First Amendment topicsAbout the First Amendment
News Story
 
Ill. news organizations challenge rules on high school sports

By The Associated Press
11.05.07

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois Press Association and two member newspapers have filed a lawsuit against the Illinois High School Association, challenging rules regarding the use of photographs and access to sporting events.

"We have voiced our opposition to the IHSA but they have declined to accommodate the press in a free and fair manner," IPA Executive Director David L. Bennett said in a statement. "We can no longer sit on the bench on this."

The lawsuit filed in Sangamon County Circuit Court by the IPA, The (Springfield) State Journal-Register and The (Crystal Lake) Northwest Herald seeks a temporary restraining order barring enforcement of IHSA rules regarding “secondary-use” photos and videotape of games.

Secondary-use photos are those not printed in a traditional newspaper, Bennett said. Newspaper photographers typically shoot dozens of pictures at a game, but editors use only one or two to accompany a story.

Newspapers often post the remaining photos on their Web sites, but the IHSA wants to assert control over their use, Bennett said.

Officials did not return telephone messages left at the IHSA's Bloomington headquarters and the IHSA executive director's home in time for this story.

According to the lawsuit, the IHSA has contracted with Visual Image Photography Inc. for exclusive and unlimited access to all state tournament sites and photo opportunities. At the same time, IHSA requires newspapers that want tournament media passes to sign an agreement limiting their own access to secondary-use photos, it said.

"Allowing a private party to have unfettered access while limiting the press is another example of prior restraint and also violates the state's 'equal protection' clause of the Illinois Constitution," according to the lawsuit.

Sue Schmitt, publisher of The State Journal-Register, said her staff frequently uses photos not published in the newspaper on its Web site and also makes them available to the public.

"The idea that access could be denied to our photographers if we refuse to seek the sanction of a quasi-governmental body to use our own work is unacceptable," Schmitt said in a statement.


Update
Partial compromise reached on photos of Ill. high school games
Still at issue in dispute between press group, high school association: newspapers' use of pictures on their Web sites. 11.19.07

Related

Newspapers, La. athletic association fight over photo rights

'To me the issue is very much who controls the content of our newspaper,' says Baton Rouge editor. 02.27.07

NCAA clarifies position on blogging
Athletic association says live event updates are permitted as long as they're limited to scores, time remaining. 06.26.07

NFL plans for media coverage rankle some newspapers
Editors lodge complaints about limits on online video, requirements that sideline photographers wear ad-emblazoned vests. 07.31.07

News summary page
View the latest news stories throughout the First Amendment Center Online.

print this   Print


Last system update: Friday, August 22, 2008 | 06:48:22
 SEARCH  MORE
About this site
About the First Amendment
About the First Amendment Center
Video/RSS/podcasts
First Amendment programs
State of the First Amendment
reports

First Reports
Supreme Court
Experts
Columnists
First Amendment publications
First Amendment Center history
Glossary
Freedom Sings™
Events
First Amendment
Schools

Congressional Research Service reports
Guest editorials
FOI material
The First Amendment
Library

Lesson plans
freedomforum.org
Newseum
Contact us
Privacy statement
Related links