AIPS ‘New Media’ policies

National and International sporting Federations, major sports organizers across the globe have been debating on how best to cope with the effects of New Media on sports journalism.

The interactive space, new media and social trends, online reports and blogs have rapidly developed as a growing facet of sports media.

Sports journalism has been widely affected as the advent and rapid growth of social media means sports journalists have to compete with the speed at which news breaks and has led to establishment of numerous sporting sites and blogs.

The past two editions of the AIPS congress (in 2010 in Antalya, Turkey and 2011 in Seoul, Korea) extensively delved into New Media and its effects on sports journalism.

Consequently, AIPS President Gianni Merlo established a new commission to devise an integrated criteria to comprehensively study New Media and also help sports Federations worldwide and event organizers understand the implications of these developments.

Steve McAllister (right) and members of the AIPS New Media Commission

The commission is chaired by Sports Media Canada president Steve McAllister the Managing Editor-Sports for Yahoo Canada and includes Rik Lamoral of Sports Press Belgium who acts as the Secretary of the Commission, Keir Radnedge of and Evelyn Watta of -Kenya.

Media Professor Dr. Dirk Jungels from the Technical University in Munich function serves as an advisor to the New Media commission while AIPS Secretary General Roslyn Morris of Australia serves as the supervisor from AIPS.

The commission held its first meeting in Lausanne in January 2011 and presented its draft findings dubbed ‘AIPS Generated Online Media Profile’ and ‘ AIPS criteria to recognize a website as a journalistic production’ to the AIPS Congress in Seoul.

Below is the condensed ‘AIPS generated criteria for online media’:


•         A website can apply for recognition and acceptance by AIPS with the identity and status of

–         An independent “stand alone” website or

–         An extension within an existing media entity (newspaper, magazine, TV).

•         The website must have the position and structure of an independent (unit of a) company with legal liability for the editor.

•         The OMNISPORT website should be recognized and registered as a real and full-fledged journalistic medium by its official national general journalists organization and/or their legal authorities ruling media affairs.

•         A MULTISPORT or MONOSPORT specialist website must be recognized by its national/international sports federations. Specific and/or additional regulations should be negotiated between AIPS (or its AIPS- continental section) and the pertinent international sport associations/federations.

•         The website should be fully operational and online following the regulations for at least two years. Newcomers can apply for exception through their National Sports Journalists Association.

•         The website must produce and be online 24/7.

•         In its production the website must offer proper content at professional level. All content not originally produced must mention the original source.

•         Sites which function mainly as a pass-through-site for edited, copy/paste-content cannot be recognized as a press medium.

•         Fan-sites, sponsor-sites, promotional sites and event-linked sites cannot be recognized as a press medium.

•         Blogs are accepted as public journalism when they are integrated within a recognized journalistic medium.

•         The website should only use recognized news-sources (agencies, professional freelancers, trainees) as legal providers for their content (text and photos). Other sources can be used if officially recognized ones are not available. In which case the alternative source must clearly be identified as such.

•         The editors, who exercise final control on all copy before publication, must be recognized professional journalists.

•         The website should have the input of officially recognized professional journalists as recognized for each continent/country by AIPS (or an AIPS Continental Section). Newcomers can apply for exception through their National Sports Journalists Association.

•         The website should have an audience or impact on the level of the circulation of the national newspapers in their country. If possible they must have their number of hits/visitors officially registered and controlled as determined for each continent/country by AIPS (or their AIPS-Continental Section). For Specialists sites the relevance must be certified by the relevant national/international sports federation and the National Sports Journalists Association.

•         The visible commercial/promotional support surrounding news items should not disturb/dominate optically and/or volume-wise the primary journalistic content.

•         A website which does not fulfill the criteria for recognition by the AIPS can apply for a “Guest of the Press” status with limited access and work-facilities at a specific sports-event.