Queen's Gaels try to mute the Queen's Journal

Huge shout out to the Queen's Gaels, who are making waves for the second time this year for nothing related to on-field performance.

The Queen's Journal has been stripped of the majority of their credentials and, bizarrely, the athletic department told the paper it was because an article published that critiqued the team of the year vote and the behind-the-scenes decision making. (Update: I did not link to the original story "Access Denied" from the Journal. This is because a) I'm dumb b) it's frosh week.)

In a word, this is insecurity. The athletic department seems worried about potentially negative situations getting ink, and in order to protect themselves, they bully the student paper. I understand it, in a way - there are company secrets that would be damaging to your reputation.

But you know what else is damaging to your reputation? Telling a media outlet that because of their coverage, they will not be getting the same level of access.

It is dumb to limit access for no reason, but it is horrifyingly stupid that a public relations department just told an outlet how to perform their job.

And we'll run down a couple of other quick points here:

  • Students fund athletics. Not entirely, but they do give a lot of money. The student paper should have the same level of access of anyone else.
  • Part of what makes CIS athletics awesome is the access we are granted as journalists. Limiting that will only hurt the sport.
  • @queensgaels Twitter mentions is filled with professional journalists chiding the department and university. Go check it out.
  • Last time the Journal called out the department, Queen's issued a letter to the author. That article was hyperlinked in a rundown I wrote earlier and it has since been removed. You get a 404 error from Dropbox. 
  • This is another instance of the CIS (potentially) making headlines for something negative instead of cool stories about the personalities in the league. Feels like we're spinning our tires here.
  • Don't invest in a huge athletic complex and cut off the people who tell your story. You're not going to raise your profile with students that way.
  • I'm assuming the department will reverse the decision, but there will still be an impact on the coverage. If they want, Queen's can make it tough on the Journal in a variety of ways. 
I hope they change their mind, because Queen's is a big player in CIS athletics and the more coverage of their teams the better. But the department was snooty towards the paper before, so I'm not optimistic.

Some thoughts from journalists and other notable voices:

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