SCJ STATEMENT REGARDING VIDEOGRAPHER ABUSE DURING 2017/18 FOOTBALL SEASON

23rd March 2018

South Coast Journalism's videographers and staff have been told not to ask football spectators to move out of the way of SCJ's cameras due to ongoing abuse our team and other spectators have received. 

There have been 11 reported incidents THIS WEEK from our videographers after they politely asked spectators to move out of "no standing" areas, a continued trend from the majority of the season. In fact, on only one occasion did the person being asked to move simply agree without being rude or abusive. 

The incidents were all involving spectators who were stood in clearly marked "no standing" zones or were standing in the seated areas of stands.

Upon review of the incidents, as well as discussions with witnesses including Hampshire FA and club officials, it is clear that none of our videographers were rude, impolite or at fault in any of their requests. 

From the 11 recent incidents, both our male and female videographers have been subjected to either foul language, abusive or threatening behaviour , including one incident where our videographer was stepping in on behalf of a wheelchair user who's view was obstructed. South Coast Journalism does have several of the incidents on camera.

Unfortunately, football is the only sport in which there have been problems of this nature. Other sports either have smaller attendances or take place in a more open space and have more potential filming locations. 

All SCJ videographers and any support staff are trained to plan in advance and work out the best possible filming location for each game. Ideally, these are safe filming platforms with an elevated view of the pitch. 

However, where some grounds have limited space, resources or filming positions, we are sometimes left without many options and occasionally have to film in seated areas of the stands, usually at the very back to avoid blocking anyone's view. 

SCJ's videographer takes a low filming position to allow spectators behind him to see the Under 13's trophy celebration...

...before swiftly moving out of the way to get a different shot and allow photos to be taken by parents unobstructed.

In any case, filming from a position that obstructs any supporter or club official's view of the game is an absolute last resort and is only used when the only other option is to give up and go home. In this instance, the SCJ tripods are set up early so that arriving spectators have time to choose a seat that does not involve staring at the videographer's head for 90 minutes. 

Therefore, SCJ videographers have now been instructed not to "engage" directly with anyone who is in the way of either the camera or another spectator, with more emphasis being placed on avoiding the issues happening in the first place. Any complaints about missed goals or celebrations because of this will be referred to this article. 

In the 5 years SCJ has been filming football, our footage has saved clubs over £2,000 in fines when referees or associations have made mistakes.

We would like to thank everyone who applies common sense when they see our cameras, either ducking underneath them, moving past when the ball is out of play or simply moving to another part of the ground to watch the game. We very much appreciate your efforts. 

South Coast Journalism would like to apologise for any further inconvenience or missed moments.  

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