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New credential restrictions block freedom of press


It's that time again. The start of a new academic year brings new credentialing requirements for reporters and publications to meet if they're going to cover scholastic sports. This has been a major Freedom of Information focus for ASNE over the past year. We are continuing to work with several major news organizations to ensure that members are aware of unreasonable credentials and individual credentialing restrictions issued by sports teams, leagues and governing bodies, as well as entertainment artists and venues around the country. 

ASNE opposes restrictive sports credentialing

We have joined nine other organizations in a letter to NCAA President Mark Emmert voicing our opposition to new credentialing provisions.

Update on sports credentialing

A few weeks ago, we mentioned that the NCAA's Southeastern Conference had issued its credentials for the 2012-13 school year that will govern the media's access to and use of information from SEC sporting events (though we all know the main focus is on coverage of the vaunted football programs). Though we noted some questionable provisions, we are unaware of any major conflicts between the conference/schools/teams and media entities.

The same appears to be true with regard to the Big Ten, which also issued credentials at the beginning of the season. Standing alone, the one-page credentials aren't terrible. There are a few problematic provisions (for instance, the credentials allow use of no more than 2 minutes of video, prohibit the posting of any video to Internet websites, and prohibit any secondary use of just about any content). But most of the document is rather open ended, leaving room for significant access and coverage; this, however, could be walked back by a reference to the general “Big Ten Media Credential Criteria and Policies,” a document that has not been widely distributed or otherwise made available.

The sports credentialing season has begun - what you need to know

The credentials are rather confusing (and somewhat poorly written; to wit: the use of the phrase "Internet print news coverage"), with several provisions appearing to conflict with each other.

ASNE, other organizations protest Big Ten credential requirements

The letter proposes a direct discussion between representatives of the media organizations and the Big Ten Conference in order to maintain a “relationship that has proven so mutually beneficial since 1896.”

UPDATE: New SEC credential policy

The Southeastern Conference, upon the urging of ASNE, APME and APSE, has significantly revised its sports credential policy in several areas.

Help with restrictive sports credentialing

We wanted to let you know of two resources ASNE is offering to assist members who are facing unduly restrictive sports credentials.

Common restrictions in sports credentials

A list of recurring issues that appear in sports credentials. Reviewing this list should assist you in identifying troublesome provisions when you are presented with new credentials to cover a league or team.

NFL defends use of vest logos

In a letter received Aug. 6, Greg Aiello, vice president/public relations for the National Football League, defends their position on the use of logos on photographers' vests required for credentialing.

Letter to Canon USA CEO on NFL credentialing requirement

ASNE president Gilbert Bailon has written to the president and CEO of Canon U.S.A., Inc., expressing our concerns over the credentialing requirement by the National Football League that news photographers wear vests displaying advertising logos, including Canons. We are requesting that Canon reconsider their decision to thave their logo displayed on the vest.

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