Blogger removed from NCAA baseball game for blogging

A news blogger is told to leave a college baseball playoff game for posting during the game.

It appears that college baseball officials may have been taking lessons from the censorship masters in Soviet Russia.

That at least is the sense after a blogger from the Courier-Journal of Louisville, Ky., was expelled from a college playoff game for live-blogging.

According to the Courier-Journal, staff blogger Brian Bennett was approached by NCAA officials in the fifth inning of a game between the University of Lousville and Oklahoma State, told that blogging "from an NCAA championship event 'is against NCAA policies (and) we're revoking the (press) credential and need to ask you to leave the stadium.'"

In its article, the Courier-Journal quoted its executive editor, Bennie Ivory, as saying, "It's clearly a First Amendment issue. This is part of the evolution of how we present the news to our readers. It's what we did during the Orange Bowl. It's what we did during the NCAA basketball tournament. It's what we do."

Indeed, live-blogging has become as much a part of the news reporting landscape as traditional stories. With so much competition around, many publications find that the only way to get a leg up is to report goings-on as events unfold, and technology like Wi-Fi and EV-DO is allowing reporters to get Internet connectivity from almost anywhere.

The Courier-Journal said that the University of Louisville sent out a memo from NCAA manager of broadcasting Jeramy Michiaels, prior to Friday's game. The memo said, in essence, that no blogging was allowed during the game.

But Bennett had not been approached after live-blogging previous games in the playoffs.

It's understandable if sports organizations like the NCAA want to control access to video of their games, but it's hard to see how they can expect news organizations to keep from reporting the news as it happens.

And when they do, it makes them look like they are stuck very, very far in the past.

 

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