Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Press as Billboards

The local paper recently ran an opinion column about press photographers being forced this upcoming National Football League season to wear vests emblazoned with corporate logos. Apparently, this is part of some grand marketing scheme that the NFL cooked up with Canon and Reebok.

Frankly, it stinks to high heaven.

For starters... these journalists are not employees of the NFL. They have to abide by certain guidelines set down by the league, but are not employed by the NFL. Therefore, the idea that they can be "compelled" to be walking billboards is hogwash, especially if said persons do not receive compensation. THEN, you're looking at labor violations, not to mention any working agreements that are already in place!

Someone that wants to treat me like an employee can PAY me like an employee.

Secondly, and I agree with the article on this, it violates the idea of journalists being "objective". Now granted, journalists have done advertisements in the past. And almost every disc jockey appears on radio commercials. Hell, even Charles Osgood and Paul Harvey do commercials! But the big factor is they are not out and about like walking advertisements, being compelled by a company outside of their employ to do so.

I'm just curious... if a photographer from the Associated Press shows up to a game wearing Nike shoes and using an Olympus camera, can the NFL revoke his or her press credentials? As Dennis Hopper once said in a Nike commercial, "Bad things, Man!"


coralhei said...

I'm with you on this one! The journalists are already doing the NFL a service by bothering to cover this corporate, for-profit entertainment. To expect journalists to do even more work for the NFL (without being paid, no less) is absurd. Hmm... maybe the NFL should think bigger: instead of making the journalists on the sidelines wear corporate logos, they should make ticket-buyers put on specially colored jerseys as part of their price of admission. Once in their seats, the properly attired spectators would form massive corporate logos all around the stands, constantly visible to the cameras covering the game, not to mention the fans on opposite sides of the stadium. (Hmmm... suppose the NFL will pay me for that idea?)

Jackrabit1 said...

If they do, can you get me 50-yard line tickets for the Super Bowl?