D-G Awaits SEC's Revised Media Policies

by Mark Hengel  on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2009 10:53 am  

The Southeastern Conference is expected to release revisions regarding its controversial media credentialing policies this morning. Several newspapers that cover SEC sporting events, including Little Rock's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, have told the conference they cannot sign a credentialing policy that restricts reporters who are covering games.

Editor & Publisher, a publishing trade magazine, reported Aug. 24 that Gannett and the Associated Press refused to go along with the SEC's new policies. The policies seek to restrict newspapers from using video or audio game highlights on Web sites, restrict publications from using photographs online for anything other than regular news coverage, and grant universities licensing privileges to newspaper images, among others policies.

Early in the process, the Democrat-Gazette wrote a letter to the SEC expressing the paper's displeasure, David Bailey, the paper's managing editor, said. The SEC's new credentialing policies were released Aug. 14.

The letter "basically said that we found their policy unfortunate, and politely, we said, 'Intolerable,'" Bailey said.

Bailey has been involved in talks with the sports conference through his membership in the Associated Press Managing Editors. Bailey said the SEC is expected to release revised policies this morning, but he had not seen them yet.

"I don't know whether they will satisfy us or not," he said about his expectations.

Rusty Turner, editor of The Morning News of Springdale, declined to comment about whether his newspaper was also refusing to sign the SEC's new credentialing policies, referring all questions to the attorney for Stephens Media Group of Las Vegas, Mark Hinueber. Hinueber could not be reached for comment.




Please read our comments policy before commenting.