Our organization, in an effort to better communicate with and inform our fans and sponsors, is committed to working with independent reporters and columnists who reach their audiences via blogs, podcasts, video blogs and other online media. However, because these communications vehicles practitioners are not connected with established media organizations, some confusion exists as to how professional sports franchises should work with them on a continuing basis.
The following is a list of guidelines that the OKC Barons use to determine how to issue media credentials or access to players to independent online media representatives. Overall, our organization strives to work with individuals who adhere to professional standards, demonstrate transparency in their operations, and regularly produce quality content.
Camera Policy - Personal point and shoot cameras are allowed. Large, professional-grade cameras that require a professional/telephoto/detachable lens require a credential from the OKC Barons. Phones that record video are allowed. Handheld video cameras are not permitted without a credential.
Individuals may apply for credentials on a game-by-game basis unless otherwise specified. Requests for credentials must be sent by e-mail to the vice president of communications. Credentials must be applied for, and will be issued in, the applicant’s full legal name. Please give the team at least a week to consider an initial application. Once a relationship has been established between the applicant and the organization, this requirement will be waived.
The organization prefers to work with online media outlets that have an established track record covering the Barons, the American Hockey League or professional sports. In the initial email request, please provide a short summary of previous relevant experience, if any. As a general guideline, we would like to work with outlets that have been in continuous operation for at least one year.
Please note, however, that we do have some flexibility in these areas. A relatively new outlet that is run by an individual with previous experience elsewhere could also merit an exception.
All applicants must submit traffic/subscriber data in order to be considered. While the decision to grant access is not based solely on these criteria, we do ask that applicants provide some degree of transparency into their operations in order for the organization to make a timely decision.
The organization prefers to work with online media outlets that provide positive coverage of the Barons front office, players and the American Hockey League. Articles including constant negative evaluation of the front office, players or league will not be tolerated. Our organization respects a person’s right to pen articles that may not be favorable to our organization. However, we will not grant credentials or access to players to independent media outlets that consistently disseminate information deemed to be negative.
Obtaining media credentials is an opportunity to interview players and team officials for legitimate media purposes. It is not a free ticket to the game. While continued access to the arena is not directly contingent on producing coverage every time, the team must take it into consideration when granting continued access.
Bloggers who are granted access to the press box and other areas inside the arena are expected to act professionally and adhere to AHL-mandated media guidelines at all times. Those who do not observe the practices of professional decorum run the risk of being ejected from the arena and barred from future access.
Once an individual has obtained media credentials they have the same privileges as anyone else in the press box, and the same responsibility to act professionally. Access is a privilege, not a right, and the organization reserves the right to revoke this privilege at any time.
The final decision on all applications for media credentials rests with the vice president of communications.