Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Curling media made redundant by players

I'm glad I'm retiring. The new world has swept aside the old. Take the Mixed Doubles in Italy for example. I've been relying on the official WCF reports (here) to give me a flavour of what's happening. And they've been great.

But the Canadians have it worked out. One of their players in Cortina is penning press reports, and these are available online. Sean Grassie is writing a column for the Winnipeg Sun about his experiences on and off the ice during the championship. The 30-year-old is a communications student at a local college in Winnipeg. You can read what he has written about the games so far, including the one against Scotland, here and here.

The Canadian Curling Association is obviously comfortable with this. As I noted before (here), their National Development Coach, Paul Webster, was blogging from Harbin at the World University Games.

I wonder if the practice could become even more widespread? Wouldn't it have been interesting to read the report by one of the Canadian team after the Ford World Championship final in Moncton!

As a card carrying member of the World Curling Media Association (WCMA, and yes there is such an organisation), I should probably be appalled. But I can see how our own Royal Caledonian Curling Club might think to embrace the idea. It would save money! Having players provide media reports would obviate the need for having to pay others to provide copy.

Organisers of major events too would no longer need to provide any facilities for press. The Aberdeen organisers of the next European Championships would love it. It would save them money. The European Curling Federation doesn't appreciate the press much anyway. After all, they just occupy space that could be better used by coaches and support staff.

And talking about support staff, could not a journalist become embedded within the support, alongside the coaches, physios, psychologists, video analysts, Tom Cobley and the like, that accompany our teams. These (unbiased, of course) press types could utilise the acres of video footage taken by the support staff, to produce some YouTube videos of each game, for us all to enjoy. If our Prime Minister can use this medium for communication, then surely the Scottish (and GB) curling establishment can do similar. We, the curling supporters, are paying for it, directly or indirectly, after all. I'm all for people multi-tasking!

The World Curling Federation is sure to embrace the idea that the players tell their own stories. It would save them the expense of having their media liaison, George Karrys, attend the events and provide reports for the curling world. Sorry gk, but it's the future!

Yes, the curling media has had its day.

Perhaps not.

I must remember to take the medication.

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