Whilst broadcasting of the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast has offered opportunities for work experience for journalism students, some news corporations are boycotting the event due to unfair media coverage rights
Whilst broadcasting of the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast has offered opportunities for work experience for journalism students, some news corporations are boycotting the event due to unfair media coverage rights.
NEP Host Broadcast has given students at Griffith University and Griffith Film School the chance to gain experience in journalism and media production by offering assistant roles during the 2018 Games.
A variety of roles will be on offer between April 4-15, 2018 including runners, loggers, camera assistants, camera control unit operators and technical broadcast assistants.
Eight journalism students will also work as broadcast information assistants at the International Broadcast Centre, part of the Main Media Centre, and the Games’ competition venues.
Students have already begun working with NEP in the Games’ run up, both at the World Press Briefing and the Chefs de Mission seminar held in April and October 2017 respectively.
The project hopes to provide integrated learning and practical training on event organization and media within the international multi-sport event.
Participants have expressed their excitement in gaining industry experience and opportunities to network that could kick-start careers in journalism.
These opportunities come in contrast, however, to complaints by News Corp and Fairfax Media on the Games’ coverage restrictions.
They have urged Commonwealth Games organisers to relax restrictions on coverage, including video of the events, and allow news companies to operate under usual Australian copyright laws.
In 2014, Seven Network’s Chief Executive Tim Worner secured a deal with the Commonwealth Games Federation for media rights to free-to-air, subscription, online, radio, mobile, social media and HbbTV.
To protect the TV rights bought by Seven, restrictions stipulate that publishers have to wait 30 minutes before broadcasting any content from a news conference.
Digital news bulletins must also be limited to three 60 second segments a day.
Fairfax and News Corp have independently boycotted the 2018 event and have said they will provide coverage outside the Games’ traditional media framework.
They condemned the restrictions as out-of-step with modern digital news reporting, in particular the limited use of video in news reports.
News Media Coalition, parent company of the two global news agencies, as well as Reuters, AFP and Associated Press, called on the Games’ rights owners and stakeholders to recognise the legitimate needs and value of the news media sector.
News Corp’s tabloid, the Gold Coast Bulletin, has nevertheless maintained its role as Official Supporter, newspaper and news site for the Games.
Held in April 2018, the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games will be the largest sporting event to be held in Australia for ten years and will be a major media event for outlets covering more than 6,600 athletes and team officials from 70 Commonwealth nations.
Seven’s Worner said: “We don’t just have television rights, we have all rights and by 2018 the way we consume those events is going to be completely revolutionised.”
A spokesperson for News Corp said: “In essence, our news services – with an audience of 16 million Australians a month – are unable to provide the level of coverage that a spectator in the stands with a smart phone would be able to do.
“We intend to cover the Games as comprehensively as ever and deliver high impact reporting across our print and digital platforms.
“We have an absolute obligation to our readers and audiences to do so.”