hickey

On Wednesday morning, Brazilian journalist Jamil Chade broke the news that International Olympic Committee executive Pat Hickey had been arrested on allegations that he illegally sold Olympic tickets as part of a small scalping ring.

Hours later, the IOC revoked Chade’s credential to the hotel where Hickey was reportedly arrested, in apparent payback for reporting the story.

Chade smartly tweeted about having his credential removed, creating a mini-firestorm and essentially forcing the IOC to restore his credential. Either that, or the IOC felt like there was no more damage for Chade to do. Either way, the reporter got his access back.

Reporters have been getting their access pulled as punishment for doing their jobs as long as journalism has been around, but social media has provided a valuable recourse. Remember when Rachel Nichols and Michelle Beadle were banned from covering Floyd Mayweather after they criticized his domestic violence record? Or when Michigan failed to invite the student newspaper to a press conference after they broke a negative story? A few tweets and a little outrage later, apologies were issued and credentials restored.

Eventually, institutions will learn that banning reporters isn’t worth the PR hit. Until then, there will be more Jamil Chades and more “mistaken” credential withdrawals.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com, the Hartford Courant, Baseball Prospectus, Land of 10 and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.