Sport Union News, Fairfax and AAP boycott Rugby World Cup
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News, Fairfax and AAP boycott Rugby World Cup

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Australian Associated Press will not seek accreditation to cover October’s Rugby World Cup because the governing body’s terms unreasonably limit editorialised video match highlights.

The decision to not send journalists or photographers from AAP or its New Zealand operation NZN to the United Kingdom is in line with the stand taken by News Corp Australia and Fairfax Media.

AAP Editor in Chief Tony Gillies says the decision was not made lightly but “AAP is not prepared to sign away what it sees as fundamental editorial rights”.

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He said even though AAP did not intend to shoot video within the venues, World Rugby wanted to dictate how and when the limited footage gleaned from outside the venues under Australia’s effective fair dealing principles was shown.

“We genuinely want to be at the games providing rich coverage of the tournament and news of the Australian and New Zealand camps for local audiences. Nothing beats being there,” Mr Gillies said.

“But we just can’t work to these terms.”

Unaccredited reporters and producers could report on games by watching live television broadcasts, and scrape and publish video highlights within fair dealing rules, he said.

“Ironically, media organisations or individuals who do not accredit staff or go through the expense of travelling to the UK could provide a richer coverage than those who attend under World Rugby’s conditions,” he said.

“Handing an advantage to bloggers working remotely doesn’t make a lot of sense to us and we find it frustrating that months of negotiations have failed to find a palatable solution.”

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