Getcha Popcorn Ready: The Ochocinco News Network Is Here
Chad Ochocinco (or the artist formerly known as Chad Johnson) is a social media powerhouse. He’s amassed over 300,000 followers on Twitter, broadcasts “The Ochocinco Show” on Ustream, and recently launched his own iPhone application. In his latest social media venture, he has announced plans to form the Ochocinco News Network, or OCNN for short. His journalistic slogan: “If I break it, you might as well believe it.”
How exactly the news network will function remains to be seen, but apparently Ochocinco has partnered with Motorola and its new MOTOBLUR technology to provide the service. Ochocinco says he intends to use his contacts throughout the NFL to deliver news before it reaches the mainstream media.
As you can tell from the tweet in the picture above, the veteran wide receiver is well aware of how the move could affect the traditional gatekeepers of news. In an interview with an AP reporter, Ochocinco jokingly asked, “Are you nervous?”
While an athlete reporting straight to fans may seem like a blow to mainstream sports journalism, Michael Hickins gives two reasons why OCNN might not be your best bet for NFL news. First, to what standards will Ochocinco hold his “reporting?” Lots of athletes on Twitter leak unconfirmed rumors, and it is doubtful that Ochocinco will fact check every story before he breaks it. Second, Ochocinco is a very involved, biased member of the beat he is covering. Who’s to say he couldn’t break stories that would benefit the Bengals or harm a division rival amidst an intense playoff race?
As of now I don’t think the NFL has placed any restrictions on OCNN, but you can bet that Roger Goodell and owners around the league aren’t ecstatic about it. The league has already placed restrictions on social media use and individual teams have punished players for tweeting on multiple occasions. It will be interesting to see how Goodell and coaches react once Ochocinco starts breaking news outside the Bengals’ organization.