If you run a NASCAR Web site, now might be your chance. NASCAR announced last week the creation of the “NASCAR Citizen Journalists Media Corps” meant to bring together the “top-independent NASCAR-related websites.”
The release from NASCAR acknowledged the changing media landscape.
“As the newspaper industry adjusts to a new age of information, NASCAR fans and former traditional media have taken it upon themselves to report, cover and opine on the sport. Today there are thousands of NASCAR related websites. Many of these sites cover the sport on a daily basis and offer unique and fresh perspectives to a large audience.”
The release said the new crop of “citizen journalists” will be selected as part of a review process that will include: “professionalism, reporting and commentary, use of social networking tools. ” It said the initial list will be announced in the coming weeks.
Along with access to press credentials and all that goes along with that the “citizen journalists” will have the opportunity to have their work published on NASCAR.com and they will be allowed access to (from what I can tell from the release) the NASCAR Media site which among other things features news releases, statistics, audio, video and photos. One of the cooler things they started doing too was live-feeding press conferences held at the track media centers; this is very helpful to those who can’t be at the track every weekend.
All the above being said, the plans for this aren’t exactly clear, so it will be interesting to see how they go about things in the coming weeks. One big question I have is what is the benefit of press credentials if you can’t regularly be at the track? I don’t know of too many bloggers, or independent Web site operators who can afford to fly all over hell and gone to go to races.
I though, have to applaud NASCAR for recognizing the power and influence of these “community journalists.” The internet has become a very powerful tool and anything they can do to engage their audience is going to be a plus.
A couple of months ago I wrote about some of the things teams, more specifically Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, were doing to embrace social media (essentially EGR was targeting the same people NASCAR is now targeting). EGR offered increased access to the team through things like conference calls and the like. I thought it was a great idea at the time, but it appears EGR’s idea petered out (I don’t know if anything was ever done with this). It’s a shame they missed out on an opportunity to be at the forefront of the changing media in the sport.
Back to NASCAR though, I hope their efforts don’t meet the same fate. NASCAR has a great opportunity to embrace this very powerful medium.
It will be interesting to see in the coming weeks who they select and how this changes the media landscape in the sport.
So now I want to throw it to you (our friend JD over at the Daly Planet took this topic up last week and it was interesting to see what his readers had to say about it). Are you skeptical of this? Do you hope you are among those chosen? Tell us what you think!