The number of print journalists accredited to cover the World Cup finals in Brazil is another reflection on the hard times biting our industry.
So far, 2,033 media badges have been issued to the foreign written press covering the tournament, well down from the 2,600 issued in South Africa four years ago.
FIFA’s head of media operations, Alain Leiblang, feels that the foreign numbers will rise with further accredited journalists yet to arrive to cover the later stages, but the trend is a worrying one as newspapers and magazines worldwide seek to rationalize staffing and evolve further into internet publishing.
Leiblang feels that when sports desks realised how much it was going to cost to send journalists to Brazil, they had second thoughts and cancelled a number of approved accreditations.
Broadcast media for the Brazil World Cup greatly outnumber the print sector, with 3,048 for host broadcasters and technicians, and 10,044 in all for television and radio staffing.
There are also 593 print journalists from Brazil – pretty much standard for a host country, although the quality of their local knowledge is open to question after two Brazilian newspapers had to issue apologies for publishing an interview that was done by someone who just looks like the Brazil coach, Luis Felipe Scolari, and happened to be sitting next to a reporter on a plane.
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