Tennis Australia Doesn’t Trust The Tennis Media?


Tennis Australia wanted background checks on tennis reporters covering the Australian Open.

Whether sports operators like it or not, the media is a necessary evil in their business plan. In the United States, baseball grew in popularity in the late 19th century because of newspaper accounts of games. Without publicity and coverage from at first newspapers, then radio and finally television sports events would go totally unnoticed. Sports operators try to put up every barrier possible to limit journalists’ abilities to cover a story despite their need for publicity. In days of yore, sports operators needed sportswriters to get the word out. Today sports operators own websites, produce television shows and can control the narrative to a certain extent. Sports operators should not have to do background checks on journalists. The news organizations know their employees. This is not 1951 when CBS founder William Paley hired retired FBI agents to spy on his employees or is it?

Tennis Australia came up with a new security measure for covering its crown jewel event, the Australian Open. Tennis Australia wanted to implement security checks for media who will have access to certain areas, known as the Restricted Player Zone, at the 2024 Australian Open. But the tennis governing body did not want to do the security checks. That responsibility would fall on the journalist who would have to pay for the police background check about 50 Australian dollars or about $33 US. The International Press Association is not happy with Tennis Australia’s thoughts. Tennis Australia claimed that the police check requirement is a common practice in line with other major sports events. But the International Press Association could not find any similar policy imposed by groups like the governing body of global soccer, FIFA, or the International Olympic Committee. The media should boycott the Australian Open and see if that makes Tennis Australia happy.

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Tennis Australia doesn’t trust tennis reporters.