Wednesday, 30 July 2008

One world, different realities 同一个世界,不同的现实

Let the Games begin. Of course, I'm not referring to the Olympic Games, which are a mere sideshow to the Information Games. In my last post I linked to an article in The Oz bemoaning the Internet restrictions at the media village (and of course everywhere else) so I was curious to see what good ole' Xinhua had to say about the matter.
[Foreign journalists are] Impressed to see no more last-minute rush in Games preparations, disappointed by the missing "real Chinese food," and sometimes annoyed by the strict security measures.
I must admit the opening para looked promising - was this a new, more relaxed and confident Xinhua who wasn't too fussed if foreign journalists were peeved - and (shock) not afraid of reporting on it?

No such luck.
For those with rich experience covering the Games, almost all were impressed with the efficiency and preparedness they saw in the Chinese capital.
The preparedness part of this statement is probably true - if you exclude air quality and internet access, which was always going to be a pretty tall order. But efficiency, I don't think so. As was reported in The Oz yesterday:

AUSTRALIAN Olympic Committee members John Coates and Kevan Gosper have been caught in the impenetrable security network that has locked down Beijing for the Games, which start in nine days.

Mr Coates had to spend his first night in Beijing at an IOC-assigned hotel instead of the athletes' village, where he is the Australian chef de mission, because he could not get his accreditation validated at Beijing airport.

Security is so tight that the AOC and the Australian embassy are concerned one of the 433 Australian athletes or 5000 tourists may be swept up in the security net and detained.

Ahh I love it. And it hasn't even begun yet. Prediction: Before the end of the Games the old chestnut of "western media bias" is going to rear its rather forlorn head from the hole it has been hiding in since the earthquake.

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