It’s not a lawyer being thrown out of a court room, but a baseball reporter was ejected for live blogging a baseball game.

As reported by the Associated Press, Brian Bennett, a writer for The Louisville Courier-Journal, was ejected in the bottom of the fifth inning for refusing to stop blogging Sunday’s Louisville – Oklahoma State game. Bennet had called his editor who told him to keep on blogging.

The newspaper’s position from the AP:

  • We’re being deprived of our right to report within the First Amendment from a public facility.
  • This is part of the evolution of how we present the news to our readers.
  • It’s what we did during the Orange Bowl. It’s what we did during the NCAA basketball tournament. It’s what we do.
  • Once a player hits a home run, that’s a fact. It’s on TV. Everybody sees it. (The NCAA) can’t copyright that fact.

And from the NCAA:

  • Bennett was asked not to blog about game action before Sunday’s game.
  • Blogs are considered a ‘live representation of the game’ and blogs containing action photos or game reports are prohibited until the game is over.
  • Because the blogger repeatedly violated the policy his credential was revoked.
  • Didn’t matter that the newspaper had blogged at other NCAA events, like the Orange Bowl and NCAA basketball tournament.

This probably has more than a few entrepreneurs shaking their heads as to their blogging business models. I have always taken the view that blogging from a public place was wide open. But when the NCCA buys the rights to broadcast this may raise a whole nother issue.

Can we blog in text? What about audio podcasts? And does video blogging conflict with TV rights?

Not sure how ESPN gets its video for play after the game for its reporting. Sometimes ESPN is live with an ‘audio call in’ during games it does not cover. Does it buy the rights? Perhaps blogger Henry Abbott of ESPN’s True Hoop could chime in.

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