COMMENT: No publicity is bad publicity for MK... and British ice hockey

WILDCATS fans, I’m afraid to report that this week we hit a roadblock.

Let me explain. For the whole of this season we have brought you Ice Hockey Live on our website, which has enabled you to follow Swindon’s away matches via updates that myself and my fellow reporter Andy Warren have provided.

Quite clearly, we have had to be present at games in order to lay on this service.

Up until this week, gaining entry to away ice hockey matches has not been a problem, just a simple matter of sending an email or making a phone call, and we have been furnished with a press pass.

It’s simple and straightforward. Exactly how it should be.

Upon requesting entry for Sunday’s game at Milton Keynes, Andy was informed that this would not be possible.

He was told this was because the club’s policy is to charge every ‘away’ journalist or club reporter, despite offering press passes to local media.

With all due respect, ice hockey in this country is dwarfed in popularity by the likes of football, rugby and cricket and as a sport it needs all the publicity it can get.

You would have thought that a club in the second tier of British competition would want to do their utmost to promote not just themselves, but the sport as a whole. Apparently not.

Because we do not want to let down Swindon’s fans, we will pay the entrance fee and cover the match from the stands as best we can, but the point remains that MK’s stance is a damaging one.

I might also say that I have covered a huge variety of sporting competition during five years in journalism, from international to grassroots, and on no occasion has this ever happened.

From Swindon Town’s two recent Wembley finals to children’s six-a-side tournaments, never have I been refused a press pass.

That is because the vast majority of clubs and organisations understand one simple principle - we provide them with free publicity - a valuable commodity in these difficult economic times, and in return we are given entry.

It is a stance that MK would do well to adopt.

Comments (8)

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5:57pm Fri 2 Nov 12

David Carmichael says...

Dear Ned,
So in this minority sport that struggles from season to season, with tight budgets you feel it makes sense to not only give you a free ticket but by doing so you will supply free updates to others so they do not need to travel?
I also take it that you are paid for these updates and the piece you will put in the paper next week. who pays for the car and fuel or do you think shell should supply free fuel?
will 12.50 make that much difference.

Do you not think the teams should charge for this, sky and the bbc put a great deal of money into sport.
How much does this website contribute to sport in Thames Valley.

Just because you have access to write your blurb does not mean you should.

Regards

David Carmichael
Dear Ned, So in this minority sport that struggles from season to season, with tight budgets you feel it makes sense to not only give you a free ticket but by doing so you will supply free updates to others so they do not need to travel? I also take it that you are paid for these updates and the piece you will put in the paper next week. who pays for the car and fuel or do you think shell should supply free fuel? will 12.50 make that much difference. Do you not think the teams should charge for this, sky and the bbc put a great deal of money into sport. How much does this website contribute to sport in Thames Valley. Just because you have access to write your blurb does not mean you should. Regards David Carmichael David Carmichael

10:19pm Fri 2 Nov 12

buzzbee says...

Mr Payne

I'm afraid my personal view is that your child-like rant above does nothing to promote you as a 'professional' journalist.

Firstly, MK's stance is no more damaging than your rant.

Secondly, you are not offering 'free publicity' if you expect the club to overlook the £25 it would cost for you and Andy to get in. In fact, you are charging MK £25 for publicity in Wiltshire. Might I suggest you ask Steve Nell to consider a similar move when MK visit the link, so that Cats do not pay for publicity in Buckinghamshire?

Next, just so that you are aware, there are a number of fans all over the country, providing a similar 'live service' for free, as well as a few websites, so I'm sure Cats fans would have been fine.

Finally, are you actually out of pocket? If you are a professional, does the paper not cover your expenses?

Sorry sir, but I have little sympathy after the above rant. It really doesn't paint you in a good light.
Mr Payne I'm afraid my personal view is that your child-like rant above does nothing to promote you as a 'professional' journalist. Firstly, MK's stance is no more damaging than your rant. Secondly, you are not offering 'free publicity' if you expect the club to overlook the £25 it would cost for you and Andy to get in. In fact, you are charging MK £25 for publicity in Wiltshire. Might I suggest you ask Steve Nell to consider a similar move when MK visit the link, so that Cats do not pay for publicity in Buckinghamshire? Next, just so that you are aware, there are a number of fans all over the country, providing a similar 'live service' for free, as well as a few websites, so I'm sure Cats fans would have been fine. Finally, are you actually out of pocket? If you are a professional, does the paper not cover your expenses? Sorry sir, but I have little sympathy after the above rant. It really doesn't paint you in a good light. buzzbee

10:08am Sat 3 Nov 12

Fin@MKHockey says...

David Carmichael wrote:
Dear Ned,
So in this minority sport that struggles from season to season, with tight budgets you feel it makes sense to not only give you a free ticket but by doing so you will supply free updates to others so they do not need to travel?
I also take it that you are paid for these updates and the piece you will put in the paper next week. who pays for the car and fuel or do you think shell should supply free fuel?
will 12.50 make that much difference.

Do you not think the teams should charge for this, sky and the bbc put a great deal of money into sport.
How much does this website contribute to sport in Thames Valley.

Just because you have access to write your blurb does not mean you should.

Regards

David Carmichael
Dear Ned,

This article is awfully misguided and is also a very unprofessional slight on both you and the newspaper that published it.

It begs the very basic question - precisely what was the purpose of writing such a piece? Was it to name and shame MK Lighting Ice Hockey Club? Fail. Was it to embarrass the MKL faithful? Fail. Was it to seek sympathy? Fail. Was it to ensure you get free ice hockey from now on in MK? Fail. Was it to give Swindon the opportunity to charge the MK Press admission to The Link? Fail (they already do - and we don't whinge about it).

And so Sir, your piece has no apparent purpose and thus, must be rendered trash.

I end by asking, why is it so unfair that you don't get free entry to MKL games when, I expect, such expenses are reimbursed by your employers?

You would do well to offer a public apology - but with no-one offering to pay you for it, I expect you won't.
[quote][p][bold]David Carmichael[/bold] wrote: Dear Ned, So in this minority sport that struggles from season to season, with tight budgets you feel it makes sense to not only give you a free ticket but by doing so you will supply free updates to others so they do not need to travel? I also take it that you are paid for these updates and the piece you will put in the paper next week. who pays for the car and fuel or do you think shell should supply free fuel? will 12.50 make that much difference. Do you not think the teams should charge for this, sky and the bbc put a great deal of money into sport. How much does this website contribute to sport in Thames Valley. Just because you have access to write your blurb does not mean you should. Regards David Carmichael[/p][/quote]Dear Ned, This article is awfully misguided and is also a very unprofessional slight on both you and the newspaper that published it. It begs the very basic question - precisely what was the purpose of writing such a piece? Was it to name and shame MK Lighting Ice Hockey Club? Fail. Was it to embarrass the MKL faithful? Fail. Was it to seek sympathy? Fail. Was it to ensure you get free ice hockey from now on in MK? Fail. Was it to give Swindon the opportunity to charge the MK Press admission to The Link? Fail (they already do - and we don't whinge about it). And so Sir, your piece has no apparent purpose and thus, must be rendered trash. I end by asking, why is it so unfair that you don't get free entry to MKL games when, I expect, such expenses are reimbursed by your employers? You would do well to offer a public apology - but with no-one offering to pay you for it, I expect you won't. Fin@MKHockey

4:50pm Mon 5 Nov 12

bibhashdash says...

To those criticising the reporter,
I am afraid, it is completely correct to highlight the fact that journalists are being charged for entry to sporting events. As Ned says, journalists provide publicity at no extra cost to the club.
Another reason that free entry for the press is a good thing is down to a simple business model. The very fact that you can read Ned's comment piece (or any other news story on this website) means somewhere inside the Advertiser's finance department, there have been subsidies made. Costs have been kept down so that you can buy a newspaper, any newspaper, at 1pound or 1.20 or 20p even. If every sporting organisation started charging journalists for entry, it will be very difficult for newspapers to keep costs down. in the end, it is you the customer who will, quite literally, pay for it.
It costs nearly 50 times to make a single newspaper as it does to buy one. Newspapers run on a 30-70 rule. 30% stories, 70% ads. if all journalists start getting charged for entry, again, higher costs, and papers will be forced to include more ads, and you get less value for your 1.20 (etc).
I am a journalist myself, but that's not why i'm coming out in support of Ned and his colleagues. I support because i do not want to be charged for browsing the plethora of sports news websites that provide exceptional multimedia content for free, for eg, the BBC. I support because i want to be able to buy the Telegraph (or indeed the Advertiser) the next day without paying through the nose for it.
To David Carmichael: the club and/or sport may be struggling financially but charging journalists is not the way to get out of debt. that's like saying if the nation is in debt, let's charge the journalists all across the parliament/westminst
er common areas to ease the debt.
To buzzbee: fans may be providing "free" coverage in the digital age, but they will never match the professionalism and legal standards that journalists are trained to provide. if you want to read match reports written by your local shopkeeper then that is your preference, but I am sure the majority of sports fans prefer the words of established journalists who have spent decades writing about their sports.
To those criticising the reporter, I am afraid, it is completely correct to highlight the fact that journalists are being charged for entry to sporting events. As Ned says, journalists provide publicity at no extra cost to the club. Another reason that free entry for the press is a good thing is down to a simple business model. The very fact that you can read Ned's comment piece (or any other news story on this website) means somewhere inside the Advertiser's finance department, there have been subsidies made. Costs have been kept down so that you can buy a newspaper, any newspaper, at 1pound or 1.20 or 20p even. If every sporting organisation started charging journalists for entry, it will be very difficult for newspapers to keep costs down. in the end, it is you the customer who will, quite literally, pay for it. It costs nearly 50 times to make a single newspaper as it does to buy one. Newspapers run on a 30-70 rule. 30% stories, 70% ads. if all journalists start getting charged for entry, again, higher costs, and papers will be forced to include more ads, and you get less value for your 1.20 (etc). I am a journalist myself, but that's not why i'm coming out in support of Ned and his colleagues. I support because i do not want to be charged for browsing the plethora of sports news websites that provide exceptional multimedia content for free, for eg, the BBC. I support because i want to be able to buy the Telegraph (or indeed the Advertiser) the next day without paying through the nose for it. To David Carmichael: the club and/or sport may be struggling financially but charging journalists is not the way to get out of debt. that's like saying if the nation is in debt, let's charge the journalists all across the parliament/westminst er common areas to ease the debt. To buzzbee: fans may be providing "free" coverage in the digital age, but they will never match the professionalism and legal standards that journalists are trained to provide. if you want to read match reports written by your local shopkeeper then that is your preference, but I am sure the majority of sports fans prefer the words of established journalists who have spent decades writing about their sports. bibhashdash

4:50pm Mon 5 Nov 12

bibhashdash says...

To those criticising the reporter,
I am afraid, it is completely correct to highlight the fact that journalists are being charged for entry to sporting events. As Ned says, journalists provide publicity at no extra cost to the club.
Another reason that free entry for the press is a good thing is down to a simple business model. The very fact that you can read Ned's comment piece (or any other news story on this website) means somewhere inside the Advertiser's finance department, there have been subsidies made. Costs have been kept down so that you can buy a newspaper, any newspaper, at 1pound or 1.20 or 20p even. If every sporting organisation started charging journalists for entry, it will be very difficult for newspapers to keep costs down. in the end, it is you the customer who will, quite literally, pay for it.
It costs nearly 50 times to make a single newspaper as it does to buy one. Newspapers run on a 30-70 rule. 30% stories, 70% ads. if all journalists start getting charged for entry, again, higher costs, and papers will be forced to include more ads, and you get less value for your 1.20 (etc).
I am a journalist myself, but that's not why i'm coming out in support of Ned and his colleagues. I support because i do not want to be charged for browsing the plethora of sports news websites that provide exceptional multimedia content for free, for eg, the BBC. I support because i want to be able to buy the Telegraph (or indeed the Advertiser) the next day without paying through the nose for it.
To David Carmichael: the club and/or sport may be struggling financially but charging journalists is not the way to get out of debt. that's like saying if the nation is in debt, let's charge the journalists all across the parliament/westminst
er common areas to ease the debt.
To buzzbee: fans may be providing "free" coverage in the digital age, but they will never match the professionalism and legal standards that journalists are trained to provide. if you want to read match reports written by your local shopkeeper then that is your preference, but I am sure the majority of sports fans prefer the words of established journalists who have spent decades writing about their sports.
To those criticising the reporter, I am afraid, it is completely correct to highlight the fact that journalists are being charged for entry to sporting events. As Ned says, journalists provide publicity at no extra cost to the club. Another reason that free entry for the press is a good thing is down to a simple business model. The very fact that you can read Ned's comment piece (or any other news story on this website) means somewhere inside the Advertiser's finance department, there have been subsidies made. Costs have been kept down so that you can buy a newspaper, any newspaper, at 1pound or 1.20 or 20p even. If every sporting organisation started charging journalists for entry, it will be very difficult for newspapers to keep costs down. in the end, it is you the customer who will, quite literally, pay for it. It costs nearly 50 times to make a single newspaper as it does to buy one. Newspapers run on a 30-70 rule. 30% stories, 70% ads. if all journalists start getting charged for entry, again, higher costs, and papers will be forced to include more ads, and you get less value for your 1.20 (etc). I am a journalist myself, but that's not why i'm coming out in support of Ned and his colleagues. I support because i do not want to be charged for browsing the plethora of sports news websites that provide exceptional multimedia content for free, for eg, the BBC. I support because i want to be able to buy the Telegraph (or indeed the Advertiser) the next day without paying through the nose for it. To David Carmichael: the club and/or sport may be struggling financially but charging journalists is not the way to get out of debt. that's like saying if the nation is in debt, let's charge the journalists all across the parliament/westminst er common areas to ease the debt. To buzzbee: fans may be providing "free" coverage in the digital age, but they will never match the professionalism and legal standards that journalists are trained to provide. if you want to read match reports written by your local shopkeeper then that is your preference, but I am sure the majority of sports fans prefer the words of established journalists who have spent decades writing about their sports. bibhashdash

4:44pm Tue 6 Nov 12

Mr.King says...

bibhashdash wrote:
To those criticising the reporter, I am afraid, it is completely correct to highlight the fact that journalists are being charged for entry to sporting events. As Ned says, journalists provide publicity at no extra cost to the club. Another reason that free entry for the press is a good thing is down to a simple business model. The very fact that you can read Ned's comment piece (or any other news story on this website) means somewhere inside the Advertiser's finance department, there have been subsidies made. Costs have been kept down so that you can buy a newspaper, any newspaper, at 1pound or 1.20 or 20p even. If every sporting organisation started charging journalists for entry, it will be very difficult for newspapers to keep costs down. in the end, it is you the customer who will, quite literally, pay for it. It costs nearly 50 times to make a single newspaper as it does to buy one. Newspapers run on a 30-70 rule. 30% stories, 70% ads. if all journalists start getting charged for entry, again, higher costs, and papers will be forced to include more ads, and you get less value for your 1.20 (etc). I am a journalist myself, but that's not why i'm coming out in support of Ned and his colleagues. I support because i do not want to be charged for browsing the plethora of sports news websites that provide exceptional multimedia content for free, for eg, the BBC. I support because i want to be able to buy the Telegraph (or indeed the Advertiser) the next day without paying through the nose for it. To David Carmichael: the club and/or sport may be struggling financially but charging journalists is not the way to get out of debt. that's like saying if the nation is in debt, let's charge the journalists all across the parliament/westminst er common areas to ease the debt. To buzzbee: fans may be providing "free" coverage in the digital age, but they will never match the professionalism and legal standards that journalists are trained to provide. if you want to read match reports written by your local shopkeeper then that is your preference, but I am sure the majority of sports fans prefer the words of established journalists who have spent decades writing about their sports.
"To buzzbee: fans may be providing "free" coverage in the digital age, but they will never match the professionalism and legal standards that journalists are trained to provide. if you want to read match reports written by your local shopkeeper then that is your preference, but I am sure the majority of sports fans prefer the words of established journalists who have spent decades writing about their sports.”

with all due respect, after reading the match night reports, I would hardly say that they were professional or gripping, if you want to read in depth match reports / live feeds you would do better than to look at the manchester phoenix & Basingstoke Bison Twitter feeds, they give you a real feel for whats happening on the night as they are reported by REAL FANS who have years of experience of following the sport. Also there are some excellent Bloggers out there who are long term Hockey fans who give reall insight & opinion on Match night happenings. & guess what?....... THEY DO IT FOR FREE!!!!
get beyond your Press pass & support the sport, don't be another leech !
[quote][p][bold]bibhashdash[/bold] wrote: To those criticising the reporter, I am afraid, it is completely correct to highlight the fact that journalists are being charged for entry to sporting events. As Ned says, journalists provide publicity at no extra cost to the club. Another reason that free entry for the press is a good thing is down to a simple business model. The very fact that you can read Ned's comment piece (or any other news story on this website) means somewhere inside the Advertiser's finance department, there have been subsidies made. Costs have been kept down so that you can buy a newspaper, any newspaper, at 1pound or 1.20 or 20p even. If every sporting organisation started charging journalists for entry, it will be very difficult for newspapers to keep costs down. in the end, it is you the customer who will, quite literally, pay for it. It costs nearly 50 times to make a single newspaper as it does to buy one. Newspapers run on a 30-70 rule. 30% stories, 70% ads. if all journalists start getting charged for entry, again, higher costs, and papers will be forced to include more ads, and you get less value for your 1.20 (etc). I am a journalist myself, but that's not why i'm coming out in support of Ned and his colleagues. I support because i do not want to be charged for browsing the plethora of sports news websites that provide exceptional multimedia content for free, for eg, the BBC. I support because i want to be able to buy the Telegraph (or indeed the Advertiser) the next day without paying through the nose for it. To David Carmichael: the club and/or sport may be struggling financially but charging journalists is not the way to get out of debt. that's like saying if the nation is in debt, let's charge the journalists all across the parliament/westminst er common areas to ease the debt. To buzzbee: fans may be providing "free" coverage in the digital age, but they will never match the professionalism and legal standards that journalists are trained to provide. if you want to read match reports written by your local shopkeeper then that is your preference, but I am sure the majority of sports fans prefer the words of established journalists who have spent decades writing about their sports.[/p][/quote]"To buzzbee: fans may be providing "free" coverage in the digital age, but they will never match the professionalism and legal standards that journalists are trained to provide. if you want to read match reports written by your local shopkeeper then that is your preference, but I am sure the majority of sports fans prefer the words of established journalists who have spent decades writing about their sports.” with all due respect, after reading the match night reports, I would hardly say that they were professional or gripping, if you want to read in depth match reports / live feeds you would do better than to look at the manchester phoenix & Basingstoke Bison Twitter feeds, they give you a real feel for whats happening on the night as they are reported by REAL FANS who have years of experience of following the sport. Also there are some excellent Bloggers out there who are long term Hockey fans who give reall insight & opinion on Match night happenings. & guess what?....... THEY DO IT FOR FREE!!!! get beyond your Press pass & support the sport, don't be another leech ! Mr.King

5:11pm Tue 6 Nov 12

bibhashdash says...

Doing my job and getting paid for it does not make me a leech. If your gripe is that we journalists get access to grounds and sportspersons that the average fan can't, then tough. As outlined in my previous comment, journalists have spent years/decades in their job in order to get to the level of access that they get. I am sure you worked/are working hard to get to your job and would not want someone putting barriers, or criticising you unnecessarily for it.
Journalists don't run a charity.
Again, financial journalists don't have to fill the government's coffers if they want to report on the economic crisis. They still get paid for doing their job.
In addition, journalists are meant to be neutral so going "beyond the press pass and supporting your sport" is in breach of journalistic ethics on a fundamental level. I understand your concerns as a fan. I am sure the twitter feeds you mention do a commendable job, but if every fan could play the role of a journalist, then the journalism industry wouldn't exist.
I don't work for the Advertiser and I'm not standing up for an individual newspaper's editorial standards. I'm only speaking for journalists in general.
Doing my job and getting paid for it does not make me a leech. If your gripe is that we journalists get access to grounds and sportspersons that the average fan can't, then tough. As outlined in my previous comment, journalists have spent years/decades in their job in order to get to the level of access that they get. I am sure you worked/are working hard to get to your job and would not want someone putting barriers, or criticising you unnecessarily for it. Journalists don't run a charity. Again, financial journalists don't have to fill the government's coffers if they want to report on the economic crisis. They still get paid for doing their job. In addition, journalists are meant to be neutral so going "beyond the press pass and supporting your sport" is in breach of journalistic ethics on a fundamental level. I understand your concerns as a fan. I am sure the twitter feeds you mention do a commendable job, but if every fan could play the role of a journalist, then the journalism industry wouldn't exist. I don't work for the Advertiser and I'm not standing up for an individual newspaper's editorial standards. I'm only speaking for journalists in general. bibhashdash

10:22pm Wed 7 Nov 12

connell29 says...

Mr Payne

It would be very nice to see you or a colleague report on the home games. Yes they are generally on Saturday, but you carry reports of the fotoball on Monday dont you.

The coverage this year has improved from a level that was insulting, but fans wants to read proper reports of the games they have seen, as of the football at the County Ground or the speedway at Blunsdon..

Talk to Dave Eaton and put some effort into learning about the sport please.
Mr Payne It would be very nice to see you or a colleague report on the home games. Yes they are generally on Saturday, but you carry reports of the fotoball on Monday dont you. The coverage this year has improved from a level that was insulting, but fans wants to read proper reports of the games they have seen, as of the football at the County Ground or the speedway at Blunsdon.. Talk to Dave Eaton and put some effort into learning about the sport please. connell29

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