Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Media boycotts Australian cricket
Mark M. Hancock / © The Beaumont Enterprise
Crickets fry in a skillet during Free Family Arts Day at the Art Museum of Southeast Texas in Beaumont on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2007.
Major media outlets including Associated Press (AP), Reuters, Agence France-Press (AFP) and many Australian newspapers are joining forces to boycott a cricket Test match between Australia and Sri Lanka. Cricket Australia (CA) is attempting to manage rights and demand payment for media access credentials.
For once, the organizations are doing this the right way. They won't cover any press conferences or any other organization-staged events. Appropriately, the history books won't include this event.
This is quite possibly the single worst attempt at a rights grab I've seen. Not only does this organization want to be paid for images shot by various media professionals, they want to claim intellectual property rights. I suppose they'd also like the managing editors to carry their babies, but they can't figure out how to legally word it yet.
If the CA holds a press conference in the woods ... who cares?
Cricket means as much to Americans as the Super Bowl means folks in Tajikistan, but both are important to some sports fans. With this said, it's basically meaningless to cover either event without use.
There won't be any less newspapers sold. There might be a few less clicks on news sites, but the entire news industry isn't going to collapse because we didn't cover a freaking cricket match.
If anything, those same shooters can put their talent and skill to work with fine local atheletes, who don't typically get enough page space. The latter could sell one additional paper and generate a few clicks as well.
Although it's not discussed often (if ever), at the heart of this mess is the core mission of this job. PJs and sports shooters get in this low-paying biz to have our work seen by others. If we must PAY to have our work stolen by a sports management company, it's not worth it.
PJs make images because we love the work itself. If others are greedy enough to want to steal our labor and limit where and when we can display our work, it's nothing I want to shoot. There's plenty of other stories that need my attention.
There is no acceptable access contract. We don't need managed sports or entertainment to make images. We make the images.
If self-serving, greedy people would stop trying to limit who sees the images we make, it would be a much better world.
Enough for now,