Reporting of sports news in the digital media environment
The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, caused the voluntary Code of Practice for Sports News Reporting to be developed due to concerns that a breakdown in communications between media and sporting organisation could adversely affect the Australian public’s traditional access to news reporting about sporting events, including on television.
Senator Conroy referred the reporting of sports news to the Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communications and the Arts, which tabled a report on 14 May 2009. He subsequently asked Mr Graeme Samuel, chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, to hold round-table meetings with the major media and sporting organisations. This process resulted in the establishment of the code on 30 March 2010.
Code of Practice for Sports News Reporting
The Voluntary Code of Practice for Sports News Reporting (the Code) was established by agreement between major news organisations and sports administrations on 30 March 2010.
The object of the code is to ensure that legitimate news organisations are able to access sporting events in Australia, regardless of publishing platform, for the purpose of gathering news content for sports reporting. The code also outlines the rights and responsibilities of sporting and media organisations, covering access to sporting venues and the collection and reporting of sports news in the forms of text, photography and data.
- Code of Practice Sports News Reporting (PDF, 83.3 KB)
- Media Release: Code of Practice for Sports News Reporting
A Code Administration Committee manages any issues that may arise under the code. The committee chair is Mr Kevan Gosper from the International Olympic Committee. The committee secretary is Mr Mark Hollands from the Newspaper Publishers Association.
Members of the committee are listed on the Code of Practice website. Sports and media organisations can become signatories to the code by signing an agreement available from the committee secretary.
The committee meets twice a year. It reports to the Australian Government on its operations each year.
The committee’s 2010 annual report was released in March 2011. It notes that no disputes occurred in the code’s first year of operation and that simplified accreditation processes were achieved.
Senate Inquiry into the Reporting of Sports News and the Emergence of Digital Media
The Senate Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee’s Inquiry into the Reporting of Sports News and the Emergence of Digital Media was announced on 12 February 2009. The inquiry considered the issues causing dispute between sporting organisations and media groups, including accreditation process for journalists and the balance of commercial and public interests in the reporting and broadcasting of sports news.
The committee tabled its report on 14 May 2009 and made five recommendations.
- Senate Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee Inquiry into the Reporting of Sports News and the Emergence of Digital Media (PDF, 268 KB)
Government response to senate inquiry
The government convened a series of round table discussions between major news agencies, print media and sporting organisations in developing its response to the Senate inquiry. These discussions supported negotiations on the committee’s recommendation that stakeholders agree on access to sporting events regardless of their technological platform.
The government response was tabled in parliament on 25 February 2011.