AP, Reuters shun Cricket Australia matches

Second season of cricket events in Australia marred

SYDNEY -- Reuters and the Associated Press announced Tuesday that they will continue to boycott covering Cricket Australia matches for a second season in a dispute over press accreditation and media rights.

"We are very disappointed that, yet again, Cricket Australia is not prepared to facilitate full and impartial news coverage of their upcoming season," said Christoph Pleitgen, global head of news agency for Thomson Reuters.

"We remain prepared to enter into discussions and negotiations to secure acceptable accreditation terms for our journalists and we sincerely hope that we will be able to bring news of cricket from Australia to viewers and readers all over the world but, at present, we are unable to accept the limitations that Cricket Australia is imposing," Pleitgen said in a statement.

"Once again, Cricket Australia is standing in the way of full and impartial coverage of a major sports event despite a growing consensus, even in Australia, that sport belongs to the public and not to governing bodies," said Simon Haydon, the AP's international sports editor.

An Australian Senate committee investigation into the dispute recommended that the news agencies and Cricket Australia come to an agreement lest the government be forced to impose a resolution. "The committee recommends that stakeholders negotiate media access to sporting events based on the principle that all bona fide journalists, including photojournalists and news agencies, should be able to access sporting events regardless of their technological platform," the committee's report said.

According to the AP, Cricket Australia has demanded the right to see the agencies' lists of clients and to veto any they decide should not receive pictures and text coverage of the tests. It also wants to impose limits on the number and frequency of text and photo updates for Web sites and on the duration of images in photographic archives.

Peter Young, Cricket Australia's manager for Public Affairs, said Australian cricket fans would have access to the coverage provided by domestic media that accepted side agreements following negotiations on terms and conditions for accreditation for this season.