SJA: Football accreditation deal would make the sports journalist 'an unpaid PR'

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The Sports Journalists’ Association has warned that journalists could become “unpaid PRs” if the top football leagues succeed in their bid to impose strict new accreditation rules governing access to games.

With news organisations and the football authorities still locked in talks on the eve of the kick off of the Premier League football season, SJA chairman Barry Newcombe warned: “It is important to get the right agreement in this case, because if we do not, what happens in football coverage this weekend may soon extend to rugby, cricket and other sports. In which case, the role of the sports journalist will change forever from being an objective observer, to becoming an unpaid PR.”

Meetings are understood to be planned for today but a well-placed source said “there is no immediate prospect of a deal”.

More detail on why the new accreditation agreement amounts to an attack on press freedom here.

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