University of Washington limits reporters’ live tweets during games

GeekWire | Marquette Tribune
The University of Washington is limiting the number of tweets credentialed reporters can send during games, but not limiting tweets by its own reporting staff or fans. Monica Guzman, a member of Poynter’s National Advisory Board, explains:

this policy is first and foremost about the university’s rights to its own live games. The university says so, everyone else is saying so, and you know what? It makes sense. The clash of clans hack games are private, ticketable entertainment, after all, not public domain. The university sells TV and radio outlets exclusive rights to broadcast their games and has to protect its ability to do so.

The new social media policy, which went into effect in August, looks at reporters’ live tweets during games and says hey — that stuff’s ours, too. …

Even if you don’t accept the idea that the university has a lot to lose right now from a few reporters’ breathless live tweeting of a game — I sure don’t — the policy was designed as a defensive, pre-emptive strike, the UW athletic department official explained. Better to “draw the line in the sand” now, the official said, than to wait until live tweeting gets even more thorough and some media outlet develops a lucrative model off real-time content off the university’s games.

Allowing its own sanctioned reporter free access while limiting others, though, “begins to feel like a first, small step toward an encroachment of outside reporters’ ability to tell their own, independent sports story,” says Guzman.

In other live-tweeting news: Marquette University has had some real struggles with its journalism program; in response, writers at the Marquette Tribune satirically suggest that
journalism professors have asked students to live-tweet their REM cycles.

The assignment is a response to criticism that the curriculum refuses to evolve. It is, journalism professors say, the next step for new media.

“We are doing something revolutionary,” said Rosemary Thyme, a professor in the College of Communication. “Most, if not all, live-tweeting up until this point has been during consciousness. We are going a step further.” …

Other ideas the college had included assigning students to live-tweet their own walking patterns throughout the day, live-tweeting other live blogs live and the very bold idea of live-tweeting literally every possible observation and thought made in a 24-hour period, which is being reserved as a potential final project for certain classes.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Rosenfeld/1471251235 David Rosenfeld

    I will never understand why any athletic department would want to limit the amount of coverage that a media outlet gives to any particular game.

    The rights to the game have already been sold beforehand. The game has started. Don’t you want people to be as engaged as possible, in as many ways as possible?

    This strikes me as a way to constrict the amount of criticism that could take place. The UW sports information office will always tweet positive and/or vanilla stuff, but the Seattle Times won’t. But you know what? You have to learn to live with negative comments. Part of life..

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Rosenfeld/1471251235 David Rosenfeld

    I will never understand why any athletic department would want to limit the amount of coverage that a media outlet gives to any particular game.

    The rights to the game have already been sold beforehand. The game has started. Don’t you want people to be as engaged as possible, in as many ways as possible?

    This strikes me as a way to constrict the amount of criticism that could take place. The UW sports information office will always tweet positive and/or vanilla stuff, but the Seattle Times won’t. But you know what? You have to learn to live with negative comments. Part of life..

  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.weinstock Dave Weinstock

    I think the University of Washington’s policy drifts dangerously close to prior restraint. The differential enforcement with fans and reporters will cause them some problems, I think.
    How do you limit the press and not fans? How many fans blog or have Twitter followers? At what point does a fan with a Twitter following or a blog become a reporter?