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The Voice given Olympics access after successful campaign

18 July 2012

A campaign, supported by the NUJ, to challenge the decision to deny accreditation to the Olympic games for Britain's only national newspaper for black readers, has won success.

The British Olympic Association (BOA) has now agreed to give the newspaper passes to the Olympic stadium and media centre.

The Voice had applied for two passes for the track and field - of the 78 Olympics GB Team track and field athletes, 29 are of African and Caribbean heritage.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary said:

"I am pleased that the British Olympic Association has seen sense and reversed its decision. Readers of The Voice want to support the black British athletes taking part and now they will be able to read full coverage of the Olympic events. The NUJ is now supporting calls for the BOA to publish any equality impact assessment it produced to ascertain if the selection process and criteria it used had the effect of discriminating."

Zita Holbourne, a member of the TUC Race Relations Committee, had opened a petition championing The Voice's cause. She is now pressing the BOA for an equality audit on the selection procedure for media passes.

Of the BOA panel responsible for accreditation, 12 of the 14 appointees were men and all were white.

George Ruddock, The Voice's editor and managing director, said:

"This is excellent news that the BOA has decided to backtrack and award press accreditation to The Voice newspaper to cover the games inside the Olympic stadium.
"We thought the initial decision not to give accreditation was surprising and so did our many readers who immediately voiced their opinion by signing the online petition. The Voice is also indebted to the many print and online media which picked up the story and ran with it. Our journalists will be giving gold-standard Olympic coverage in the paper and online."

Tags: , newspapers, black members, the voice, Olympics