Confusion over web access for Olympic journalists

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Confusion over web access for Olympic journalists

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Last minute negotiations are going on in China to try to guarantee Olympic journalists unrestricted access to the internet.

For now many sites remain blocked from computers in the media centre, and officials from the International Olympic Committee are still talking with the Chinese organisers.

President Hu Jintao told the media China had nothing to hide.

“China’s door to the outside is always open, both during the Olympic Games and afterwards. We will always welcome foreign journalists and reporters in China to cover what is happening here,” said the president.

The IOC has admitted it only initially demanded there be unregulated access to sites useful to sports reporters. Web sites on the Falun Gong and events in Tibet remain blocked.

The Chinese president appealed for “objective” reporting from foreign journalists: “While we deepen economic reforms, and realise faster and better economic development, we will continue to push forward comprehensive reforms, including political reforms.”

The IOC insists it has not entered into any deal with China to limit internet access. Jacques Rogge claimed China had agreed to provide full web access for foreign news media.

The Chinese organisers are only promising a ‘sufficient’ service.