Southampton partially lifts ban on press photographers

Southampton Football Club has largely abandoned its attempt to ban independent press photographers from home games.

Press Gazette understands that three agency photographers were given accreditation to cover last Saturday’s Division One game against Colchester. But for unknown reasons the local title, Southern Daily Echo, was refused accreditation for its own photographer.

Southampton prompted an outraged response from across the media at the beginning of August when it revealed that all independent photographers were to be banned from home games. Instead it wanted to syndicate its own photographs to the media.

The result was a media-wide boycott off Southampton’s own photos and some intensive lobbying from the Society of Editors.

Ten days ago the ban on independent photographers was quietly lifted and picture editors were told that online applications for media accreditation to Southampton home games would be granted. But the Daily Echo’s application was refused. It has not been given a reason.

Last year, Southampton banned all Daily Echo reporters and photographers from covering its matches for a period of three months. No reason was given then either for the ban.

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