New Delhi, Apr.4 : The Editors Guild of India has lodged a strong protest with Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president, Sharad Pawar, on the impossible conditions set down by the Indian Premier League for its coverage by newspaper and news photographers.
Accusing the BCCI and the IPL of imposing a gag on the media, the guild in a letter to Pawar and Lalit Modi, the Commissioner, IPL, said: "
The Constitution of India and prevalent socio political norms in our country have given complete freedom to the media to cover news events in every sphere including sports. Indian newspapers and news agencies, have been extensively covering sports events and the BCCI has a great tradition of providing access to journalists and photographers of the print media to stadia and other venues without any hindrance to their professional work."
"With deep regret and dismay, we are forced to point out that there are prohibitive conditions in the Terms and Conditions attached with the form, specifically paras (d) and (e), which deal with conditions of Accreditation for Print Media and Photographers These conditions are unprecedented and unacceptable to the Indian media, to say the least," it added. "Cricket and media have had a long and symbiotic relationship in our country. However, as the fourth estate and one of the strong pillars of Indian democracy, never before has the media been restrained from, or denied the right to cover an event of public interest within the country's boundaries. Not only this, but the conditions set by the IPL regarding coverage have appallingly sought to give a 'extremely limited' definition to the term "media," it said. It concluded by saying that: "In this age of multi-media, where most media companies are diversifying into various streams, the BCCI and its arm IPL cannot restrain or put conditions on them for dissemination of information and photographs via available streams."