Editors Guild rejects IPL conditions for media coverage of cricket

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New Delhi, Apr 4 (UNI) The Editors Guild of India today shot off a letter to BCCI president Sharad Pawar, and Commissioner, Indian Premier League for Cricket (IPL) Lalit Modi, protesting strongly against the ''impossible conditions'' put on newspapers and news photographers for the coverage of the first edition of the League.

The terms and conditions provided in the media accreditation were strange, unprecedented and would gag the media, the Guild said.

The conditions stipulate, among other things, that the media cannot use any image or photograph in any other publication, even if it belongs to the same organisation.

Indirectly, it is making a claim on the images taken by the media organisations as a property of the IPL, which is a ridiculous claim, unheard of in the annals of free India's media tradition, the Guild said.

It also objected to the rules that stipulate that still images taken by accredited photographers cannot be used for online editions of the newspapers for which the photographers may be working, saying the stipulation was extremely untenable in an age when most newspapers were available to the online readers.

The rules even demand that the media organisations have to upload, at their own cost, the images obtained by them on the official website of the IPL, which can use these images without any payment to the newspapers or news agencies. This, the Guild said, would destroy the exclusiviity and individuality of the work done by a photographer for a newspaper or news agency.

''We condemn these conditions brought in for accreditation to the IPL and refuse to accept such restraints.'' 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", the Guild added.

News agencies, which supply reports and photographers at a very nominal subscription fee to newspapers, most of which are small and published in regional languages - have had the access to all stadia so that their reports and images would reach the readers of newspapers in all nooks and corners of a vast country like India.

Agencies like the Press Trust of India and United News of India have been the lifeline for newspapers published in different parts of India, the Guild said.

''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,'' it said.

''To ensure that BCCI and its strong partnership with Indian media continues, we urge you to use your good offices to remove all unnecessary and impossible conditions so that the innovative Indian Premier League's inaugural edition gets the extensive and free coverage that it deserves,'' the Editors Guild said.

The letter was signed by Mr Alok Mehta, President and Editor, Outlook Sapthahik and Mr Sachchidanad Murthy, General Secretray and Resident Editor, Malayala Manorama and The Week.


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