The Sports Journalists’ Association warmly welcomes the decision of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games organisers to slash their charges for wi-fi access for accredited media at next month’s event.
As well as a reduction in the cost of accessing the wi-fi service, Glasgow 2014 is offering up to 200 free accounts to be made available to the most financially-in-need accredited media organisations. All nominations for the free access will be presented to Scottish Government and the Commonwealth Games Federation, who will ultimately decide who receives the free accounts in what will be a full and fair process.
The Glasgow 2014 organisers have halved the cost of the wi-fi access, to £47.50 plus VAT, and they will now allow each wi-fi account to be used on two devices simultaneously to further assist accredited media in their operations.
“Those media organisations who have already purchased accounts at the rate first projected will be refunded the difference by Glasgow 2014’s Rate Card team,” the organisers said.
Around 1,500 journalists are accredited to cover Glasgow 2014, which begins on July 23.
The SJA regards the organisers’ announcement as a significant breakthrough. At the London Olympics in 2012, journalists were charged £150 each to access the Games info system and have access to the (not always entirely reliable) Games wi-fi at venues and press centres.
“Our position is clear,” David Walker, the chairman of the SJA, said. “Organisers of major sports events should not try to use accredited media as a means of subsidising their operating costs. Our members, through their newspapers, and websites, their images that get wired around the world, and from broadcasting for non-rights-holding radio and television stations, will be publicising the sports event, and therefore the event’s sponsors.
“The event organisers ought to provide the media with the facilities to enable them to do their job.
“We warmly welcome Glasgow 2014’s decision, even at this late stage, to reduce the cost of wi-fi for our members. Offering free access to those who can least afford it is an excellent innovation. We hope that other organisers of international sports events in Britain follow Glasgow’s lead and ensure that wi-fi access is provided free-of-charge to all working journalists.”
David Grevemberg, Glasgow 2014’s chief executive, said: “We welcomed the opportunity to work together with accredited media organisations to ensure the right provision for those covering the Games.
“Reduced wi-fi costs and a number of free accounts available to those media organisations in most financial need will benefit Glasgow 2014 and allow the story of the Games to be told more widely. Fast and reliable high-speed cable and wi-fi communications, together with full technical support for what will be the most comprehensive service provided at any Commonwealth Games to date, does have a cost, however, so some charges will remain.”
- SJA members wishing to be considered for a free wi-fi account at Glasgow 2014 need to make an application by email to email@example.com by June 23. Those chosen to receive a free wi-fi account will be contacted directly by the organising committee.
- Accredited media who have not yet ordered their wi-fi account will be able to purchase at the Main Press Centre Rate Card desk on arrival at the Games at the £47.50 + VAT rate.
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