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Panpa Bulletin : May 2007
16 PANPA Bulletin May 2007 news IRB restriction saga continues By Warren Page Hard talking between media rep- resentatives and International Rugby Board (IRB) officials visiting Wellington may have won a concession on television coverage of the Rugby World Cup in September. The news is not so good on other aspects of coverage restrictions the IRB is impos- ing on any media company that has not paid for full rights (see the PANPA Bulletin, March 2007). The IRB legal and communications of- ficials at the meeting indicated that they would receive positively a formal letter from TVNZ and Sky Television seeking a change to two minutes of digital cover- age from any Rugby World Cup match. Such coverage also includes immedi- ate after-match news conference or statements. The IRB originally set only 30sec digital coverage for New Zealand media organisa- tions without full rights -- the harshest treat- ment for any country. The Newspaper Publishers Association chief executive, Lincoln Gould, among those at the meeting, said the NPA was still to consider its formal position but the Paris- based World Association of Newspapers would likely be asked to negotiate some outstanding issues with the IRB. "WAN has considerable concern that the IRB accreditation arrangements for news companies are overly restrictive and affect freedom of the press," he said. "We are also faced with specific issues in relation to New Zealand, which are differ- ent from other countries. In particular the television people, non-rights holders under original arrangements, were restricted to 30sec digital coverage of any one event, including not only the game, but also the after match conference." Aside from the IRB officials' prepared- ness to receive positively a formal letter from the two television companies the meeting also clarified definition of the word "event", Gould said. "But it is quite clear the IRB see the opportunity created by the Internet as an op- portunity for them to maximise revenue for themselves," he said. "In that regard they are restricting media companies, including newspaper com- panies which are extending into internet, from streaming audio and video from not only a game but also from post-game news conferences." Gould cited the theoretical example of a Fairfax Media reporter being able to attend the post-match news conference but being unable to place any video or audio record- ing from that conference on Fairfax's online news site. The reporter could leave the conference and give an on-camera report for placement on the digital news site but without using any video or audio coverage from within the official conference. Qantas Media Awards go electronic in NZ By Warren Page The Qantas Media Awards process in New Zealand has gone electronic this year, among other changes. More than 700 journalists electronically entered their material from the newspaper archives or as a PDF direct to the awards office in Auckland. An expanded range of photographic entries was submitted on CDs. The 28 judges, including two in Australia, downloaded competition entries onto their computers and then consulted between themselves by email and by telephone. Contestants' use of electronic files rather than paper clippings and editors' sign-offs immediately raised the question of whether the electronic version entered was indeed the same as the published story. Qantas Media Awards director Barry Young in response to that question said, that the entrants' own news executives, and senior journalists acting as judges would be alert to false claims. The rules also exert a certain discipline, Young said. "We have in our entry criteria a paragraph that says: 'If at any time it is found that information supplied by the entrant is incorrect, or the conditions are not complied with, the organisers of the awards reserve the right to publicly withdraw any award made.' " Use of electronics and the other changes to the awards were established after much consultation with news organisations and others. The other changes include: • more recognition of newspaper and magazine websites and blogs. The judges visited the websites through February and March. • expansion of specialist photographic categories to include sport and also picture stories using up to 12 photographs to tell a story. The result has been a huge boost in the number of photographic entries. The Awards were presented at a ceremony in Wellington on May 18. NZ newspaper ad complaints stabilise By Warren Page Newspapers attracted only 62 or 12 per cent of complaints lodged with New Zealand's Advertising Standards Complaints Board last year. Advertisements in community newspapers attracted 19 complaints or 3.6 per cent, a big drop from the 32 received in 2005. Complaints about website advertisements continued to increase with 56 or 11 per cent of complaints received, up from the 37 received in the previous year. Television drew the largest number of com- plaints with 167 or 31 per cent of all complaints. That was showing a continuing downward trend from the 176 in 2005 and 185 the year before. The highest category of complaint was "mis- leading", with 207 complaints or 42 percent. The second highest category of complaint related to offensiveness and issues of social responsibil- ity, with 148 complaints or 30 per cent of those received. Liquor, with 24 complaints was the next highest category. Consumer products (87 complaints), food and beverages (49) and advocacy (43) were the three largest product categories complained about. Hmm . . . would William Webb Ellis approve?