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Indian IPL league manacles reporters

By Steven | April 10, 2008

You can film our 20/20 matches, but you can’t put pictures on the web. Oh, and we can use any pictures you take as we like, for free.

These are the reporting conditions proposedĀ for the IPL’s new cricket league. The UK’s Newspaper Publishers Association calls them “some of the most restrictive and burdensome access arrangements ever seen.”

Conditional access agreements aren’t new. Journalists are given information in exchange for promises of confidentiality. Celebrities may insist on vetting photos or stories as the price of an interview. Interviewees may insist that some topics are off-limits. Concert-goers are prevented from making recordings. PM Robert Muldoon once famously excluded Dominion reporters from his press conferences.

But such restrictions are becoming more serious. The reality is that those who control events or images or information have increasing incentives to exploit their legal rights to crank up the profits, ensure that the coverage is favourable, and punish those whose coverage they disapprove of, or who can’t afford to pay for access, or won’t accept the conditions.

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