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SPJ joins meeting with NCAA about restrictive media credentials


For Immediate Release

Sonny Albarado, SPJ President, 501.551.8811,
Christine DiGangi, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317.927.8000 ext. 205,

INDIANAPOLIS — On March 4, Society of Professional Journalists President Sonny Albarado joined six leaders of national media organizations to discuss the NCAA’s policy on media credentials. Albarado signed a letter authored by the American Society of News Editors that opposed the NCAA’s credentialing conditions, saying the restrictions “inhibit their (reporters’) publishing rights and detrimentally affect the public’s interest in access to timely information.”

After a two-hour meeting with NCAA communications officials, the group agreed on a few follow-up steps, as outlined by ASNE in an online update:

- The NCAA agreed to set up a call with our organizations after the upcoming basketball tournament to discuss the establishment of a permanent working group to address outstanding media issues.

- The NCAA will include media groups in future discussions with the Division I men's basketball committee regarding the seating of working journalists in the tournament.

- The NCAA said there would be no change to existing policies on photo positions at the basketball tournament.

Representatives of the media groups included Tim Franklin, co-chair of ASNE's FOI Committee; Gerry Ahern, president of the Associated Press Sports Editors; John Cherwa, chair of APSE's Legal Affairs Committee; David Barlow, counsel of the Newspaper Association of America; Jim Brady, president of the Online News Association; Mike Borland, president of the National Press Photographers Association; and Albarado.

The NCAA representatives included Bob Williams, vice president of communications; Erik Christianson, managing director of external affairs; and Scott Bearby, general counsel.

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. For more information about SPJ, please visit


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