Me­dia warns of boy­cott over BCCI stance

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

NEW DELHI

Ma­jor news agen­cies could boy­cott the se­ries be­tween In­dia and Eng­land in protest at re­stric­tions im­posed upon jour­nal­ists by the Board of Con­trol for Cricket in In­dia (BCCI).

The News Me­dia Coali­tion, which cam­paigns for me­dia free­dom around the world and rep­re­sents a large num­ber of me­dia or­gan­i­sa­tions, has is­sued a state­ment say­ing it "de­plored" a de­ci­sion by the In­dia board to bar photo agen­cies such as Getty Im­ages and Ac­tion Im­ages. The BCCI have said they will sup­ply their own im­ages of the se­ries, which starts with the first Test in Ahmed­abad on Thurs­day, to be down­loaded from their web­site.

"The NMC, an in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tion which de­fends the abil­ity of the press to in­form the pub­lic with in­de­pen­dent news ma­te­rial, has urged the BCCI to with­draw the pol­icy which will hit me­dia cov­er­age, fans and the spon­sors in­volved with teams," a NMC state­ment read. "Getty Im­ages and Ac­tion Im­ages and In­dian pho­to­graphic agen­cies have been barred by the BCCI for this lat­est cricket se­ries." Agence France-Presse (AFP) an­nounced they would sus­pend text and photo cov­er­age un­less the mat­ter could be re­solved ahead of the se­ries. AFP stated that it "strongly be­lieves the right of the me­dia to cover news events with­out un­due re­stric­tions should be pro­tected", adding it hoped "the BCCI will lift its pol­icy so news me­dia and fans can continue to get in­de­pen­dent cov­er­age".

Reuters and the As­so­ci­ated Press also said they may be forced to sus­pend cov­er­age. Other news or­gan­i­sa­tions are con­sid­er­ing their po­si­tions, fear­ing that the BCCI's pol­icy may set a prece­dent. "The BCCI has of­fered to make its own photo- graphs avail­able but this is no sub­sti­tute for in­de­pen­dent and ob­jec­tive press phot o g r a p h y, " An­drew Moger, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of NMC, said. "De­spite nu­mer­ous op­por­tu­ni­ties, the BCCI has yet to ex­plain why it is dis­crim­i­nat­ing against pho­to­graphic agen­cies or in­deed whether other news sec­tors will be tar­geted. We de­plore this move and in­sult to or­gan­i­sa­tions which have sup­ported cricket world­wide." BCCI me­dia man­ager Deven­dra Prab­hude­sai said the board was not seek­ing to bar news agen­cies. "The BCCI has a pol­icy not to ac­credit photo syn­di­ca­tion ser­vices like Getty Im­ages and other sim­i­lar for­eign and do­mes­tic agen­cies," he told AFP.

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