Australian media, sports bodies end protracted dispute over reporting restrictions

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Melbourne, Mar 30(ANI): Australian sport and media organisations have signed an agreement to end a long-running dispute over restrictions imposed on the reporting of sporting events.

Major sporting bodies, including the Australian Football League, National Rugby League, Australian Rugby Union and Cricket Australia met with leading media organisations to approve the agreement, which highlights the rights and obligations of sporting and media organisations regarding access to and reporting of sports.

A committee has also been formed to administer the code.

Apart form the media and sporting bodies, the Australian Government and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission were involved in drafting the code.

Talking about the agreement, the Code Administration Committee chairman Kevan Gosper said the signing of the code by both sides was a "very good outcome".

"Positions have been properly defined and in the process defined in such a way where the media is able to clearly sustain its freedom to send news and information and pictures out to the public, and the sporting organisation recognise this is in their interest," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Gosper, as saying.

"There's been a clear definition of what is commercial and what is news," he added.

Meanwhile, the editor-in-chief at AAP, Tony Gillies, said that the signing had come as a great relief for both those who watched sport and the media.

"The restrictions and the lock-outs that have occurred in recent years seriously affected the media's capacity to report the news and of course we believe the public was denied at times," Gillies said.

"I have certainly understood the sporting bodies' need to generate extra revenue but these things should never come at the expense of a fair and open media," he added. (ANI)

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