Editor’s Note: The Ohio High School Athletic Association tells the ONA that no changes in media requirements are in place for the 2013-2014 school year. The most restrictive OHSAA rule involves a ban on live video or live video web-casting of Friday night football games during the regular season. Click here for more information on OHSAA media rules.
From the ASNE Newsletter
It’s that time again. The start of a new academic year brings new credentialing requirements for reporters and publications to meet if they’re going to cover scholastic sports. This has been a major Freedom of Information focus for ASNE over the past year. We are continuing to work with several major news organizations to ensure that members are aware of unreasonable credentials and individual credentialing restrictions issued by sports teams, leagues and governing bodies, as well as entertainment artists and venues around the country.
We’re already seeing some problematic credentials for the 2013-14 academic year, many of which are recycled restrictions imposed by other organizations in the past.
A few weeks ago, we received a copy of the New Mexico Activities Association’s Multimedia Policies Manual, the rules for reporters covering high school sports in New Mexico. This contained several unduly restrictive provisions similar to those we’ve seen and talked about in the past.
Some requirements include that all media outlets requesting credentials be an LLC or registered to do business in New Mexico. Another example is restrictions on reselling certain photos beyond publication. There are the pro-style time limitations on audio and video content used in post-game reports, which are three minutes for team sports and 15 minutes for individual sports, and it must be taken down within seven days. There is also an absolute prohibition on using highlights from two consecutive plays in a post-game report, which begs the question: What is a “play” in soccer?
But there’s also a new one, which is an absolute prohibition on radio commentators making comments about game officials or coaching strategies.
We’ve also seen the new credentials from the Rhode Island Interscholastic League, which has another common claim on ownership of the copyright in “all broadcasts (live and delayed), films, videotapes, web casts, other electronic reproductions and recordings of events telecast pursuant to agreement.”
Note that ASNE isn’t passing judgment or giving advice on whether you should sign these agreements. That’s a decision that, for many reasons, only you can make. We are trying to raise awareness of how these restrictions affect your rights as reporters and provide you with information to make an informed decision. One way we can do that is to make this a two-way street or, better yet, a conversation.
Please let us know if you have seen any interesting provisions in credentials you’ve been asked to sign before covering your local high school, college or pro team or a local arts or entertainment event.