A report on champion swimmer and US Olympic team member Scott Goldblatt’s blog on 10 August makes interesting reading, discussing as it does what looks like a ban on blogging at the Athens olympics by any competing athlete. The 2004 Olympic Games start tomorrow, 13 August.
[…] It seemed that blogging was outlawed here at the Games. After further research, I found that each federation (country) holds the right to choose what they do and do not allow. I found out that Canada, so it seems, is not able to blog according to reports (see at my website) from bloggers around the web. Seemingly this news spread awfully quick, and I had to be just as fast to respond. I talked with the media officials from USA Swimming and they assured me that I was able to go ahead with these blogs, as long as I do not move into the territory of journalism. But where does that line get drawn?
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If the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and/or participating countries’ national olympic committees really are trying to apply some information control here, it wiill ultimately be doomed to failure. Instead of trying to apply information censorship, they should take a leaf out of the book of the US Democratic National Convention organizers, and actively encourage anyone – including competing athletes – and not just accredited media to blog if they want. Imagine how that would broaden the spread of information and massively encourage two-way dialogs about the games in ways that otherwse would not to happen.
There’s no information re blogs mentioned in the press section of the Olympics’ official website. All I could find is a PDF guidelines document for non-accredited media, available from the non-accredited press info page. The IOC website wasn’t accessible when I tried today.
I guess the key word the IOC should pay attention to is ‘democratic.’ That organization doesn’t show much of that.