“what a catch!”
“should have been a foul”
As it turns out, the University of Washington isn’t so thrilled about the idea of media members tweeting the live action of their games. The university has a “Live Coverage Policy” in place for media members. This policy was enacted before the start of the football season: 20 total tweets per hoops game, 45 for each football game.
And it applies to what tweets they judge to be as describing the game; not total tweets. As you no doubt have heard by now Todd Dybas of the Tacoma News Tribune got in trouble for crossing this rubicon. The school is pretty serious about this, one can even have their credentials revoked for this “offense.” Also “Twitter Jail” exists.
Twitter Jail is no tweeting if you’ve reached the limit of 100 tweets per hour/1000 per day. You can access your page, you may not post publicly for a specific period of time. Anything from half an hour to a few hours.
Wow that’s a lot of tweets.
Now despite the title of this essay, I’m not supporting UW’s censorship. I think this rule violates First Amendment rights. What I am for is self-regulation. I think we as writers, journalists, bloggers, etc. need to give up the play-by-play tweets. Live blogs are dead, and discussion threads sort of have this market cornered already. If you follow more than one account for a website/news service specializing, or even covering that one team, you’ll be inundated with tweets EVERY game. And they’ll all say the SAME THING. So why add to it? Your Twitter timelines becomes cluttered with repetitive minutiae. And this goes for you too, the fan watching at home on tv.
And anyone watching the game on tv, or listening to it on the radio knows what’s going on. They don’t have to be told by you. The only person it helps is the fan who is cut off from media but strives to follow the game with the smart phone. So there should be one -and just one- account for these purposes. Why not the team’s official account? Cuz they’re already doing it, most of the time. And that’s why I have follow zero official team accounts on Twitter. As long as we have one feed like this, it’s plenty. If you’re the doing the same thing they are, you are a BORING, unoriginal reporter. These tweets mean nothing to anyone not watching the game; old news to anyone who is.
Now of course, I know what the UW vs. Dybas controversy is really about- the industry trying to protect it’s product from being given away for free. They might feel threatened by someone supposedly cutting into their profits, and I feel that’s just way too stupid of an idea to even bother responding to.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago Tribune.com, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports
A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; he’s also a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.