News03 Jul 2014

IAAF Diamond League media services ‘go green’


Athletes in action in the IAAF Diamond League (© Getty Images)

Track and field athletics is one of the most statistical sports and over time has developed a paper-heavy servicing of information for the media who travel to the meetings of the international invitational tour. In an effort to help the environment, the IAAF Diamond League in 2014 has set out to reduce its footprint.

IAAF Diamond League central media guide, 14 meeting media guides, timetables, start lists, athlete biographies, season performances lists, press conferences summaries, Diamond Race ranking lists, world, area and meeting record lists, etc – the type of information demanded and received by the media is many and varied, and that’s before the broadcaster, writer, photographer has even set foot into the stadium. During the competition, results sheets and flash interviews for each of the 16 Diamond Race disciplines and the other junior and national events which are contested at each meeting has meant that the working desks on the media tribune have traditionally been awash with papers.

Tonight’s Athletissima meeting, the Lausanne leg of the 14-meeting IAAF Diamond League series, has led the way to cut back on this situation. At last autumn’s annual IAAF Diamond League Media Workshop at which the media chiefs of the 14 meetings gather with representatives of the IAAF and the DL AG office, Lausanne suggested a reduction in the amount of paperwork distributed; a proposal which was formally agreed by the group.

Yet all of the above types of information remain essential for journalists to be able to understand and translate the context of the athletics performances to their audiences.

Already for many decades there have been information monitors situated on the tribune desks which carry results and flash interviews direct to the media during the competition, but with monitors usually shared between three writers that doesn’t always make that excellent electronic resource sufficient. The solution which has been developed in the digital age is quite straightforward, especially as the media tribune is connected to the internet with cables and/or wifi. Everyone who accredits for each meeting provides an email address to the organisers and so now all information is sent direct to the journalists. Heavier documents such as media guides are either distributed on memory sticks or are made available online from FTP locations or dropboxes.

Should technology fail, and for those journalists who continue to prefer paper, there are of course hard copies of the results still distributed on the tribune. At the media centres at the HQ hotel and stadium, paper versions of most other information are also available, but overall the quantities have been substantially reduced. The hope is that there could be at least a 40-50% reduction in the amount of paper used by meeting organisations.

The IAAF Diamond League is going green.