Gymnastics Blogs Vs Main stream Media

There’s a great discussion going on over at Gymnastics Coaching at the moment. At the weekend Rick posted about Gymnastics Bloggers at Worlds.

In Rotterdam at the World Gymnastics Championships, it was a delight to hang out with Brigid McCarthy (The Couch Gymnast and Couch Gymnast magazine), Anne Phillips (Gymnastike) and Blythe Lawrence (Gymnastics Examiner).

There were many other bloggers, journalists and photographers there too, but I spent most of my time with these three gymnastics fanatics. It’s insane how hard they work.

I wish I’d been there but to be honest, I wouldn’t have a clue about how to get a press pass or anything like that. I’m so thankful for these people who were present at Worlds, not only did they help me keep my website up to date with the latest news from Worlds but they also brought us new stories and new information. Not once did I see anything in the Irish mainstream  media about Worlds except on the Irish Gymnastics website, the British mainstream media seemed to only write about gymnastics once they had one medals, which is such a pity, luckily for British Gymnastics, their Facebook page was updated somewhat frequently although the blogs seemed to have the breaking news a lot quicker, for example Full Twist broke the news that Imogen Cairns was to make the team. Gymnastics is such a fantastic sport and should be written about, whether the gymnasts representing your country win or not.


I appreciate the other gymnastics bloggers, I really do. I began my blog because I was am so passionate about gymnastics, I live, eat, breath, sleep gymnastics, I even feel that gym has helped make me the person I am today. I worried before starting Full Twist that no one would read my blog but I gave it a go anyway, I thought if someone reads it great, if not oh well! I was proven wrong, people do read and contribute and it’s a fantastic feeling. Google Analytics is a wonderful tool to prove this. I sometimes write my own opinions on matters, other times I am like Rick and act as an aggregator but none the less people still seem to enjoy Full Twist.

What seems to be coming from the comments on Gymnastics Coaching is that some people might not appreciate bloggers. As Rick said we don’t do it for money. I feel that it makes sense for bloggers to be present at the big events and sharing their views by blogging about it. A lot of bloggers, ex gymnasts or current coaches know about the moves being performed,  we know about recovering from injury and a lot of us will have heard about these gymnasts years before the take to the big Olympic stage when the whole World begins to know about them. You might be lucky to have an excellent and enthusiastic journalist like BBC’s Ollie Williams but often reports on gymnastics from journalists in mainstream media are stiff and lacking in information.

What do you think? Should bloggers have been given the chance to speak to the gymnasts or take close up pictures of them?


If Full Twist or any other blog hadn’t been posting up to the minute news, views and results would you have had as much information from Worlds this year?


3 Comments

  1. You can completely understand competition organisers who wish to manage the numbers of people with behind the scenes access. Anyone (even me) can start a blog – there has to be a way of differentiating who can be accredited, and who not.
    The standard of some blogs is equal to, if not better than, that of the ‘mainstream media’ and fulfills different audience needs. Blogging gives voice to people like me who have a very particular niche interest in the sport as well as to those who have a broader view. Competition organisers/federations need to recognise this in setting criteria for press pass admission. The number of press passes offered cannot necessarily increase to accommodate increased numbers of bloggers. Audience interest should be a central, but not unique, concern to this decision making.
    I would also suggest that a Code of Practice and Ethics for bloggers is needed (if indeed it doesn’t already exist) as a condition of press accreditation. This is not just a case of managing the safety of competitors, but also considering declarations of bias and so on. It is fairly obvious that the British press will highlight victories of British gymnasts (unfortunately) but blog bias is not always so immediately evident. Such issues as intellectual property ownership and acknowledgement may also come into play.

  2. Admin says:

    Thanks for your comment Queen Elizabeth. I do agree that competition organisers would want to limit the amount of people who have behind the scenes access. I don’t know if there is a criteria in place for bloggers, what you can do and what you cannot do. Maybe Rick or Brigid could clarify this for us?

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