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News Orgs Object to New Big Ten Press Guidelines

A half-dozen news organizations have called for a meeting with the commissioner of the Big Ten conference over newly issued press credentials, saying they impede their ability to cover the sport and that the conference itself will suffer from the overly restrictive terms.

In a letter to Commissioner James Delaney, Radio-Television News Directors Association chairman Stacey Woelfel, joined by the heads of news and sports editors associations, student reporters and others, say the credentials' restrictions disserve the audience and prevent them from having access to "high quality news coverage" of college sports.

Among the provisions RTNDA has problems with are what it says is an apparent "absolute ban" on secondary use of content "in any format for any purpose"; a "very strict" ban on the use of game footage video by nonbroadcast media; limiting broadcast use to two minutes of game video--no audio--and only in bona fide news programming within a week of the event.

The journalists are also troubled by a provision that makes any works created in conjunction with the coverage the property of the conference.

"By creating such restrictive credentials for covering events," said Woelfel in a statement, "the Big Ten conference and its member institutions are creating a situation where the fans and the conference itself will suffer."

"We propose an open and frank discussion of the entire credentialing document," the letter said.