SJA Notebook: Tour to be covered remotely, radio station closed and journalism award scrapped

Catch up with our regular column of sports journalists making the news …

And don’t forget the deadline for the British Sports Journalism Awards is January 10th – enter here.

Cricket Writers’ concern at lack of press access

There will be no representatives of the British written media when England start their Test series in Sri Lanka this Thursday.

Sri Lanka Cricket took the decision to close accreditation to all local and international media, with the exception of rights holding television broadcasters.

The government also suspended all UK passenger arrivals on December 23, meaning it became impossible for anyone not on the England charter flight to enter the country.

In a statement the Cricket Writers’ Club said: “The Cricket Writers’ Club regrets that it is not possible for travelling media to cover the upcoming England men’s tour to Sri Lanka due to the global pandemic.

“CWC regards the presence of reporters on the ground to provide eye-witness accounts to be a fundamental tenet of first hand, accurate, journalism.

“CWC has communicated to its members and wishes to assure the cricket loving public that every effort will continue to be made to facilitate coverage of men’s and women’s international cricket in as usual a way as possible during the pandemic.

“Whilst recognising the challenges, we regard the physical presence of reporters and photographers to be of the upmost importance in maintaining the integrity of the profession of journalism, and in providing the best service for the cricketing public.”

Journalists will cover the event remotely with Sri Lanka Cricket and the England and Wales Cricket Board assisting with player access, content and imagery.

Sport station falls victim to Covid cash pressures

LoveSport, a sports only radio station founded by former Sun editor and TalkSport executive Kelvin MacKenzie, has closed.

The station had only been broadcasting music since April but was formally shut down over the New Year period.

“Commercial revenues collapsed in March. The radio business, especially small radio, is taking a terrible hammering,” MacKenzie told Radio Today.

Steve Hodge, the former deputy programme director at TalkSport, had managed day-to-day operations at the station, whose launch presenters included Iwan Thomas and Brian Moore.

Regional cricket reporting award is cancelled

Covid-19 pressures have forced the postponement of prize fund that helps regional newspapers cover domestic cricket, according to website Hold the Front Page. 

Last year the Yorkshire Post was named regional newspaper of the year in the ECB’s annual Cricket Journalism Awards, using the £1,500 prize to invest in their coverage.

Joint runners-up Somerset County Gazette and Stoke-on-Trent daily The Sentinel were given £500 each.

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