Two of Australia's biggest media companies, Fairfax and News, say they won't sign up to cover the Commonwealth Games

GC2018 mascot Borobi. Photo: Matt Roberts/Getty Images

Fairfax Media and News Corp won’t be sending journalists to next year’s Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games because of rules designed to protect the host broadcaster, Channel Seven.

News announced yesterday that it won’t be applying for accreditation for the games, in early April next year, and will also skip the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics in February, despite being a sponsor of the Australian Olympic team.

The company will still provide coverage, but “outside the traditional games media framework”, after The Australian’s editor-in-chief, Paul Whittaker, said “journalists would be able to tell our readers less than spectators at the events would be able to tell their friends”.

Fairfax Media announced today that it won’t be there either.

“We will not be signing up for Commonwealth Games 2018 accreditation under the current terms and rules required,” a spokesperson said.

The rules for coverage within games venues mean publishers must delay broadcasting any content from news conferences by 30 minutes and no more than one minute of content in a digital news bulletin can be broadcast – and only three times a day.

News agency Australian Associated Press (AAP) also has concerns and CEO Bruce Davidson said the organisation was still in discussions

Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Corporation chairman Peter Beattie told The Australian his organisation was not a party to the agreement and couldn’t change it even if they wanted to.

Fairfax has more here.

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