The European Broadcasting Union is facing criticism that some countries competing in the Eurovision Song Contest will be at a disadvantage following its decision to limit press access to the event.
Eight delegations from countries competing in this year’s song contest in Liverpool have signed and delivered a letter to Dave Goodman, Digital Communications Manager at Eurovision, highlighting their concerns regarding press and journalism limitations.
Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet gained access to the letter, which details how some countries could be at a disadvantage under the new rules.
Eurovision 2023 press centre: Countries protest journalism restrictions
How does the Eurovision press centre work?
The Eurovision press centre is open to accredited media in the period of time surrounding the live shows. Here, journalists can attend press conferences and conduct interviews with the competing artists, and watch rehearsals as countries put the finishing touches on their entries.
In a change from recent years, rehearsals will be closed to the press. The press centre itself will also open on 8 May — the day before the first semi-final — as opposed to the week prior. Artists and delegations seeking media opportunities will need to make their own arrangements at a different location while the ACC Liverpool media centre remains vacant.
Why are countries angry?
In their letter to the EBU, eight delegations claim the new Eurovision press rules could put some nations at a disadvantage. The countries participating in semi-final one of Eurovision 2023 will have just one day to conduct interviews and take advantage of media opportunities, while the countries participating in semi-final two will have more free time to put themselves in the spotlight.
The letter to the EBU
We’re pasting the full original draft letter below, addressed to the EBU’s Dave Goodman and signed by representatives from eight delegations.
”After our meeting today, some Heads of Media have shown their concern about the Media Centre opening only at May 8th.
We feel this decision is not fair for countries performing on the first semi-final.
In the past years, we have all experienced that the larger number of interviews happened in the first week, when the free time between rehearsals is bigger, and the pressure of the Live Shows is still growing.
As you can understand, at May 8th the artists performing in the first semi-final have no free time to spend with media. The schedule is too tight and they have to focus on their performance.
We understand you brought the solution of doing this meetings with media in the Euro Club but we also feel that without a space to work, probably the majority of media members won’t attend to Liverpool earlier than 7th or 8th of May.
We gather our concern in a group email to kindly ask you to reconsider this decision and to review the chance of opening it some days earlier.
We all want the best for the contest, for the Eurovision brand, for the Artists and we all stand for fairness with all participating countries.”
Wiwibloggs LUSH Liverpool Lounge
Wiwibloggs’ LUSH Liverpool Lounge will function as an alternative space while access to the ACC Liverpool and M&S Bank Arena remains limited. We’re inviting the class of Eurovision 2023 to celebrate with us. Artists can attend the world’s biggest LUSH store to meet fans, give exclusive wiwibloggs interviews, and indulge in spa treatments.
Spaces are filling up fast. We can’t wait to publish the first full roster and schedule on Saturday.
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