© Copyright – 2023 – Athletics Illustrated

Security and media clearance was clearly lacking at the 2023 Budapest World Athletics Championships. During the beginning of the video interview below, sprinter Tobi Amuson was questioned by a fan, friend or relative. The interview was published on YouTube.

As typical, the media was required to apply for credentials to the event. The application process requires applicants to name the media company they work for or own, their position, and which area of media they are applying to work in: photography, interviews, written journalism, and video production among others.

No security-minded media-vetting process would permit a fan with a cell phone to the front of the media zone. As can be seen in the below video, the fan or friend barges her way to the front, disrupting the interview that is in progress. The questions the cell phone holder is asking revolve around making statements without evidence and using leading questions. There was nothing journalistic about the exchange.

At one point the “interviewer” states, “There is a lot of back and forth that I know and that you know isn’t true….and people can’t deal with it.” At that very moment, the interviewer should have been escorted from the building. She should not have been given access to the media area to begin with. Organizers need to understand the greater security risk of allowing anyone into the media zone, where access to athletes is available. Safety clearly was not of concern.

The cringe-worthy fandom from the interviewer was enough. The security risk was too much. It is an embarrassment to journalism.