The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has had the definitive word on what a blog actually is by publishing its blogging guidelines for the upcoming Beijing Games (apologies for the late reference to these guidelines – they were first published some time ago).
“The IOC considers blogging, in accordance with these Guidelines, as a legitimate form of
personal expression and not as a form of journalism. Therefore, the IOC does not consider that blogs by Accredited Persons, in accordance with these Guidelines, will compromise Paragraph 3 of Bye-law to Rule 49 of the Olympic Charter which states that “Only those persons accredited as media may act as journalists, reporters or in any other media capacity”.”
According to the limitations if an Accredited Person – coach, athlete, team official, drinks carrier and the like – wants to maintain a blog throughout the Games they will not be able to make mention of anything other than ‘their own personal Olympic-related experience’ as ‘blogs of Accredited Persons should take the form of a diary or journal’.
This means posts should not contain:
- Any interviews with, or stories about, other Accredited Persons
- Any information that is confidential or private in relation to any third party
- Information which may compromise the security, staging and organisation of the Games
- Pictures – still or moving – that contain sporting activity and medal ceremonies in Olympics-designated areas.
Essentially, the IOC doesn’t seem to want any form of journalism or publication that could in anyway clash with the activities of commercial stakeholders or the political sensibilities of the hosts.
Anything journalistic will be monitored from the imposing media centre that has been constructed as the designated home of the world’s press during the Games.
Here’s what could happen if rules are flouted:
“Violation of these Guidelines by an Accredited Person may lead to the withdrawal of such person’s Olympic identity and accreditation card.”