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Media groups object to new MLB restrictions

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  1. Newsgathering
Major League Baseball has come up with new conditions for their 2008 credential application that media organizations must submit to…

Major League Baseball has come up with new conditions for their 2008 credential application that media organizations must submit to be able to cover any MLB event.

Some of the proposed restrictions include: a seven-photo limit on photos that may be displayed online from each game; restrictions on recording audio and video from 45 minutes prior to a scheduled game until the game is finished; prior written notice of the intention to display non-text accounts; prohibiting game photographs to be used in a photo gallery with the commissioner’s office determining the definition of a “photo gallery.”

Many news associations and publications, including Sports Illustrated, The New York Times and the Online News Association, have responded to the restrictions with statements and letters of protest calling for negotiations.

Jonathon Dube, president of the Online News Association, wrote a letter to MLB Commissioner Allan H. "Bud" Selig protesting the conditions. "The restrictions in these credentials make it harder for the members of ONA to do their jobs as journalists," Dube said. " We urge you to reconsider these restrictions and collaborate with the news media to develop credential terms that serve our mutual interests and thereby better serve the public."

Baseball officials have agreed to meet today with several groups including the Associated Press Sports Editors and the American Society of Newspaper Editors to hopefully reach a compromise before opening day on March 31.

The Associated Press Managing Editors Association President David Ledford, representing the group’s 1,500 newspaper members, also expressed his concerns to Selig. 

“Newspaper coverage of MLB is woven into the fabric of American life, with readers across this country daily beginning their days consuming the coverage we provide. As society moves deeper into the digital age, newspaper coverage – including work done on our Web sites – must continue to chronicle America’s pastime with the same depth and heart that we’ve displayed since the game’s inception,” Ledford wrote.