At FIFA they pick the media they will deal with (rather conveniently)
The 2010 FIFA World Cup is fast approaching and media interest in the event is growing in South Africa and globally. To facilitate communication between journalists and FIFA it has created an online Media Channel. “The FIFA Media Channel is a media-only password protected service with specific content tailored to support journalists, photographers and other media professionals,” reads the website.
I’m a professional full time journalist. I have been since 1996. I’ve written globally for publications in the UK, the US and Australia, not to mention locally for publications as diverse as the Mail & Guardian, the Financial Mail, Intelligence, Brand and many besides. I’ve edited several titles and published several more.
Following my registration at the FIFA Media Channel I was intrigued to receive the following email from FIFA. Nameless needless to say.
Subject: Rejection of request
Dear FIFA Media Channel user,
After thorough review of your registration, we regret that we will not be able to grant you access to the FIFA Media Channel.
The FIFA Media Channel is a restricted-access internet service developed to assist FIFA in their external working relationships. Unless you require access as such, access to the FIFA Media Channel will not provide you with any added benefits or information beyond what is already available on FIFA.com
If you would like FIFA to reconsider your request, you may contact the administrator at MediaChannel@fifa.org with a detailed explanation why you require access to the FIFA Media Channel. Please do not reply to this email. It will not be forwarded.
We will review your request and notify you of our final decision by e-mail.
If we do not receive any communication within two weeks your registration, together with all personal details, will be expunged.
Your FIFA Media Channel Team
I’m a business journalist in the host country. I cover business and marketing – in other words all the business aspects related to and marketing efforts surrounding the World Cup is of interest to me. It seems obvious to me that I have an interest in engaging with FIFA and they with me and my colleagues. As a journalist I am not interested in limited one way communication via they press releases. If nothing else then in the name of corporate transparency they should not be able to deny professional journalists access to their online media facilities. An online media channel after all does not suffer any physical limitations in terms of space or costs.
FIFA received my explanation of why, as a journalist, I should receive access to their online news room, but I seem to have already been expunged by the anonymous powers that be. I wonder how many journalists are expunged on a weekly basis by FIFA.