I can’t believe I’m reading this, much less blogging about it.
The St. Petersburg Times recently reported on the Southeast Conference (SEC) issuing an edict to its twelve member schools, further limiting the amount of audio, video, and real-time blogging allowed at practices, games, and news conferences.
The truly disturbing part, is that according to this same edict, fans are now barred from updating social networking sites from the stands. This includes updating Twitter or Facebook, posting pictures to Flickr, or uploading videos to YouTube, and (I would assume) live blogging during a game.
This policy is not just galactically stupid, it’s an enforcement nightmare and has untold masses of sports fans in an uproar.
This quote is about as direct and to-the-point as one can get:
“I would guess,” said Mike Masnick, the editor of the respected blog techdirt, “that they’re realizing that anyone can be a reporter or a broadcaster these days.
A.J. Liebling’s famous quote, which I’ve used here before, “Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one,” is about to become about as quaint as the printing presses of his era.
Information wants to be free. Technology has advanced to the point where video cameras can be combined with a device that’s nominally a telephone. This policy, even if nominally a success, will still reflect very badly on the SEC as an inept attempt at censorship, doomed to failure in the long term.
(Note: I now also see the quote attributed to H.L. Mencken. I’m not sure which attribution is actually correct. If anyone knows for sure drop me a line using the comment form.)