As the regulars to VFTD know I have, in the past, gently mocked the travails of some of the would-be media surrounding paintball--okay, maybe not so gently all the time--as a vanity project for everyone involved, photographers and players alike. While true in many instances it isn't the whole story as there are some more serious (dare I say?) professional photographers who follow paintball. Unfortunately for them there is very little recording of and reporting on paintball in anything that even resembles a professional media and of the rest, e-zines and websites mostly, professionalism and artistry often take a back seat to cheap or free given the massive amount of raw data generated on a constant basis.
One answer is for the large scale paintball events to restrict the number of media peeps they allow at their events. After all, one of the most common complaints is there aren't enough teams (or jobs shooting teams or players) to go around for all the photographers showing up. Fewer photogs means a larger payday for the ones who make the grade. Which leads to the next and trickier part of the proposition--deciding who merits a media pass and who doesn't. Accredited reps of recognized media outlets, those with an established reputation in the field and .. and, and perhaps a few whose portfolio indicate a unique eye and commitment beyond buying an expensive camera and playing photographer. (Though how the average paintball promoter makes that judgment I don't know.) Anyway, it remains a conundrum of sorts and what got me started on this riff is our friends over at the CPS have taken a crack at introducing their own media guidelines for 2013.
In this case "guidelines" appears to be a kinder, gentler version of rules 'cus make no mistake, these are rules to be abided, not suggestions. Which is fine as long as you're not confused by the term "guidelines." It comes in 6 sections and what it really needs is simplifying. Trim it down to the bare minimum. In Section 1, Access, for example there is nothing about a maximum number of media types allowed or a distinction between on field or off field media personnel. Much of the material here could be guidelines as much of the on field stuff is simple common sense--though there are a couple items that strain the brain. Like 3.6. I understand the intent, I think, but it strains credulity to imagine just how someone would commit that infraction without anyone the wiser. And Section 4 goes above and beyond on behalf of the media for what is, after all, a league request, not a requirement. (If you hadn't noticed before this part gives away the fact these guidelines were written by a media member.) The guidelines close out with Section 6, Sales of Service, which is (again) largely understandable but not very clear.
On the plus side good for the CPS (and A.H.) for making the effort. (It's a largely thankless job as this post confirms but it's the sort of thing that eventually requires doing.) That said, the CPS media guidelines could use another once, or twice, over to round them into form. (No, I'm not volunteering.)