Freelancers snookered by PA Sport decision

The Snooker Writers’ Association has launched a campaign against PA Sport’s controversial decision to drop its regular freelance stringers and instead depend on the sport’s world governing body’s website as a source for its stories.

Instead of its usual freelance contributors, PA Sport has said it will supply its reports by using staff reporters and World Snooker’s own website for its reports.

The news and information provider said that from December 4 it will primarily use quotes and statistics from World Snooker reports of matches – although some reporting will also be included.

The Snooker Writers’ Association says it is “alarmed, if not dismayed” by PA’s new policy.

In a letter to World Snooker, the SWA chairman George Riley said: “Would PA take England soccer coverage from the official FA website? No other sports would even entertain this idea.

“ is a corporate website that does not give an accurate account of what happens at tournaments. Any controversy is basically played down or even covered up.”

SJA member Clive Everton, a Guardian stringer and BBC snooker commentator whose company Everton’s News Agency has supplied snooker copy to PA for 44 years, said: “PA’s reliance on the governing body’s version of events will lead to it giving the public, through its clients, a sanitised and uncontroversial view of the snooker world.”

Last year PA accepted freelance copy on every World Professional Snooker tournament except for the World Championship, when it sent a reporter.

World Snooker said that PA’s decision “came out of the blue and was a complete surprise”.

PA insisted to that the “decision to move coverage of snooker in-house” and to use World Snooker “as a source of information … does not affect our impartiality”. The news agency added that it will order freelance copy if a big story breaks at a snooker tournament.

Join the SJA today – click here for details and membership application form