Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Edmonton Oilers Boot Blogger From Press Box For Abusing Press Pass

David Berry is a journalist for Vue Weekly, an independent news and arts publication in Edmonton. Until recently, he was also a blogger for Covered in Oil, one of the best Edmonton Oilers blogs on the Web, which is saying something when you consider the quality inherent in that corner of the hockey blogosphere. Now, Berry is a symbol and symptom of the continued hypocrisy, idiocy and inflexibility that still incredibly defines many of the relationships between bloggers, NHL teams' media relations foot soldiers and, by proxy, the mainstream hockey media. In summary, Berry's dilemma: He was credentialed by the Oilers to cover games from the press box and collect quotes afterward for his publication. At the same time, Berry was also blogging for Covered in Oil, which has been quite critical of the team and management over time. He was live-blogging a game against the Colorado Avalanche from the press box when he was pulled aside by an Oilers PR drone. From Berry on Covered in Oil:

“Just before the start of the third, when one of the Oiler press guys pulled me aside and informed me that I'd no longer be allowed in the press box, and that if I didn't have a job to do, he would have had someone escort me out of the building right then and there. I was understandably a little confused as to what was going on, and after a little questioning, he told me that I was not allowed to blog in the press box, as I was there on another media pass. I apologized and explained that exactly no one had told me about this, and I'd be more than willing to stop doing it in the future if they had a problem with it. That didn't seem to help at all: he got more agitated, reminded me that he could have me thrown out right now, and told me I wouldn't be welcome back. I pressed for a bit more of an explanation, and I was eventually told that the Oilers didn't grant press passes to bloggers unless they were employed by the organization or the NHL, and that I had abused my press pass and wasn't allowed back.”


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