By Danielle Marinho
Photo – DISCOVER magazine’s team: Leila Monteiro Lins (centre), Ingrid Coifman (right) and Danielle Marinho.
As well known, Brazil has a strong media team that is use to cover big sports events around the world. The number of Brazilian professionals in Toronto, for the Pan American Games, is the second largest comparing to other countries, losing only for the host country, Canada.
Before the Games started, the organizers had 1,961 presses in the accreditation system in the E (Journalist), EP (Photographer) and ENR (non-rights-holder) categories. 53 per cent of the accreditations are from Canada. Brazil is number two at 11 per cent, with 200 professionals from different channels (TV, newspapers, and websites).
Around 80% of the presses are from Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and the USA. 24% are Spanish speaker’s countries. Toronto has received 24 out of the 41 Pan Am Countries as a press at the Games.
According to Marcel Merguizo, Sports journalist and Olympic Blog editor, one of the biggest newspapers in the country, “Brazil gives much attention to the Pan American Games for a long time. With investment growing, especially the federal government (but also the armed forces, the private sector etc.), the Brazilian athletes began to gain more and more medals and,consequently, the fan began to exert a peculiar characteristic: cheer for who is winning. So there is more audience for sites, TVs and others. The Pan American Games are just gaining more importance for Brazilians who may not be seen anywhere in the Americas.”
Actual press that has registered at the Main Press Centre is 958. The number is lower than the number of accreditations in the system as with regional games. Of the press that has actually registered at the Main Press Centre, the top 5 countries are: CAN: 469; BRA: 106; USA: 76; MEX: 52 and ARG: 47.
The media has full access to the courts and transportation during the event. The organizers offered the Main Press Centre with a 400-seat workroom, media restaurant, general store, photo sales store, dry cleaning and massage therapy. There are also four press conference rooms in the MPC along with a private interview room. There is free wireless internet in the MPC workroom, and media shuttle buses that go from the Main Press Centre to each competition venue.
At each competition venue, the media have workrooms of various sizes (with tables, chairs, power and paid internet connection services – wireless and wired). Public transit is free for the press with their accreditation cards as an additional way of getting around the city. The Press Operations Team is responsible for planning the services and facilities for the accredited press and photographers at the TORONTO 2015 Games.
According to Fulvio Martinez, Manager, Community Outreach and Media Relations for the Games, “the professionals are respecting the rules. Everything has been good and journalists have been referring to their experience here as an Olympic-standard experience.”
For Merguizo, “the biggest problem in Toronto, so far, is the large displacements because some fields are too far apart. Transport (from the fans to the press) is always a big challenge in mega events. And at the beginning of the Pan some failures occurred in this area. Regarding internet connection didn’t worked as well as was planned. In other areas it’s all going very well. Staff and volunteers are attentive and always try to help the press.”
The numbers of accredited media in each country are:
1 – 50 % from Canada with 1000 journalists
2- 19% from Brazil, with 200 professionals
3 – 7% from United States, with 125 journalists
4 – 5% from México and Argentina, with 85 / 81 professionals
5 – 1.5% from Peru, with 27 journalists
6 – Aruba / Barbados, with 1 journalist
7 – Japan, with 2 journalists to cover only Baseball