I’ve been writing about the Rockies on several sites, including My Team Rivals , My own site, the Rockies Reporter , as well as the Bleacher Report .
At the Bleacher Report, I’m already moving up the list of top writers and eventually hope to be a featured columnist in the future.
I’ve also been contacted to cover the Rockies at several sites already in my short time doing this.
I’ve actually enjoyed writing about the Colorado Rockies so far, but I really want to do more, and have better stories.
One of my personal goals as a Rockies writer is to get press credentials.
It would give so much legitimacy to what I’m doing. It would also allow me to get access to better stories.
Stories that would help the Rockies connect to you the fans. Stories that would give you the fan and reader a better understanding of what is going on with the Colorado Rockies.
SO, I called the Rockies today, and got Irma Castañeda, Assistant to the Vice President, Communications/PR (whose information I got ONLINE!) I asked her about the steps of getting press credentials.
She was very rude. She was short when she said, “WELL….who are you with?”
I said, I write for three online sites covering the Rockies.
She said, that the Rockies do not and will not credential anyone that writes online. The only press credentials they will even consider, is through established mainstream media such as print or radio.
I said, “well, I understand you don’t really know how to handle all the online writers asking for credentials, but….” She cut me off, and said very bluntly, “WE DON’T KNOW HOW TO HANDLE IT?!?!?! OH WE KNOW HOW TO HANDLE IT……we don’t credential online writers……PERIOD!”
I was very pleasant, and asked, “Were you aware that the Washington Nationals credentialed several online writers?”
She said, “No, I was not aware of that, but the Rockies do not, and that’s what the Rockies have decided. I have to get ready for a game. Good-bye.”
It wasn’t the denial that bothered me. It wasn’t even the tone and attitude, though that did put me off a lot.
What I expected to hear, was, something like, “Where do you write? Let me get your information. We currently don’t give out press credentials for online writers, but we might, as it’s something we’ve talked about. I’ll let you know if your site is one we’d consider if we change our stance in the future. Thanks for calling.”
What I got was a complete denial that anyone that writes online doesn’t even exist and certainly adds nothing to the value of the Colorado Rockies.
That anyone writing online, was beneath the notice of the Colorado Rockies. That there was no value to anything anyone wrote if they did it online only.
I fully understand that handling online writers is an issue. If everyone that wrote online were to get a press pass, literally every fan could throw up a site, and PRESTO…they would get a free press pass.
I understand that teams will have a hard time figuring out which writer is legit and trying to be a serious journalist from those that are not.
But has Major League Baseball missed the boat on the changing media world?
The world and the media is changing fast. Newspapers and magazines in print form are dying out left and right. Locally, the Rocky Mountain News went under just last year.
What has stepped up to take the place has been the Internet, and bloggers.
The Democratic Committee at their National Convention here in Denver in 2008 allowed unprecedented access to online writers and bloggers giving credentials to over 200 “bloggers.”
The NFL just this year invited bloggers to their draft in New York, and many NFL teams have allowed online writers to receive press credentials and access just like their newspaper brethren.
But Major League Baseball has been slow to adapt.
Only the Washington Nationals, a team that is in need of exposure has allowed press credentials to online sites.
The Nationals granted press passes to five sites, just this year. The Nationals are the only one that I’m aware of that has given press credentials.
Today’s media is not print. I’d argue today’s media is NOT radio even though Denver has three sports talk radio stations.
Today’s media certainly is not local TV stations whose local sports is five minutes in length, and they give no more than a score and one highlighted play.
Today’s media IS online, and will continue to only grow in importance. But media relations for MLB and the Colorado Rockies are stuck in 1950′s.
MLB, you need to join the NFL, and get behind the new media. You need to give out credentials to those actually covering the your teams. You need to support the writers that are actually writing about you.
For the record, I can understand turning ME down as I’m fairly new at writing online.
However, there are several legitimate sites, that do a great job covering the Rockies on a regular basis that deserve to have media credentials.
They deserve it more than the Woody Paiges, and the Mark Kizlas of the world.
I’m not as big of a fan of the Rockies as I was yesterday.