Independent, informed and witness-based journalism has never been more important. This is true for societies, the news media itself – and to those, such as event organisations and wider internet-led business interests, that seek to create a valuable association with good editorial content.
While event organisations understandably continue to support their commercial ambitions by seeking to control the brand in the press and seeking to ‘own’ anything which relates to their event, the news media have a unique role based on maintaining an editorial distance from those agendas.
The news media can inspire, as well as level criticism. News publishers and news agencies can provide running commentary on unfolding dramas, as well as stand back to take stock. And the news media can generate enormous public interest leading to participation (and through that benefits to health and public purse).
Only the news media, agile and news-consumer focused, can draw communities of interest together in an instant and within a distinct mix of seasoned journalism, public comment, speculation and fact.
Yet, the existence of robust, critical and independent witness accounts from reputable news organisations and their journalists is by no means guaranteed.
The opportunities for objective news-gathering are being stifled by sports administrators, their public relations teams and by economic realities of maintaining viable news-gathering operations across national and global sports calendars.
News-journalism is vital to societies, events organisations and business.
We know, at the NMC, that smart-thinking of event administrators and public policy makers can and should lead to recognition of those values.