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Panpa Bulletin : May 2010
www.panpa.org.au Fight must go on PEACE is promised. But does the Australian Code of Practice on Sports News Reporting, the first ever national government- backed attempt to mediate between the demands of commercialised sport and press freedom, mean an end to the clashes around news cov- erage and sport industry rights? On both sides of the argument, there are many who feel this Aus- tralian episode has been an un- necessary and damaging distraction from the business of delivering the best cricket, footy, rugby, tennis and soccer journalism. Fans are best served when sport and media work together, usually harmoniously in the grand scheme. Now news photographers from organisations such as the Australian Associated Press are back at AFL games; newspapers and news agen- cies have greater confidence about the future of publishing and serving consumers of news; and sporting organisations will be reviewing their contractual access policies for journalists ahead of their next seasons. The public are the winners. This has only been possible be- cause of the interest and diligence of Senator Stephen Conroy, the Australian minister, who decided enough was enough; the mediating stamina of the nation's most senior regulator, Graeme Samuel; and the willingness of most participants to be constructive. The News Media Coalition con- tributed directly and indirectly to the process, which began formally with the Senate Inquiry into the is- sues early last year. When the final wording was re- leased, we stated our expectation that the code would protect the "fundamental function of the inde- pendent news media to continue to operate without the fear of unnec- essary or arbitrary restrictions on their operations". There is apprehension, too. As with any compromise deal, it is a mix of forensic detail and generic statement. There is clarity that the most excessive controls from some sporting codes have had their day, in Australia at least. Buried, too, are their claims that copyright somehow belongs to an event. The code leaves no doubt news content can be used legiti- mately across all platforms without distinction, in print or digitally. Yet, some definitions are open to interpretation, which is why a mediator will be appointed to work with code signatories. A bigger question revolves around the global precedent the code might set -- for sport-media relations outside Australia and also for non-sports events such as rock concerts, where issues of access and editorial rights have been eclipsed by the upheavals with sport. As good as the Australian code is, some feel its obligations on the me- dia are still onerous given statutory copyright ownership of content. There's one further reassuring outcome: the excessive demands of some sport administrators have brought together competitive media organisations in a new-found spirit of common purpose. This renewed sense of industry promises even greater vigilance to protect press freedom -- and I know the Newspaper Publishers' Associa- tion and News Media Coalition will be on the front line of those battles. drew Moger S by Andrew Moger, executive or of the News Media Coalition AAP photographer Martin Philbey back at the Australian Football League after a two-year absence Photo: MICHAEL KLEIN Visit websend.com.au to download the new and improved FREE iQChaser application or call 1300 798 949 for a demonstration. amline your ad workflow process with one simple application aser is simple, multi-user platform software that streamlines and complements the day-to-day ad production environment. FREE TO ALL PUBLISHERS 6 | The PANPA Bulletin | MAY 2010 Renewed sense of industry promises even greater vigilance to protect press freedom" " What We Gain News is platform agnostic -- sports bodies cannot discriminate against a journalist because of where their copy might be published -- e.g. print, digital, mobile and tablets Seeking diversity -- Sports cannot dis- criminate against types of media organi- sations but may distribute accreditation based on the public interest, available space and safety concerns. Media Access must be granted with regard to diversity Photo sales -- Newspapers can sell pho- tography to the public but images sold must be made available to sports bodies Stick to journalism -- Information gath- ered by journalists must be used for jour- nalism -- not marketing or promotions It's not fair -- Any disputes are filed through the secretary of the code, and mediated independently. The code com- mittee chairman is Kevan Gosper. The committee must submit an annual re- port to the government What We Can't Do Video -- No video in or around the ground, protecting TV licence revenues Audio -- No live audio, protecting radio licence revenues Simulation -- Photography cannot be published to simulate live action, pro- tecting TV revenue Guerrilla marketing -- Newspapers cannot encourage or be seen to encour- age false association between an adver- tiser and an event Promotions -- No use of content gained under the code for advertising, promo- tional, memorabilia, calendars, clothing or any other merchandising purposes Impact on small and medium-size newspapers This is not just a deal for the big boys. While the major publishers have been part of negotiating the deal, the ma- jor beneficiaries are local and regional publishers. Those who are signatories effectively sign up to the benefits and restrictions. Publishers must still apply for media accreditation. Code Snapshot To see the code, go to http://bit.ly/dtMHQU To become a signatory to the code, contact Mark Hollands firstname.lastname@example.org "We welcome the voluntary code and trust it signals the start of renewed co-operation between media and sports in Australia. News must be reported without being shackled by unnecessary restrictions . . . for fans here and across the world" "We started from the position that as publish- ers, print is just one channel for reaching our audience and restrictions on how we deliver independent journalism in other channels was not good for us, not good for fans and ultimate- ly not good for sport. We thank Communications Minister Stephen Conroy for getting all parties to the table, and Australia's leading sports organisations for this sensi- ble agreement" "News Ltd welcomes the sensible recognition by sporting bodies of the public's right to ac- cess news reporting of sporting events. This code means, sporting bodies can no longer stop media companies from reporting on events or dictating how the media reports, including what medium we can use. Like politics, bushfires, crimes and the antics of ce- lebrities, sport is news" "The signing of the code is a great relief -- not only for the sports-loving public but for the media whose job it is to report sport. We've all done it tough in terms of media access, particularly as they relate to the dis- play of news on web and mobile platforms. The restrictions and lock-outs seriously af- fected the media's capacity to report the news, and the public has been denied" MARC LEVINE Agence France-Presse MIKE VAN NIEKERK Fairfax Media CREINA CHAPMAN News Ltd TONY GILLIES AAP INDUSTRY OPINION SPORTS RIGHTS SPECIAL FEATURE Eyes of media world on local talks