Saturday, May 07, 2005



Following my comments yesterday regarding several of my readers saying rumors I post should be able to be discussed freely and openly on, a moderator (asking to remain anonymous) and I went back and forth after he made the following statement..

"There is nothing personal between HFBoards and Eklund's Hockey Report. Blogs are not yet considered a legitimate form of media because they are not credentialed in any way. Eklund may be a legitimate member of the media, but considering that he doesn't publish his real name to his works, it again, doesn't lend to the credibility of the site."

"HFBoards has the policy of their membership not publishing information that can't be placed back to a recognized, credentialed media outlet. Blogs and other messageboard sites do not meet this criteria. We do not encourage or discourage any member of the public from going to Eklund's site for their information, it just doesn't fall into the policies that HFBoards uses for posting information on our site."

"In effect, if HFBoards were to allow for Eklund's Hockey Report to be used as a source, then any other blog, including fan blogs would also have to be allowed as legitimate information. At HFBoards, we do our best to be responsible to hockey fans around the world, which is why many, like yourself, believe it is the best place for hockey information. It is a strict policy, but it best serves the people that are our viewing public.

"Good luck to you in your endeavours."

To which I responded with the following...

"It is obvious that blogs are becoming news sources throughout the media on all fronts. In politics for example, the most interesting news is often found on blogs. Bloggers are in the unique position of being able to post timely info and in the case of myself, my anonymity allows people to talk to me and no one knows who they are...If a Larry Brooks quotes an anonymous source, people get a good idea who it is. In the last presidential election in the US, bloggers played a major role...Sure bloggers are controversial, but they are also fun and always good chatter. Posts about my blog on HF were getting thousands of views. People like myself and Tom Benjamin are writing legitimate hockey news, and sometimes making it. You have a rumors section, you should maybe a blogger section...Otherwise, you aren't telling the full hockey story in the current state of our sport, and you are stuck on an old paradigm...I get thousands of hits a day, I started a message board that is full of HF people, I think you owe it to the hockey fans to admit that certain blogs are indeed good sources of hockey news, or at the least good hockey conversation (which is the intention of message boards)...

He responded with this...

"Eklund, politics are a different landscape than hockey. Your anonimity to the hockey world, while probably being an intelligent way to create interest in your site, doesn't make sense to more established sites. Looking for "moles" in hockey circles isn't necessary. If you have the reputation as someone like Stan Fischler or Jim Matheson or John Davidson or Bob McKenzie, do you really think that people wouldn't give them information that was "from a source"?

We at HF know there are lots of people that go to your site, and all the power to you. If you created an interest and positive(Although sometimes misguided) outlook to people looking for hope during the CBA, and that meets the needs of your readership, again, good for you.

On the other hand, there is never any way for HFBoards to confirm anything on your blog as legitimate. I personally went to your site and saw you post that the CBA talks of Thursday May 5 were to begin at 11 AM. I researched and didn't find this information anywhere else on the internet. What that does is tell me that you might have some information that is correct.(It was confirmed on TSN later that day.) But also, at the time that you posted it, there was no way for it to be confirmed with any other source as the truth. Since you do not have anyone to answer to, no check or balance, no consequences if you are incorrect, or even worse, lying, how can a responsible site, use that as a confirmation of a truth. 

If Bob McKenzie were to tell an out and out untruth, he would be either A) Fired B) Sued C) Lose his media credentials. D) Lose the respect of everyone in hockey or E) All of the above. If you did it, there would be no repercussions.

Like I mentioned before, it isn't personal, it is just that we feel it is our responsibility to our readers and hockey fans that we have taken this position."
I thanked him for the discussion, and consider it response to his response is that I don't appreciate the intimation that I am posted untruths just to generate interest in my site...there are plenty of reporters and players that I talk to each day, and surely some of the people at HF must also talk to some of the same folks. The mere fact that several reporters went on the record on my site during the "Media on Ice" series should speak to this....Finally if Bob McKenzie wrote a column called Hockey Rumors he would not be fired, sued, or lose his credentials...He would simply be giving the great hockey fans of this world something to talk about...And thanks to the PA an NHL we all need more to talk about....Anything to get us through this debacle. I love the sport so much that seeing it do this terrible atrocity to itself is really killing me. That is why I read HF every day, and you are reading this...Finally, a recent poll pf HFBoards readers concluded that over 85% thought discussions on blogs should be allowed...we really should be working together (that is why my message board has a place to promote other blogs), but I respect their right to do what they want to with their message board...Thanks, now back to the phones as I try to find out more about what happened yesterday...

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