Reuters Tells Olympics: Reform Media Rules For The Twitter Age

Reuters editor-in-chief David Schlesinger has warned the International Olympics Committee Press Commission its media accreditation rules are outdated and must be modernised to allow audience members to report from the Games.

“The old means of control don’t work … “Fundamentally, the old media won’t control news dissemination in the future. And organisations can’t control access using old forms of accreditation any more,” he said in a speech, Press Gazette reports.

You need to deal with the almost impossible question of who is a journalist, and what does it mean to report.” Results from London 2012 will come first not from the big wires by from “Twitterers sitting in the stadium banging out the result in a tweet from their mobile phone. It means working with the mobile phone and digital camera and media-enabled public, and not against them.”

We think there’s more at issue here than Reuters’ acknowledgement that public social reporting is gaining acceptance. Along with other wires and newspaper websites over the last couple of years, it has continually run up against sport bodies’ increasing attempts at preserving reporting rules based on old, rigidly delineated rules. News orgs initially boycotted Rugby World Cup 2007 over limit to 20 online photos per half, and they boycotted Cricket Australia games over restrictions on live text reporting. Schlesinger said the IOC ordered him to delete a Beijing 2008 blog post because he had used a photo and was only accredited to write text.