Both News Corp and Fairfax Media will reportedly boycott any reporting from the coming Rugby World Cup in England and Wales in September and October.
The Australian has this morning reported that the normally acrimonious news organisations are in full agreement of an official boycott for what they believe are draconian media reporting regulations set down for the month-long event.
The article says neither news service will send journalists or photographers in any official capacity. Although it is believed both will probably use the services of news wires or freelancers to report the scores to readers.
It is believed the sticking point is the governing body, World Rugby, who has demanded too many restrictions on journalists in exchange for giving them media accreditation to games, press conferences and training grounds.
Other nations’ media oragnisations, including the hosts in the UK, have also allegedly complained about the restrictive controls. However, no other outlets have yet chosen to boycott the event.
Speaking in The Australian today, News’ editorial director Campbell Reid said: “You can’t agree to have the Rugby World Cup lanyard around your neck and then surrender your rights and obligations as a reporter and photographer.
“I would like to say we’ve had open and frank conversations with the Australian rugby officials and the sport in Australia needs all the coverage it can possibly get.’’
Reid believed that the Cup’s organisers did not understand the difficulties Australian news services had in promoting rugby over more popular sports such as the AFL and NRL. However, Reid said News Corp would still cover the event; however, to what extent he was unclear. He did say the coverage could possibly be “better” because news outlets would “have to think outside the square”.