hammer

    Some element of the National standings and the Heismen trophy are based on the votes of reporters. No votes to the SEC Teams should make them worry.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ronald J Riley (profile), 26 Aug 2009 @ 5:00am

    Business Dictating Editorial Content

    "but I'd love to see news organizations get a backbone and tell such sports leagues that there's no compromise and no deal to be had. They're reporters and they'll report as they see fit."

    That is the way it is supposed to work but industry financial problems has severely eroded the separation between the business sided and editorial. Business interests are getting away with dictating editorial content today and I don't see this problem getting better anytime soon.

    Ronald J. Riley,


    I am speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR act PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 8 pm EST.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Falindraun (profile), 26 Aug 2009 @ 7:49am

    SEC

    Just by reading the headline I thought you were talking about the OTHER sec the Securities and Exchange Commission. Colledge football I really could care less.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2009 @ 9:52am

      Re: SEC

      Ah, the classic "It's not interesting to me, so it shouldn't be interesting to anyone else," argument.

      Well played, sir.

      (At least you could try to provide some information as to why this story isn't relevant to Techdirt and shouldn't be relevant to others.)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2009 @ 5:14pm

      Re: SEC

      >Colledge football I really could care less.

      So just how much less could you care?

      I guess you didn't go to an SEC Colledge(SIC).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Falindraun (profile), 27 Aug 2009 @ 1:51am

      Re: SEC

      To both of you, I never said that it shouldn't be interesting to others. The intent was that I thought the title of the article was confusing, and that I don't care about college sports at all. No I didn't go to an SEC college.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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