For one day, the Ohio State football program banned members of the media from sending tweets during OSU head coach Urban Meyer's press conferences. At Monday's press conference, an announcement was made by an OSU spokesperson that reporters would no longer be allowed to send tweets to their followers and immediately report news. They would instead have to wait until the conclusion of the press conference.
At this point, you should be asking something along the lines of, "why would a school not allow reporters to tweet during a press conference" and "how does a school think they can or can't allow reporters to tweet during a press conference" or even "why would a school even bother with something so insignificant and asinine as trying to ban reporters from tweeting during a press conference."
As you'll see, some programs, pro and college,
take extreme measures to go the extra mile in controlling the message that emerges from headquarters are very careful in what information is released to the public and when...
The media Twitter ban was worth an entire column from Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon-Journal, who
didn't pull any punches was somewhat dissonant in blasting the situation assessing the adjustment:
"Minutes before Meyer took to the podium Monday morning in the team meeting room, OSU spokesman Jerry Emig announced the day’s agenda, which included a silly new rule banning reporters from using Twitter during Meyer’s news conferences.
On the surface, it seems petty. But Ohio State officials have no legal standing to prevent reporters from sharing information that is given in a public setting. Nor do they have the authority to dictate when that information can be disseminated.
Whether or not that was the intent, this reeks of a power-hungry program flexing a little muscle in a rare area where they don’t have any and searching for control in areas out of their domain.
My job is to decipher what is worthy of reporting instantly on Twitter and what is worth saving for later. I don’t need OSU officials to make the decision for me."
While preventing members of the media from tweeting during a press conference seems
like lunacy harsh, it was actually a courtesy to everyone involved to politely listen and kneel before the throne exercise caution before tweeting.
Banning live tweeting of press conferences, in which the purpose of the event itself is to deliver information to the press and for the press to report said information to the public, was a
mind-numbing bold and innovative step for sure. After finally coming to their senses careful consideration though, the powers that be athletic department realized the Twitter ban was impractical and pointless perhaps a tad unrealistic, since the press conference was already airing online and on the radio. The ban was lifted a day later after news spread of the insane innovative policy. Unbelievably Coincidentally, this isn't the first time an OSU Twitter ban was lifted this year. Buckeye players tweeted in January they were leaving Twitter before suddenly realizing it was all one big calamity a slight misunderstanding. It's no secret whoever is the head football coach at Ohio State holds as much power as the Governor a very respected position in Ohio society.
In his first season, it's clear Urban Meyer is trying to revive Ohio State's national reputation by
controlling and micromanaging the message coming out of Columbus in any way possible running a clean, transparent program - whether that's through silly Twitter bans ESPN All Access shows or other opportunities.
College football programs
exert their ungodly power represent the university in many ways. Even something as incredibly normal and mundane as reporters' tweeting habits isn't out of reach of their clutches. It's concerning that any college program thinks they actually have the authority to control the media in such a way, but it isn't the first or last time a program will overstep their boundaries.
It seems pretty reasonable to me, actually. It's less about the team flexing its muscles as it is creating some competitive balance among the reporters in attendence. I can only imaging that there are mad rushes in press conferences to pump out 140 characters on the latest injury, etc., in order to achieve the almighty "firsties". The PR department probably just wanted to help reporters help themselves and let them concentrate on the news conference without having to worry about competing with each other. Ultimately, PR should have opened it up for a discussion amongst the reporters in attendance or even asked for a vote, rather than setting it as a blanket policy.