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Rogge Has "No Regrets" About Games, Calls Censorship Minor Issue
Published August 4, 2008
|Rogge Says He Has No Regrets
On Beijing Hosting Olympics
INTERNET ACCESS STILL AN ISSUE: IOC Dir of Communications Giselle Davies said that the IOC is "continuing to encourage the hosts to move in the right direction to provide the widest internet access possible." But AROUND THE RINGS' Mark Bisson noted some reporters are "interpreting the IOC instruction as a climbdown on the issue." BOCOG "has not responded to an IOC request to improve the situation and provide unfettered internet access" (AROUNDTHERINGS.com, 8/2). In Manchester, Tania Branigan reports some Internet sites were "still off-limits last night." While the Amnesty Int'l main Web site could be accessed, its dedicated thechinadebate.org site "could not be reached." Meanwhile, the headline above a Yahoo picture gallery of musicians, acrobats and other entertainers read, "Tiananmen Square Massacre Remembered." Yahoo blamed an "automated gallery feature" for the headline, which remained on display for "at least 24 hours." The headline was "even visible from Beijing itself, presumably thanks in part to the government's relaxation of internet censorship this week" (Manchester GUARDIAN, 8/4). NBC News sources in Beijing said that they "have a way of getting around" the censorship. NBC News is working out of the Beijing Int'l Convention Center rather than the Main Press Center or the Int'l Broadcast Center, and so far NBC personnel "have not encountered any problems" (MEDIABISTRO.com, 7/31). Newsweek Beijing Bureau Chief Melinda Liu: "Most of us who live here use Internet tools, like proxy servers or VPNs, which actually allow you to more or less get around this interference. We’re not affected that much, and we may not be even aware of what’s going on day-by-day in the sort of naked Internet.” Liu added, “If your choice is bad PR versus total control, they still want total control. This is a government of control freaks … The only reason they backed down a bit on this Internet issue is because it became such a bruising controversy” ("Reliable Sources," CNN, 8/3).
FACE OF A NATION: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Blumenstein, Batson & Fowler noted China President Hu Jintao Friday held his "first news conference ever with foreign journalists." Hu appeared "stiff but confident" and said that he "hoped the Olympic Games would leave an enduring legacy for China, and help convince the world that its most populated country is committed to a peaceful rise to prosperity." But "just as the moves toward openness signaled progress, they also demonstrated China's penchant for control." While reporters from the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, AFP and NBC News were invited to attend, "many foreign journalists weren't" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/2).
Quality Of Beijing's Air Has Been
Hot Topic Leading Up To Games