Media Worry About Olympic Restrictions In China; Lenovo Pledges Full Support To Journalists

July 10, 2008 | Print | Email Email | Comments | Category: Business & Society






Lenovo has announced that two PC service centers and two Internet lounges will open on July 25 for the approximately 30,000 international journalists expected to use the Main Press Center and Beijing International Media Center during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

In a press statement, Lenovo says journalists will be provided support services for whatever brand of notebook PC they carry. However the reporting needs of journalists might still be hampered, as the Foreign Correspondents' Club of China says in recent months it has become more difficult for journalists to obtain visas, delaying or preventing correspondents from coming to China to report ahead of the Olympics. Many websites are blocked and arranging interviews with officials is often impossible.

In a separate statement, the FCCC urges the Chinese government to promise before the Games that it will permanently allow journalists to travel where they wish and interview anyone who is willing. These two principles are written into Olympic reporting regulations that expire in October 2008. The FCCC asks the authorities to draw up new post-Olympic rules with input from resident foreign correspondents.

"The Chinese government has not yet lived up to its Olympic promise of complete reporting freedom and there are mixed signals about its willingness to do so," stated FCCC president Jonathan Watts. "In the run up to the Games, we have seen steps forward towards greater openness and at the same time backward to tighter controls. The government should show which way it intends to go by making access and transparency an enduring legacy of the Olympics."

The FCCC has 432 members from 29 countries. The majority are Beijing-based journalists for the world's leading media organizations. Lenovo is providing a team of nearly 600 engineers and technicians to support the Olympic Games, of which about 100 will support the Main Press Center and the Beijing International Media Center. Support will reportedly continue during the Paralympic Games in September.

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