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First let me say that all of you should listen to what they had to say in their 30 minute show tonight. It was professional, and not a gotcha slam at U.S. Figure Skating. They were not officially turned down for not being qualified... the reason given was strictly about lack of space.
They do have issues with the level of control of our international competitive skaters that USFS media folks exert that in fact limit the kind of interviews that can be done. Jenny and Dave are hearing quietly from both former and current top level skaters that this is the case. They are afraid to speak up for fear of being pulled from international assignments. There are topics that USFS goes ballistics over one of which is eating disorders. There are others too. The leadership of USFS is following the same power of control model that prior leaders have demonstrated.
They are all in the same mindset on this and they fail to see the points that Jenny and David are trying to make. Do you see much figure skating on TV these days? Where has it migrated to? THE INTERNET! Lock, stock and barrel. Skating appears in paltry and limited telecasts on one Major Network... NBC and occasionally on its affiliated cable channels. No where else. What is happening to TV? It is dying and in another 10 years all viewing, HD or Regular Digital entertainment will appear on the web. TV is dying along with coverage of Figure Skating.
U.S. Figure Skating had better wake up and smell the internet rose. Thus, their credentials policy is heading for the crap heap. It is long past time for it to be reformed and reborn. Jenny and David you can love, hate of just plain ignore, makes no difference; They are one of the new journalism models that is and will lead the change in coverage whether U.S. Figure Skating wishes to admit or not.
Finally, 'PDilemma' your vociferous defense of U.S. Figure Skating credentialing policy sure sounds like you could well be an employee. Nothing wrong with that if that's the case; nor is it wrong to show the same closed-minded view of the new media. It is wrong however however to advocate control and power over truth which is nothing new for the leadership of U.S. Figure Skating.
I have and continue to support much of what U.S. Figure Skating and Ice Network do for the sport we love here in the U.S. I do recognize that the way USFS controls both it's skaters and how they are presented and portrayed in the media, particularly in Ice Network articles and interviews, is a most valid criticism raised by TSL. They are all presented in the most bland and uninteresting way to the fans. Showing that these great skaters are outstanding athletes, great young people who have their own opinions, dramas, humor and humanity is what the sport desperately needs to grow a larger fan base. In this department U.S. Figure Skating FAILS!
Last edited by Visaliakid; 08-29-2013 at 08:47 AM.
There is nothing more captivating in this world than a woman's form gracing the ice in skating boots. It's simply sensational!
Sorry about that Back on topic, I can understand the USFSA wanting to restrict accreditation to media outlets with a stronger track record and/or greater visibility. Dave and Jenny are obviously very enthusiastic about skating, but they don't really do much event coverage and the sort of interviews they conduct don't require a press pass - if they did, there would be no TSL to begin with. They can still go, meet with the skaters in the hotel or wherever, and record/write up the interviews they do. For that matter, having more written interviews and reporting compared to video stuff might be a good idea for them - I think it could help them with the USFSA and can attract skating fans who don't enjoy the video/podcast format.
I don't think anyone posted this yet...
TSL Addresses U.S.Figure Skating (posted a few hours ago)
Worth watching. They also make some terrific points about the recent brouhaha surrounding Jeremy Abbott's comments. In sum: it's unprofessional for USFS not to have an official position for their own athletes to stand behind.
My .02 cents: TSL doesn't meet the published criteria for media credentialing. They clearly want to be seen as more than just a FB and YouTube blog. They want to be recognized as an established media outlet. They don't need the credentials to access the skaters, but they clearly want it so much so they posted immature whining when they didn't get it. That is my problem with them. Not their format. Not Jenny's voice Not the snarks. If you want to be a grown up, then act like one. They haven't. Whether or not the USFSA's policies are outdated or not is a different matter and certainly won't be changed by whining and getting all your FB friends to like your whines. Act like professionals if you want to be treated like professionals. Perhaps there wasn't enough space and it was apportioned out to those media who have been credentialed previously. Accept that, thank them for the opportunity and apply for the next event. Review the published criteria. Review yourselves and make certain you meet the criteria. If you want to change the criteria, there is a route with which to do so. Don't cry like a toddler if you want to be seen as an adult. And, lastly, if you want to consider yourself as a maverick who is pushing established boundaries, then don't bother with requesting media credentials and carry on with what you're doing. I don't think that's what they want; however. Their actions indicate they want to be recognized by more than their FB, blog and video followers. They want Mommy and Daddy (USFSA) to look at them. Temper tantrums usually get ignored. So Jenny and Dave, put on your big girl and boy panties and act like professionals if you want to be treated as professionals. That doesn't mean you have to temper the snark or follow the "party line." You can be true to yourselves. However, you also have to understand and accept that not following party lines may mean you don't get invited to the party. That's part of being an adult. If you don't want or can't meet all the criteria, then don't expect the official endorsement from USFSA. If you want it as badly as you indicate, then do what you have to do to meet it for the next event.
Last edited by rfisher; 08-29-2013 at 11:12 AM.
It isn't nice getting knocked back for something and it is understandable to feel disappointed. Figure skating associations really need to embrace social/internet media because that is where the future is for this sport. Much of the traditional media coverage of figure skating is very dry and doesn't really connect well with younger potential fans of the sport.
Now maybe things are different in the US, but most Senior Bs I've attended where there wasn't a "star skater" in attendance have been very sparsely attended by media. The one exception was 2009 Finlandia which was Daisuke Takahashi's comeback event and it had a huge Japanese media presence. The press room was not huge by any stretch of the imagination, but the Finnish association did a great job of accommodating both traditional/non-traditional media. I find the reason being given as lack of space by the USFSA as unusual, particularly because Jenny and Dave won't be using photo positions.
Having said all that, Jenny and Dave have reacted to the rejection in completely the wrong way. If they had gone to Salt Lake City and done their thing, no-one would have been any the wiser whether they had been credentialed or not. They could have shown the USFSA that they took things on the chin and provided coverage that may have led to them being accredited at the next event. Instead, they have decided to be extremely confrontational with the USFSA. If I was the USFSA media officer and someone tried to shame me into giving them accreditation, I would be less likely to give it than if they had reapproached me discreetly to plead their case. The media game is all about building good relationships and the Skating Lesson has given a perfect example of the wrong way to go about it.
To think that fun is simple fun, while earnest things are earnest, proves all too plain that neither one thou truthfully discernest.
The one point I got from the video Jenny and Dave posted last night is that: This has happened before, with multiple online journalists. So, let's try and make this less a discussion about TSL specifically and more about the USFSA stonewalling online journalism (which is, very obviously, a BIG part of journalism now) in general.
TSL is just another in a long line of online outlets that the USFSA has denied credentials, which is not only to the detriment of the USFSA, the athletes, and the sport; but also to us (the fans).
Also: The video states they are STILL going to SLC.
Last edited by zschultz1986; 08-29-2013 at 02:45 PM.
Are they USFS members? Maybe they should bring up the credentialing criteria at the next Governing Council.
Does anyone here actually believe that there are too many reporters covering the US B event in Salt Lake? That makes me laugh. This obviously a change of heart on the part of the USFSA. I see no reason why Jenny and Dave shouldn't ask their fans for support. There are plenty of people (like me) who would rather see them up close and personal with the skaters instead of ice network and Peter Carrutherzzzzzz.
ETA: at the 2009 Worlds in LA, I snuck into the press event seats for the ENTIRE WEEK along with three of my friends and sat right behind Phil Hersh and Christine Brennan and nobody said a thing and there were still several empty seats. That was at a freaking World Chmapionships, not a B summer event...
Last edited by Triple Butz; 08-29-2013 at 04:12 PM.
I don't understand why the even want the official secret password to get into the press area. If they want official recognition from the machine then they'll have to change up their game and play by the machine's rules. But if they want to stake their claim as the outsider rebel force then as freddy said, just keep your mouth shut, take it on the chin, and keep on keeping on with the cause. It takes time and patience to build something worthwhile. But...the Interwebz has brought us the Era of Instant Gratification so the foot stamping isn't exactly surprising.
The fastest thing out of New Jersey since Tricky Nicky in a Muscovian handbasket
I don't know what Jenny & Dave are aiming for so I don't know what their strategy might be. Do they want to upgrade to having sponsors and into an enterprise that can pay their way?
My first thought was well if you want credentials from USFSA your best bet is to cultivate an inside track. But that would mean doing it the USFSA's way and that's clearly not what they want to do. I think their premise is that USFSA's model suppresses much of interest about skating because it is zealously committed to maintaining an old fashioned apple pie image for skating. I think Jenny & Dave see that as part of why skating is not expanding its audience and they want to challenge that.
So they aren't going to suck up to the USFSA. But they do want the USFSA to recognize them. I think making a fuss about not getting credentialed makes sense, even though credentialing for a Senior B is basically unnecessary for their immediate needs. It generates attention to them. And as far as getting their viewers to contact the USFSA it lets the USFSA know that they do have an audience and can't just be ignored (maybe, granted this depends on whether they really do motivate a significant number of people to contact the USFSA).
Since they aren't looking to conform to the USFSA's norm of hush-hush-no-controversy-let's-keep-skating-boring there's no reason for them not to make a fuss when they have an opportunity.
“I am happy that it’s over. Happy that I did well.” Yu Na Kim
I wrote my blog on and off throughout the last Olympic cycle (well, starting around March 2010), and I was told very early on that even though I was getting amazing hits, the blog would never be able to be considered for a press credential and I was referred to the USFS material that has been shared here-- which is pretty cut and dry as to why I don't qualify. Sure, it was really frustrating for me to dedicate so much time to writing about the sport (whether it be in-depth looking at the judging or interviews or live play-by-play or whatever) while other media outlets could automatically send someone who knew *nothing* about the sport to cover the big events with basically no questions asked.. Some of you alluded to that in earlier posts.
Anyways, I'm not sure why they would genuinely be surprised at this decision.
Also, they were denied a credential for "space reasons" which isn't the same as being denied because they didn't have the necessary criteria. If the latter was the case, why not just say so? It's all a bit curious if you ask me, and all of it reeks of inside baseball.
As I understand it, the written criteria as posted above don't necessarily mean that The Skating Lesson does not qualify as press at all, no way, no how, they'll never get credentials ever. But rather that they would be in the lowest-priority category.
If indeed there is limited space (perhaps specifically at this event compared to something like Nationals), it may be that getting mass coverage for figure skating in mainstream media (yes, in many cases by journalists who know little about figure skating) is seen as more important than facilitating a skating-specific outlet with limited reach who target only an undocumented number of existing skating fans.
If that is the case, then "you don't have the necessary criteria at all and we'll never give you credentials" would not be an accurate response.
Better communication with eager new media about how they can raise their priority according to the criteria would undoubtedly be welcome.