Study: Sports Organizations Don’t Know What To Do About ‘Bloggers,’ ‘Internets’

Stephen W. Dittmore, a University of Arkansas assistant professor of recreation who specializes in sport management, has conducted an analysis with three colleagues at Wichita State University of how sport organizations approach bloggers and blogging. This, as sports teams of all shapes and sizes grapple with how to handle all these live-blogging, wise-cracking unwashed masses with free WordPress accounts.

What did he find out? No surprises here! According to a UA news release:

The researchers found that perceptions vary regarding the legitimacy of bloggers and their value to the sport organization, and many organizations have yet to formalize blogging policies. Protecting the interests of the sport organizations is often a key part of blogging policies because of concern about how bloggers will present the sport organization, they found. On the college scene, larger Bowl Championship Series schools more often only grant media credentials to bloggers from “credible” or “legitimate” media outlets, while smaller, non-BCS schools more often evaluate requests on a case-by-case basis.

In short:

“Traditional definitions of what constitutes a news organization are evolving,” Dittmore said. “Sport organizations such as the New York Islanders and the Washington Capitals have issued media credentials to bloggers, many of whom are fans and have no journalistic training.”

So some sports organizations are woefully behind in developing a New Media policy, while others are handling out press passes like Pez! Sounds like business as usual, to me.

You can see a one-age summary of Dittmore’s presentation on the subject at last month’s North American Society of Sports Management conference via this link here (PDF).

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