Sri Lanka test news coverage threatened over Cricket Australia restrictions

SYDNEY, Nov 6, 2007 (AFP) – Global news agencies said Tuesday they may be forced to cancel coverage of the first Australia-Sri Lanka cricket Test after organisers imposed unprecedented restrictions on the media. “The broader global debate is probably not going to be resolved for several years, as all parties increasingly understand what this means for us in the new media world,” he said. They said Cricket Australia’s (CA) demand that they surrender all intellectual property rights to their photo coverage of the game raised grave concerns about press freedom, leaving them unable to report on the Test.

The row means the main agencies — Agence France-Presse, Reuters and Associated Press — cannot cover the Test beginning in Brisbane Thursday, restricting the ability of cricket fans around the world to follow the match.

The agencies are part of a News Media Coalition (NMC) of more than 30 media organisations – including Getty Images, Australia’s News Limited, Fairfax Media and Australian Associated Press – set up to oppose CA’s stance.

The NMC said in a statement that the coalition “represents the needs of the broad news media, both newspapers and news agencies, in trying to bring topical news to the p