The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum have joined the protest against Indian cricket authorities, who have locked out reputable photographic news agencies from the high-profile India-England cricket series that began today.
"It is simply unacceptable for the Board of Cricket Control for India (BCCI) to take it upon themselves to refuse accreditation to legitimate news agencies, and to tear down the traditional role that independent news media plays in bringing sport news to the public," said Jacob Mathew, President of WAN-IFRA and Executive Editor and Publisher of the Malayala Manorama Group of Publications (Kerala) was quoted as saying by a media release.
"Photos are an integral part of news coverage. Because of this unfortunate decision, photographic coverage will be disrupted and cricket fans are being deprived of their right to choose their news sources," he said.
"These restrictions are a serious challenge to media freedom."
The BCCI has locked out international photo agencies, including Getty Images, Action Images and two Indian photo agencies. The decision to refuse accreditation led to a decision by Thomson Reuters, Agence France-Presse and Associated Press to suspend reports about the tour as well as pictures. The Press Association, national agency in the United Kingdom, is also not supplying photographs. The Society of Editors in the United Kingdom has also protested against the move.
WAN-IFRA, based in Paris, France, and Darmstadt, Germany, with subsidiaries in Singapore, India, Spain, France and Sweden is the global organisation of the world's newspapers and news publishers.
It represents more than 18,000 publications 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries. Its core mission is to defend and promote press freedom, quality journalism and editorial integrity and the development of prosperous businesses.
WAN-IFRA is a member of the News Media Coalition, an international organisation and network focusing on the specific threat to legitimate editorial, press and publishing freedoms from the controls placed on news-gathering and news-distribution practices by the organisers of major events of public interest.