With the London 2012 Olympics now less than two months away the British Olympics Association has responded to a regional press campaign and allocated 39 press passes to local papers.
In the initial round of allocations, only a handful of journalists from the UK regional press were allocated passes to the games – whereas more than 400 UK national press journalists are expected to attend.
The about-turn follows behind the scenes lobbying from the Newspaper Society.
Some 20,000 journalists from around the world are expected to cover London 2012 – including around 6,000 for print titles.
According to the Newspaper Society, the regional press pool providing coverage of London 2012 will comprise 22 reporters, seven photographers and 10 ‘venue-specific’reporter passes.
As revealed by Press Gazette last year, the BOA had initially granted just a handful of local newspaper press passes including just one for the whole of London, with local newspapers expected to get their coverage from the Press Association.
The NS said copy and pictures will be shared between regional titles ‘in a system similar to the Royal Rota which the press industry uses to cover Royal visits”.
One reporter accreditation has been allocated to each of the following:
- Archant London
- Bristol Evening Post
- Cambridge News
- Coleraine Times
- Eastern Daily Press (plus one photographer pass)
- Express and Star
- KM Group (plus one photographer pass)
- Liverpool Echo
- Manchester Evening News (plus one photographer pass)
- Media Wales (plus one photographer pass)
- North West Evening Mail
- Northern Echo (plus one photographer pass)
- Nottingham Post
- Oxford Mail (plus one photographer pass)
- South London Press
- The Argus, Brighton
- The Herald, Plymouth (plus one photographer pass)
- The Journal, Newcastle
- The News, Portsmouth
- The Star, Sheffield
- Trinity Mirror Southern
- Yorkshire Post
The following ‘venue specific’ passes have also been allocated::
- Basildon Echo (Hadleigh Farm; mountain bike)
- Baylis Media (Eton Dorney; rowing, canoe sprint)
- East Surrey and Sussex Newspapers (Weymouth; sailing)
- Fulham & Hammersmith Chronicle (Hyde Park, The Mall, Earls Court; volleyball, athletics – road events, cycling – road, marathon swimming, triathlon; and Lord’s Cricket Ground, Horse Guards Parade; archery, beach volleyball)
- Herts and Essex Newspapers (Lee Valley White Water Centre; canoe slalom)
- Lewisham, Greenwich & Bexley Mercury (North Greenwich Arena, Royal Artillery Barracks, Greenwich Park; basketball, gymnastics – artistic, gymnastics – trampoline, shooting, equestrian, modern pentathlon)
- Richmond & Twickenham Times (Hampton Court Palace; cycling – time trial)
- Waltham Forest Guardian (Olympic Park; BMX cycling – track, swimming, water polo, handball, hockey, athletics, basketball)
- Wembley & Brent Times (Wembley Arena, Wembley Stadium; football, gymnastics – rhythmic, badminton)
- Wimbledon Guardian (Wimbledon; tennis)
There are also a number of facilities for non-accredited media such as London Media Centre, Team GB House, the BOA’s press conference room in Westfield, and the Weymouth & Portland Non-Accredited Media Centre.
Around 410 press passes had initially been granted for print media to cover the 2012 Games, not including broadcasters or the Press Association, which has a further 90 passes as the host agency.