Athletic department threatens to revoke student magazines press credentials over its livetweeting

Like many college papers last Saturday, The Stony Brook Press live tweeted its school’s football game — only their tweets made no references to football.

The tweets (view a Storify here) prompted a threat from the athletic department to revoke the newspaper’s press credentials if they did not start using correct football terminology. The paper publicized the athletic department’s threat in an editorial published Tuesday.

The magazine writes serious and satirical articles, said Tom Johnson, the managing editor. “It’s something we’ve been doing for 35 years so people should be accustomed to it,” he said.

The magazine had four people covering the game — a reporter, two photographers and the tweeter. The person tweeting was the only one without a press credential, Johnson said. The student used his ID to get into the game like other students.

Someone manning the Stony Brook athletics Twitter feed first tweeted at The Stony Brook Press asking them to use correct football terminology.

Then, Johnson said the athletics department sent the magazine a direct message: “I strongly suggest you come up to the press box to discuss your inability to tweet the correct way.”

Later in the game, an athletic official approached one of the magazine’s photographers, telling her that if the tweeting didn’t stop they would take away the paper’s credentials, Johnson said.

Thomas Chen, the school’s director of athletic communications, said the department’s never asked someone to change or fix tweets before.

“At the time it was not known whether or not the tweets were a joke or if they were serious,” Chen said.