According to an Apr. 5 report from TheMMACorner.com, Bryan Henderson, Editor-in-Chief for The MMA Corner, had a negative experience at Legacy FC 30 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and decided to write about it on his site.
Instead of posting an article about the fights at Legacy FC 30, Henderson instead wrote an op-ed on some of his personal encounters during the event.
Henderson, who was attending Legacy FC 30 as a member of the press, claims a mix-up regarding press credentials left him with a tough choice as a media professional: either sit in a section designated for the fans or be left without a seat altogether.
Henderson opted for the first option, accepting a seat in zone D2, several rows behind the designated press section for Legacy FC 30.
He says the seat he was given made doing his job impossible.
Some might say coverage is possible from a seat in the stands. I’m here to tell you that it’s not. Especially if you’re trying to provide play-by-play and live results. There’s no power, so when your laptop is depleted over the course of a four-hour event (which can happen even if the laptop is fully charged), you’re dead in the water. I was given no instructions on accessing the internet. And then there’s the circumstances of where I was sitting. Try writing on a laptop resting on your lap while a drunk fan sloshes beer over the rim of his plastic cup and into your general vicinity. Try typing as fans with seats further down the aisle trip over your feet. Try focusing on a fight when, if you do have a laptop open in such a situation, people next to you ask what you’re doing and attempt to carry on conversations about your website or the ones they frequent. It’s not happening.
Mick Maynard, President of Legacy FC, responded to Henderson via Facebook.
You sat there all night pouting in eager anticipation to get home and write a story about yourself and the 'Dark side of MMA' - a lone mans battle to fend off spilling beer and nowhere to put his laptop......other than his lap......the struggle is real.
Analysis: Does Henderson deserve an apology from Legacy FC, or should he just be happy he received a free ticket to the event in the "fan" section?
That all depends who you ask, but its clear the answer lies somewhere in between.
Legacy FC has no reason to apologize to Henderson for the way he was treated, as he was given a press pass to cover the event. He wasn't able to sit on press row, but it's rare when any job goes exactly to plan. Working in the media is all about making adjustments and adapting to difficult situations. Sitting in a fan section isn't ideal as far as doing play-by-play and live results, but it's practical enough that it can be done.
While Legacy doesn't appear to be completely in the wrong, Henderson isn't either for the op-ed piece he posted.
Blogging is typically more opinion-based than traditional journalism, so Henderson's post about his personal experiences from Legacy FC 30 was fair. The only problem is that the promotion credentialed him to report fight results to his readers, not to provide a story on how he was treated at the event.
If he did a story about the fights in addition to the op-ed personal experience story, there wouldn't be an issue. The drama between Legacy FC and The MMA Corner opens a slew of new questions regarding media in mixed martial arts.
Is there a difference between bloggers and journalists? If so, do bloggers who post op-ed stories deserve press credentials? Are media outlets just an extension of an MMA promotion's public relations department?
Who is right and who is wrong in the Legacy FC vs MMA Corner drama? Let us know in the comments or tweet the author, @BadNewsEric.