The News Media Coalition (NMC) today renews calls for stakeholders and rights owners of the Commonwealth Games to recognise the genuine needs and value of the established news media sector.
As more Australian media organisations decide to boycott the Games following a dispute over accreditation rules, the NMC wishes to reiterate its disappointment in the direction the organisers are taking.
A Fairfax media spokesman said in October, “We won’t be forced into providing journalism that’s anything less than ‘Independent. Always.’ and we will not agree to the terms and rules currently required for accreditation of journalists at the Games. Australians deserve unrestricted coverage of their government-funded Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.”
With restrictions on access on video footage, News Corp executive Campbell Reid has said that “it means that we as the news services that Australians turn to are unable to provide the [same kind of coverage as] somebody sitting in the stand with their iPhone.”
News Corp would boycott the Games because the restrictions imposed “were out-of-step with modern digital news reporting, particularly limiting the ability to use video in news reporting.”
Australian Associated Press CEO Bruce Davidson said the agency was concerned with the restrictions. “AAP agrees with the industry in general that the current accreditation conditions being sought by the Games organisers impose undue restrictions on press freedom and limits the ability of publishers to provide vital and independent news coverage for Australians.”
The NMC had previously released a statement on November 1st 2017 saying: “It is disappointing and avoidable that news companies, which provide news and sports coverage 365 days a year, should be made to feel in particular aspects unwelcome at the 12-day Games, especially ones in Australia.”
The NMC statement continues: ”As an international trade body which has been collaborating with the Commonwealth Games Federation and numerous other sports organisations across the sports event cycle, it is clear that both rights holders, such as TV companies, and non-rights holding news companies can each derive benefit from the enormous changes around us. News video, whether created by video news-gatherers or in the form of news clips are part of the new consumption of information by the public.”
Please find the NMC’s full Novermber 1st statement here.