The Back Page – The Olympics

Published on Society of Editor’s website on 16th November 2009:

How we can work together

Chaired by: Jim White, Columnist, Daily Telegraph
Jonathan Edwards, LOCOG
Andrew Moger, Director, News Media Coalition

A leading media executive today argued that journalists should stand up together and fight against the increasing amount of restrictions imposed by professional sports clubs.

Andrew Moger, executive director of News Media Coalition, claimed the media was being continuously prevented from doing its job.

He told the Society of Editors conference: “Stand up together to fight for the reporting rights you deserve.

“We need access terms for journalists, including being able to report content live, being able to publish outside of output windows and being able to design web pages as you like them.”

Mr Moger said that sports organisations such as football clubs are increasingly reluctant to allow freedom to the media for fear of upsetting sponsors and curtailing their own revenue streams.

He revealed that one sports club had told him that the reason the media could often not use specific pictures because their use was “based on news worthiness and not sponsor richness”.

Meanwhile, former Olympic gold medallist Jonathan Edwards told the Conference today that the London 2012 Olympic Games will create a legacy.

Edwards, a member of London Organising Committee of Olympic and Paralympic Games, presented the overview of progress on the building of the Olympic facilities and outlined the social, sporting and economic benefits of the games.

He said: “We never bid to host the games in 2012 just to put on a great show; it was to create a legacy.”

He spoke extensively about the social benefits the games will have on the “nation and regions.”

These included the Get Set Education Programme, which aims to provide young people in schools across the nation with the opportunity to be involved and benefit from the Olympics.

An example of this is the Lloyds TSB National Sports week, which took place early this year and enabled young people to take part in new sporting activities.

Edwards said: “London’s vision is to meet young people from all over the world.”