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COVID-19 Guidance: Hosting TV, Press and Photographers at Events

Overview

  • This document relates solely to the special circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The guidance has been prepared for circuits, clubs and championships that have discretion for media accreditation at events.
  • In the spirit of the resumption of sporting activities, Motorsport UK encourages professional media engagement with events, in so far as this is possible given the closed-door nature of these events and prevailing government guidance. The guidance in this document suggests ways in which such media engagement could be facilitated.
  • This guidance references ‘professional media’ – those earning the majority of their income from having a media/photographic role as their lead job, whose broad ‘reach’ will help promote the resumption of motorsport to the widest possible audience and who organisers may wish to prioritise for larger events.
  • For smaller events with a less structured approach to media, it is recommended that the same general principles should be applied.
  • This guidance is an appendix, rather than a variation, to broader Motorsport UK COVID-19 Guidance and should be considered a framework, rather than a definitive plan, given that no two environments are the same and conditions will vary from one event to the next.
  • Where photographers, press and other types of professional media contact Motorsport UK regarding access to events, a copy of this guidance will be provided to them and they will be invited to contact the relevant circuit, club or championship to make provision for their accreditation accordingly.

Guidance

General guidance:

  • For the purposes of this document, “the media” are considered as follows:

– “TV” (including Event TV, radio and other broadcasters)

– “general media” (professional photographers, press and online)

  • Where possible, it is recommended that the use of technology and remote working be implemented and facilitated on-site by the event organiser. If media can work from home or off-site, we suggest that circuits, clubs and championships support this i.e. by providing a central information service online.
  • Media and photographers should be encouraged to move in/occupy the same ‘ecosystem’ (media centre, and for photographers trackside and pit lane), separate to that of drivers, teams and organising staff (paddock, garages).
  • Social distancing measures should be applied, just as they would be for other personnel attending events i.e. limiting the number of media in a specific location at one time.
  • Any COVID-19 related guidance being prepared in relation to the event should be shared with media, just as it would be for other personnel attending events i.e. hand sanitisation points, distancing guidance.
  • It is anticipated that media “scrums” and general press conferences will not be possible due to social distancing measures. Alternative measures that clubs, circuits and championships may consider are:

– Smaller group press conferences with fewer people and which avoid interaction between drivers and personnel from different teams

– Unilateral TV interviews

– Socially distanced interviews between one TV reporter and 1 cameraperson and 1 driver or team member, utilising an extended microphone

Guidance in relation to accrediting TV

  • It is recommended that broadcasters nominate only those personnel whose presence is essential for the delivery of the TV broadcast to be present at the venue.
  • Where possible, remote operations of any other aspects of the production should be encouraged.

Guidance in relation to accrediting Photographers:

  • It is recommended that a small group from key agencies, news groups or local media are permitted subject to the general guidance notes above. To ensure fairness, this could be on a rotational basis across the opening events. This small group should be distanced from the ecosystem of the drivers, teams and manufacturers i.e. remaining in the media centre, trackside and pit lane (and equivalents depending on the event) rather than the Paddock and garages (or equivalent).
  • Additionally, teams could be permitted one professional photographer each, provided that this individual moves in the same ‘ecosystem’ as the team.
  • All photographers should be encouraged to provide a quota of editorial rights-free images for the benefit of the central information service to be implemented by clubs, circuits and championships, in addition to their own requirements. The spirit is ‘for the good of the promotion of the sport’, until such time as the restrictions can be relaxed in line with government guidance.

Guidance in relation to accrediting Press:

  • Motorsport UK recommends that Circuits, Clubs and Championships permit the presence of a small group of press, as follows:

– For larger, professional events, this might be a number of press agencies and networked media groups who, for the greater good of the sport, should be encouraged to syndicate as much material as possible.

– For smaller club events, a similarly small selection of press and photographers per event, each representing a different publication/photographic company on a rotational basis between events, to ensure fairness.

Guidance in relation to the provision of media facilities:

  • Standard specifications of Media Centre and Press Conference Room must be replaced with spaces adhering to social distancing guidelines. This includes the provision of amenities such as cafeterias and WCs, points of entry and egress, and so forth.
  • Potential use of electronic solutions for accreditation, sign-on and completion of indemnity/ waivers/public liability paperwork.
  • Teams should not be permitted to hold media gatherings in the Paddock.
  • Disposable tabards should be provided for TV and photographers.

Guidance in relation to how Motorsport UK will manage any direct requests for the accreditation of professional media:

Q. “I would like to attend (_) event as a media representative/photographer, just as I did before the pandemic. Please can I attend?”

A. Motorsport UK has encouraged clubs, circuits and championships to resume the inclusion of media and photographers at events and has provided specific guidance to those parties to help facilitate this, which we attach to this reply for your information.

Attendance is at the discretion of the club, circuit or championship sanctioning the event, therefore please contact the relevant party regarding accreditation, which, for reasons of fairness, may be granted on a rotational basis initially.

Motorsport UK will continually update the guidance it has provided as measures are relaxed in line with evolving government guidance.

If you have previously attended events as media/photographer and are experiencing difficulties that you consider are not in the spirit of the guidance provided, do contact media@motorsportuk.org and we will be happy to discuss the matter with the relevant club, circuit or championship on your behalf.