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Join TSPR for a weekly conversation about media issues. News Director Rich Egger and expert panelists discuss what’s in the news about the news business.

Chicago Bears Limit Reporters' Access

The NFL team told credentialed reporters they are no longer allowed to report on what they see during training camp.  They also cannot talk to players after practice without having submitted a request for approval 24 hours prior.

The information comes from The Poynter Institute and from Dan Bernstein of CBS Chicago.

The Shop Talk crew finds the new rules laughable.

Panelist Rich Egger said the Bears should be happy anyone is still interested in them, given the team’s dismal performance in recent years.  He finds it ironic that the team would discourage reporters when history shows team founder George Halas struggled mightily to get any coverage during the NFL’s early days.  The rise of television in the 1950s and ‘60s helped make the league what it is today.

Panelist Rich Moreno said the Bears’ actions are part of a troubling trend in professional and collegiate sports in which teams go overboard in trying to control information.  He said the NFL already receives largely uncritical coverage from many of its broadcast partners such as ESPN.

Panelist Jasmine Crighton said fans and reporters without credentials can still show up to training camp, record video, and post it online.  She doubts the team will benefit if coverage comes solely from untrained bloggers rather than professional journalists.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.