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Silence Strike of six newspapers against Arezzo football club

Local newspapers have deserted the team’s press conferences in protest against the accreditation procedures and the prohibition of individual interviews

“Silence strike” for six local newspapers, TVs and online magazines, of Arezzo against the US Arezzo (that plays in the fourth league of the national championship, the Serie D). The protest initiative, which began on Friday, March 7th, was called due to the restrictions imposed by the football club on the access to press conferences since last February 20th. The six news outlets are AmarantoMagazine, ArezzoNotizie, ArezzoOra, ArezzoTv, GrooveRadio (which owns the rights to the commentary for the matches of the Arezzo football club) and Teletruria.

The journalists from online newspapers and TV channels have been deserting, for days and for an indefinite period of time, the press conferences convened by the U.S. Arezzo. In the last league match played on Sunday, March 9th, for example, reporters have published on the websites or aired on TV only the record of the game, without further information or interviews.

According to the journalists, the football club has ordered that to gain access to the press conferences, a new request for accreditation must be sent in every time. And, moreover, it is not possible to interview the player individually after the end of the press conference. “It’s a way – the reporters say – to prohibit access to those who are most unwelcome and increases the time for working and editing on the interviews.”

A protest that has been implemented through a common agreement among competing news outlets, expressed through a tough statement that has been sent to the club and which has published on the outlets’ portals “as a result – it states – of the recent measures, announced on February 20th, 2014, which have heavily restricted the exercise of the journalistic professions for television channels, online portals and the print media.”

It is the first time that in Arezz such a unique form of protest has been attempted. As the communiqué reads: “the news outlets consider that the accreditation process for the individual press conferences constitutes an unnecessary obstacle to the organization of the editorial work. They also unanimously hope that, in order to safeguard the specificity of each journalistic product, the agreements stipulated at the beginning of the season regarding the relationships with the players and the ability to conduct custom interviews at the end of the press conferences be restored. All these measures are deemed necessary in order to provide the public with a product suited to the interest surrounding the US Arezzo and the professionalism of every single journalist.”

The response of the Tuscan club came from the words of the president Mr Mauro Ferretti: “I do not understand the reason for the protest because on the one hand no there never was an agreement regarding the interviews, and on the other hand it seems quite preposterous to criticize the trivial accreditation procedure required for those journalists who wish to participate at the press conferences. At this particularly sensitive moment for the fate of the football season, the club has seen fit to protect the concentration of its players, without in any way trying to affect the information, which, nonetheless, must be the work of the journalist and not a burden for the club.”

At the origin of the new provisions required by the club, there would be articles published in recent weeks by the local media regarding the second-tier selection of the US Arezzo in the Pro League for the coming season.


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