Britain’s Oldest Black Newspaper Banned From Covering the Olympics
This is the conclusion many have reached after Britain’s longest serving black newspaper, The Voice, was not granted permission to cover the Olympics.
Last week, the 30 year old newspaper published an article outlining how the British Olympics Association (BOA) had told them their application to cover the games had been unsuccessful.
BOA blamed their decision on an “extraordinary interest and demand from UK media”. Part of the reason London won the games in the first place was because of its diversity, but now it’s shutting out that diversity by refusing to allow a black newspaper to cover the Olympics.
According to The Voice, people of all stripes are turning out to demonstrate their support for the paper:
The Voice has been inundated with messages of support from readers, MPs, campaigners, celebrities and journalists who started their career at the newspaper.
Readers turned to social networking sites including Twitter and Facebook to vent their fury, and activist Zita Holbourne set up an online petition asking the BOA to reconsider their decision.
Holbourne said: “I was furious. There has been a catalogue of errors and issues around the Olympics and this is just one more thing.
“If the BOA are using blanket criteria to assess whether or not a publication is suitable for accreditation has a disproportionate negative impact on smaller and specialist publications and, obviously, The Voice is a specialist publication.
“Given the number of black athletes that are competing in the Olympics that Team GB rely on for Olympic success, no accreditation for the biggest-selling black newspaper is just atrocious.”
She said it would be the same for publications whose readership is made up of people with disabilities not being given access to the Paralympics and said the accreditation process needed to be reviewed.
Many have called BOA’s decision not to recognize Britain’s top black newspaper a disgrace. The leadership at The Voice is hoping that BOA reconsiders its decision.
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