Robin Brownlee wrote an interesting article with an encounter of the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club in a profanely titled article “Those $%#@&# bloggers: what to do?” a few days back.

In the article he describes a front office staffer giving him grief about writing for the Nation:

“Essentially, (Oilers PR Staffer JJ Hebert) told me and my editor he’d be happy to issue me a pass for NHL.com (or TEAM 1260 or CP, for that matter), but that he’d have a problem — one that’s been ongoing — if I was going to continue to use my access to gather material for Oilersnation because this site isn’t recognized as part of the MSM.

One of the problems facing Hebert is that when Gregor and I write for Oilersnation, he gets calls from other bloggers: "If Brownlee and Gregor get a pass, why not me?" The argument is that if we get in, everybody should and that if they don’t, we shouldn’t. I don’t buy that, but I get how the issue could be a pain in Hebert’s ass.”

This is an interesting time in the development of Mass Media.

We can understand the reluctance of the Oilers to allow a bunch of amateur blogger-reporters into what is an uber professional press box. Hockey Journalists are pros and take themselves very seriously – as they have every right to do.

They have put in years at University, paid their dues covering non NHL teams as they climbed the ladder and in most Canadian Markets covering the NHL team is the plum assignment for the top journalists at each publication.

Why on Earth should some piddly assed kid be allowed to sit in the press box – ostensibly there to “cover” the event – but really there for the free tickets and unlimited squeeing from above.


At some point in the evolution of every industry new companies rise up and force the old guard to re-evaluate certain realities. The failure of the music industry to grasp the potential damage from peer-to-peer file sharing is a prime example of a mature industry failing to grasp the shifting marketplace.

The NHL doesn’t face any real financial threat from bloggers, but failing to grasp the power of blogging/fansites in their early days could be detremental to growing the game.

A fansite one day could be a leading source of news the next – the speed at which the internet can cobble together traffic can be breathtaking. What does the NHL do when some of these sites start to rival MSM outlets in size, reach and quality of content?

In essence: what constitutes being a part of the MSM?

What if the Nation was busier than the online sports sections of the two major newspapers in town? Would we be considered part of the MSM on size alone? The vast majority of our writers on the Nation Network are actual credentialed media folk, would the high level of professionalism count as a vote in our favour?

Do we fail to meet the MSM criteria because we are “just a website” and lack the MSM calling cards of TV, Radio and Print publications? What if we started a daily Nation Newspaper and delivered it on our trusty two wheeler to all of the Citizens each morning? Would printing the news make us a part of the club?



The most wonderful thing about writing on OilersNation is that we can do whatever we want. Say for example we want to display a video of Soulja Boy dancing to Teach me how to Dougie. Who is going to tell us not to? An editor that doesn’t exist? Stodgy old people who have the run of the place?

Nay and Nein.

No one else on the Nation writes about such nonsense, but we feel it has a time and a place on the site. Sports journalism need not be boring. Sports journalism need not be about sports or be written by a journlism. Sometimes it’s just about Souljaboy dancing on a Saturaday morning.

Is it these kind of videos that keep the site from being considered “mainstream media?”

We realize that our primary duty is to all of the Citizens of the Nation. We can stay however we want in our articles, but taking a more MSM apporach to professionalism could mean more legitimacy.

It could mean more breaking news or better features and recruiting more MSM types to the Nation Network. It could mean Taylor Hall calling in tears needing advice on how to mend his first broken heart in Edmonton. We imagine that’s the type of stuff MSM people have to deal with in their mansions.


We have pondered this matter for some time Nation and can’t come to any sort of decision. And so we turn it over to you to advise.

  • Petr's Jofa

    A wise man once said* “At some point in the evolution of every industry new companies rise up and force the old guard to re-evaluate certain realities.”

    Stick to your guns, keep blogging, and force that old guard to change.

    *May not be a wise man, He may just be some homeless guy who lives on granola bars and gatoraid.

    PS – Sister Wives coming this fall??? What has TV come to? I remember when people used to say they watched TLC in an attempt to sound smart.

  • Wanyes bastard child

    While I couldn’t help the “FIST” comment earlier I was waiting to see some more comments before commenting for myself (and yes I did read the article first and yes it was early morning so I imagine I wouldn’t have been able to articulate my thoughts so well in the morning… im surprised you were Wanye :P).

    I find myself in agreement with a majority of the posters above, don’t change a damn thing. We have a great mix of established MSM to go along with the professional bloggers on this site all complimented rather well by some inane drivel (at times) from Wanye.

    That being said; I’d be interested to hear what other bloggers such as lowetide, Dellow and Staples have to think on this matter as I believe they could handle the MSM pass as well as the blog world rather well and keep it professional for guys such as Hubert. Obviously other blogs such as JSBM and towel boy shouldn’t have a hope in hell but then again, how do you draw the line?

  • PabstBR55

    The internet is a great democratizing force. I bet if you analyzed the demographics of who reads and comments on this site, my assumption is that 90% of us would be under 40 and disproportionately do not subscribe to the Sun or the Jernle. At least in comparison with people over 40.

    Whether the Oilers offer up press passes or not, they would be wise to pay attention to the guerilla coverage of the team from the alternative media.

    But WE read the site because it IS the alternative media. By watering-down or placing higher filters on content, your readership will migrate elsewhere.

  • The Pestival

    Just like everyone else seems to be saying, keep the site as is and get even more writers if possible. I don’t think the Oilers should issue a press pass to ON, but I don’t think its unreasonable for them to issue one to one or two writers, Gregor and Brownlee being the obvious. Won’t be long before this site has more traffic than the MSM online versions or the Oilers own site anyway…

    And when the hell are we going to be able to buy some sweet merch? And I don’t want a baby blue shirt with a giant fist on it, that sends the wrong message. How about something cool? Maybe just a navy blue shirt with the ON logo? Or a black and white version? Please?

  • As a former cast member of the MSM it’s been a long long while since I relied on the local papers. Anything I want in the way of information stats or babble I come here go there, everywhere. This site needs to have the likes of our contributing scribes. The credibility that they bring to Oilers Nation is unmeasurable…the more pro(accredited) scribes that could contribute here the merrier.The rules are pretty butt puckering for the likes of Matty and other Journal scribes (DanBarnes) on staff as i’m thinking they are just not allowed to write elsewhere, to go from their places of employment AT ALL.Once upon a time the Journal pre-paid the Edmonton Oiler Hockey Club for the pre-game meals at Northlands Coliseum on game nights so as not to appear to be taking food for favorable coverage of the team? I miss the days when Dick Chubey ( beat writer in the glory years) was in Sathers’ back pocket, he&I really got a ton of stuff without really working that hard for it …. Now, unless you’re independent AND awesome at the same time(like who we have right now)you’re really left out in the cold sans credentials.We DO know how lucky we are having who we have writing here right? AND it’s OK for OLD BALLS like me to listen,read and be respectful of the likes of all you puppy kicking folks under40 in this place. it’s getting comfortable, becoming like a home away from home…I promise not to be a PITA thankyou

  • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

    If this Archaeologuy blogs as good as he comments he should be the next one writing for this site. Couldn’t have put it better myself.

    Keep doing what you’re doing Wanye. You’ve got the best blogger on the internet writing for your site. The pro’s do a great job and I honestly look forward to your articles too, especially in summer.

    You guys are hitting it out of the park. What would be interesting to see is some of the actual numbers that this site generates though. How many members did you have after the first year and how many do you have now? What kind of hits does this place get?

  • Wanye shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near any professional hockey player. Or their wives. Especially not their wives.

    Now I’d like to quote Admiral Cartwright from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country:

    The opportunity here is to bring them to their knees. Then we’ll be in a far better position to dictate terms.

  • In all fairness to wanye… at some point …..when hes had his fun. Someones going to write a check for this amount of traffic…. bigger checks come from legitimate but desperate to restore relevance places. (msm)

    I say leave it as is, but at some point you may have to put a bit of lipstick on the pig so them dummies can justify that fat check they wrote you. Until then, keep kicking their ass.

    And finally

    Wanye…. millhouse is msm.

    ps… If youve run out of buddy lights we can start a collection to get you through this emotional time in the development of your baby.

  • I read the article and it was sweet. I didn’t read the comments cuz I just got back from the bar and I am too drunk to comprehend most of the comments.

    This is why I like this place over MSM.

    I really could go for a McDouble now.


    Herbet H. M. Towel Boy III, JR. IV

  • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

    Sorry for the typos in my above post. I wrote it in a rage after reading Wayne’s article on my blackberry while receiving a pedicure.

    All of that is true.

  • fuck off

    I think the state of MSM is a parallel of my favorite sports anchor: Jay Onrait. Much akin to Mr. Wanye, Jay’s wacky absurdities sprinkled about an entirely vanilla broadcast is the highly sought after refreshing tinge of reality piercing through MSM’s staunch professionalism. What this means in the overall mosaic (as also reflected with the mass invasion of reality TV programming) is that people are no longer interested in the processed glossy corporate packaged product. Rather instead people long for a taste of the “real.” Paying dividends of their time and finances towards TV personalities and characters that they can identify with as well as look up to.

  • Ender

    The usual suspects have already chimed in with all of the really relevant material.

    I don’t know whether it’s the slightly more informal atmosphere, the interactive format, the immediate access to fresh information, or the Soulja Boy videos but I am enjoying this site waaaay more than I ever enjoyed two decades of reading the Oilers in the SUN. In fact, I enjoy this site more than I’ve enjoyed most other activities in those same two decades.

    In order to allow a blogsite to evolve into an accepted form of MSM, the frontrunners were always going to have to ease society into it; strike a balance between ‘responsible’ journalism and a fun chatroom. Accidental or not, the Nation has struck the perfect balance. Don’t mess with it. You’ve got the right formula and the other comments on here are correct; the Oilers will catch up. You just need to give them time to understand that the new regime is here and that what the people today want is . . . this.