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UW Imposes 20-Tweet Limit On Live Events 196

theodp writes "GeekWire's Taylor Soper reports that the University of Washington has capped live sports coverage at 20 Tweets per basketball game (45 for football) and threatens to revoke the credentials of journalists who dare exceed the Twitter limits. Tacoma News Tribune reporter Todd Dybas was reportedly 'reprimanded' after drawing the ire of the UW Athletic Dept. for apparently Tweeting too much during UW's 85-63 Sunday win over Loyola."
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UW Imposes 20-Tweet Limit On Live Events

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  • by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @06:25AM (#41965539) Homepage
    But in this case it's not their employer imposing the restriction. It's the University, who don't want people "tuning" into Twitter for a play-by-play - they want them tuning in to the local radio or TV stations that have paid handsomely for the broadcast privileges.
  • by gagol ( 583737 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @06:27AM (#41965551)

    It's the private school that restricts it, not the reporter boss. From the article:

    “I think just generally speaking is what we’re trying to do is steer people toward partnerships we have with radio, television and our own web presence,” Moore said. “We don’t want people taken way from that experience.”

    In plain english: "We have deals with radios and the twitter feeds do not generate revenues, so we decided it was better for us if you cannot follow the games in detail with twitter even if you prefer that over radio."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @07:20AM (#41965745)

    Private school? My taxpayer dollars go to fund that particular institution of higher learning via sales tax and property taxes. It is most certainly not a private institution.

  • by igaborf ( 69869 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @08:38AM (#41966077)

    Reporters are allowed access to the event with the understanding that their reports will be published after the fact, thus protecting the value of the real-time reporting being done by the broadcast partners. All this rule is doing is telling the other reporters that they can't publish their content in real time.

    These new rules are in response to newer technology, but other restrictions have been in place for years to protect licensees.

    For example, as a spectator you aren't allowed to video record an event. Often you are not allowed to bring a "professional" grade still camera, either. (Of course, improvements in camera technology are making it easier to surreptitiously get around these restrictions.) The purpose of those restrictions is to force anyone wanting to see video or photos of the event to go to the licensee -- and pay for the privilege either directly or through advertising.

    So, yes, it's about the money.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @01:02PM (#41969255)

    Most colleges have contracts with local TV and radio stations (sometimes national, like Notre Dame). These contracts charge a premium amount for the right to "Live" coverage. Sports Journalists are not given the right to real-time reporting, they have to purchase it. Why? Because the current legal understanding is that college sporting events are not public events, even for public universities.

    The Credential Policy for UW [gohuskies.com] specifically mentions that real-time reporting is not permitted.

    Credential Holders (including television, Internet, new media, and print publications) are not permitted to promote or produce in any form a “real-time” description of the event.

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson