International news agencies will be forced to skip this year’s Indian Premier League unless there is a change to the accreditation norms which govern journalist and photographer attendance.
News Media Coalition, an international body that monitors specific threat to editorial operations from excessive controls imposed by sporting events, said in a statement that IPL coverage would be affected unless there is a change to the media rules.
“Without changes international news agencies are bound to consider not attending this year’s event to provide editorial coverage. Newspapers in India and abroad are also known to be reconsidering their plans for coverage based on these arrangements,” NMC said.
“As many publishers the world over rely upon news agencies for news material the stance taken by the IPL can only serve to limit news and free promotional value of their event and brand,” it added.
The NMC said if the agencies are forced to shun the event, it would undo all the goodwill fostered during the second edition of the mega-event.
“The NMC had previously called upon the IPL to find a solution to widespread press concerns about coverage of the 2010 tournament due to begin on March 12,” it said.
“The NMC reached a compromise agreement with the IPL for last year’s tournament and assisted in fostering productive relations between the IPL promoters and the news media.
“If media organisations feel forced not to attend this year it would set back the positive goodwill and relationship which characterised the event last year,” NMC added.
The NMC urged the IPL to chalk out a compromise formula, reconsidering some aspects of the terms and conditions of journalist attendance during the event.
“We urge the IPL executive to engage in meaningful discussions to identify a solution in this area of press freedom concern,” it said.
“News organisations want the IPL to remove aspects of the terms and conditions of journalist attendance which seek to define news platforms that are acceptable to the IPL in terms of their ownership and/or the scope of their business operations. Other concerns relate to the imposition of updating quotas, which also need reconsideration,” it added.