Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Want the real scoop in Beijing? Turn off NBC, tune into the blogs

The IOC has decided that it -- for now -- will allow athletes to post blogs during the Olympic Games. Blogs by Olympians aren't new, but the IOC's decision not to try to ban them ahead of the Beijing games is significant: It signals a recognition of the new media environment, where athletes can speak directly to fans and where young fans are looking for interactive coverage beyond TV.
There are major concerns, including that of athlete privacy in the Olympic Village,. Another, of course, involves the implications for mainstream media outlets. Missouri Associate Professor Clyde Bentley wonders if this new version of "citizen journalism" will kill the economic media model that has enriched athletes. He wonders, for instance, if cable nets such as ESPN2 will eventually die at the hands of sites such as YouTube as the need for traditional gatekeepers in sports disappears.

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