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MPs lobbied over London 2012 regional press passes

The Newspaper Society has stepped up its fight to secure more press passes for the local and regional press for the London 2012 Olympics.

In a memorandum to MPs on the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, it says more passes should be made available to ensure that the games is not a “London-centric” event

The memorandum highlights what the NS calls “the unique relationship between local newspapers and the athletes from their community who may be taking part in 2012.”

It also points out that, for events outside of Olympic Park, local newspapers should be granted venue-specific passes to be able to cover events in their own locality.

Only one local newspasper in London and a handful of regional papers including the Manchester Evening News and The Herald, Glasgow have so far been allocated passes.

The NS is negotiating with the British Olympic Assocition over the provision of additional passes which would then be made available to the whole of the regional and local press via a pool system.

Earlier this month the Society met Culture Media and Sports Secretary Jeremy Hunt to discuss what it called the “woefully inadequate” number of passes that had been made available.

“For a local newspaper to be unable to report at first hand a once-in-a-lifetime sporting event taking place in its own locality would be a disgraceful outcome,” said the NS.