Thursday, October 23, 2008

The MMA Journalist Guide to Scoring Free Stuff from Promoters

Zach Arnold over at FightOpinion has an interesting discussion going on the topic of promoters paying off the media (link: Basically, he blasts the UFC for having various journalists in their pocket, and he blasts journalists for being there in the first place. Having been in this business for a while, I can honestly say that the practice of buying off reporters, bloggers, editors, publishers, etc. is about as commonplace as staph in a jiu-jitsu academy (i.e., it's freakin' everywhere). Want a personal example? When Zuffa first took over, Dana White liked my glowing UFC 34 write-up so much, he told my boss that my hotel would be paid for whenever I covered UFC events. (Incidentally, my boss told Dana to go scratch; he didn't want anyone having that kind of control over who writes what.) The truth is, promoters often buy up a block of hotel rooms for staff and fighters, and members of the media will get what's left over. Add to that equation the backstage food spreads at shows (the UFC's used to be huge but was pared down over time, BodogFIGHT's was epic, the IFL's just consisted of stacks of pizzas), and you have a lot of people getting free stuff. Does it affect the story at the end of the day? I can't speak for anyone else, but I can say that it's never colored what I write. If I think an event sucks, no amount of lodging or grub is going to change that - and that's the truth. Now excuse me while I go sell these ROC and UCL t-shirts on eBay.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A reporter on the take??

say it ain't So Jim, I have a few extra UCL shirts if you get a bidding war going on Ebay.

I think the IFL press passes would sell well too.