Redskins Spell Out Their Twitter Policy
The Redskins announced Sunday that media organizations covering the team can no longer use Twitter to report updates from the team's preseason practices.
"We, like other teams, are concerned about the type of information that's being reported during practice," said team spokesman Zack Bolno. He said the Redskins don't want sensitive information about injuries and strategy being shared during practice.
Since training camp began more than two weeks ago, reporters from several outlets have used Twitter to give fans practice reports in near real-time, reporting roster updates, injury news, commenting on plays and drills and even sharing photos.
The team's official web site and 980 AM, which is owned by Redskins owner Dan Snyder, are not subject to the ban, Bolno said.
A league spokesman said that 22 teams permit real-time reporting from practices that are open to the public. The Redskins' final practice that was open to the public was Aug. 8.
"Setting ground rules for news media coverage of practice is the responsibility of the clubs," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email. "We recommended that clubs allow limited live reporting from open-to-the-public training camp practices subject to guidelines set by clubs on the reporting of strategy."
The league circulated a memo to that effect on July 30 to all NFL teams.
In addition to the Redskins, the Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions are among the teams that don't allow media members to tweet from practice. The Professional Football Writers of America has complained about the media restrictions, and the Jacksonville Jaguars and Minnesota Vikings lifted their bans on media tweets.
Charean Williams, president of the PFWA, said she's not certain many teams will allow tweeting during practices that are not open to the public.
"On the one hand, some coaches like to tell us in the media that we don't know anything. On the other, they're worried about what we're saying and writing and 'giving away secrets' to the enemy.' They can't have it both ways," Williams said. "If they'd be more worried about what their team is doing on the field than what we're writing, there probably wouldn't be so much turnover in the coaching profession. Two of the best teams for access are the Cardinals and the Steelers. It doesn't look like it hurt them last season."
Reporters will still be allowed to update blogs, though they'll have to leave the practice fields to do so, Bolno said.
After Saturday's preseason game against the Steelers, the Redskins will no longer hold two practices a day and media members will only be permitted to watch the first 10 minutes of practice, a common practice throughout the league outside of training camp.
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