Muscle Sport Magazine

NPC Press Policy: Only Favorable Outlets Allowed Access

2012 NPC Nationals bodybuilding

The National Physique Committee deserves some credit for being open and honest about this topic…well, sort of.  Posted on their website (and dated way back on September 11, 2002) is their Internet Event Press Policy, an official joint release from President Jim Manion and Media Director Steve Karel that delves into their extremely restrictive – and contradictory – methods when it comes to media coverage.

Although this was drafted many years ago, it is apparently still valid and posted right on their official website. It pertains to the (at the time) growing Internet coverage as opposed to just print. The top amateur organization in the country has always made arduous attempts at keeping any and all press of the positive variety and this document makes no bones about that.

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It states that the NPC will only recognize press credential requests from websites that are extensions of the “normal” bodybuilding and fitness print publications, with FLEX, Muscle & Fitness and Iron Man given as examples. It continues by stating that the NPC will no longer recognize websites, individual photographers and writers or “interested bodybuilding fans who maintain and promote website’s [sic], no matter the level of traffic.” NPC Media Policy

Here’s the punch line:

“The information that is authorized by the NPC to be disseminated to the general public is that which follows through the already approved media outlets. Too many times we have found that individual website operations, albeit they be very highly trafficked and creatively designed, do not serve the aims and goals of the NPC and very often have motives other than those of the organizations [sic] best interest.” EDITOR’S NOTE: Bold added by MSM for emphasis.

For those of you who require explanation – i.e. NPC apologists – this is ambiguous language meaning that unless you are nice in your coverage, you will be shut out from these events.


Any criticism at all can be construed as something that doesn’t serve the aims and goals of the NPC and not be in their best interest. But that is part of any event, athletic or not. Does the NFL or even a major motion picture company weed out a potential negative report from a sportswriter or movie critic, respectively? Of course not; that’s the cost of doing business. Not every person is going to shower you with praise, especially if it is not warranted. What good are the approved media outlets’ coverage if it has to be one-sided in order to gain access?

Perhaps things have cooled with the passage of time, since the NPC has granted press passes to media outlets that are in fact individual website operations. And we noticed another inconsistency here with a line that includes, “…the NPC has a standing press policy for all national events that only authorized members of formal press organizations are eligible for complimentary press credentials.” 2012NPCEastern

For those who do not recall, we posted an article last August regarding NPC promoter Gary Udit and his ‘$1,500 for press access’ policy, hardly what you would call ‘complimentary.’ And Udit did this at a number of his shows, including the national-level North American Championships.


So there has been a history with the NPC and their media policy for quite some time now. It appears that they are content in shutting out any members of the media that will not keep things positive just for the sake of doing so…to say that everything was perfect just to ensure that they do not get frozen out the next time that press passes are requested.

That goes against everything ethical when it comes to reporting. To basically lie just to keep the NPC hierarchy happy and not get on their ‘shit list.’ How ridiculous is that? To have the alleged ‘major publications’ spew utter nonsense just to keep with the program. One-way journalism at its best/worst, if you will.


So the next time that you’re reading FLEX or Muscular Development and their NPC coverage, take it with a grain of salt. They will not have the balls to call it like it is if need be. No, you will read only the false love being spread just for the sake of doing so.

The NPC wouldn’t have it any other way.


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