New NFL Policy to Directly Affect YCS Staff

>> Sunday

I caught this piece on NPR on Friday, but I hadn't any time to blog about it then.

In essence, the NFL is now requiring all approved on-field photographers to wear a special red vest. The vest, which is adorned with Reebok and Canon logos, allows security staff to identify which photographers are authorized to be on the field. Of course, the popular media is crying foul and stating that the corporation-sponsored vests force photo journalists into sponsoring products.

Moreover, journalists are frustrated that the NFL also issued a policy earlier this summer restricting the amount of footage that newspaper internet sites could broadcast online.

Yet, as far as I'm concerned, the NFL has the right to control its product. If the photo journalists do not want to wear the vests, then they can go cover another sport. Journalists do not have an inherent right to attend sporting events nor do they have the right to broadcast unlimited content from a given sports league.

As much as I would like to have free access to sports content, such as accessing an internet radio broadcast of a Cubs game on WGN without paying for the MLB package, I understand that a sports league is like a corporation. For example, the NFL itself, the teams, and the stadiums (for the most part) are privately owned and managed. If Google or Microsoft (which for the record are publicly owned) wants to limit a reporter's access to its facilities or trade secrets, nobody seems to mind. But when the NFL determines that journalists should wear a vest, the media gets irate.

Ultimately, if fans get frustrated enough with a given league, they will simply give up on it. However, people seem plenty satisfied with the NFL right now in spite of its recent "transgressions," like broadcasting certain games on its own network. Let the free market decide. If we fans want to follow a league that is increasing its restrictions and charging us more for its content, then that's our own fault. And if media corporations don't want to follow the NFL's policies and risk losing readership/viewership, they don't have to. Sorry, but that's capitalism.


Vinnie 7:46 AM  

Does that title imply that we were planning on getting Zuch a press pass to be a sideline photographer this season?

Paul 8:51 AM  

That's what I had in mind. Zuch, you better protest and cover the logos up with masking tape.

Zuch 2:20 PM  

I'm guessing that by week five, the Oakland Raiders will be giving press passes to St. Benedict's fourth grade paper to cover their games. At that point, this YCS staffer will challenge Kige Ramsey for the designation of Youtube Sports reporter thanks to his magnificent cell phone photos of Jamarcus Russell getting sacked and Jerry Porter arguing with Lane Kiffin and punching Mike Williams.

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