Tag Archives: Olympics

BBC’s online Olympics coverage draws 4.4m

The BBC Sport website had its ‘best ever day’ in terms of traffic on Monday 11 August with 4.4 million individual users, a blog post from Roger Mosey, director of BBC Sport, has said.

The traffic surge from the site’s Olympics coverage also saw more than 1 million users view live video streams on Friday 15.

The BBC’s iPlayer received 700,000 requests for Olympic programmes in the first week of the Games, Mosey said.

The competition – combined with the beginning of the Premiership – has also created record figures for mobile with more than 400,000 users accessing the BBC’s mobile services on Saturday – breaking the previous record of 270,000.

To report the Beijing Olympics online and on mobile the corporation has introduced six live video streams to its BBC Olympics website, an interactive map of the city and its sporting venues, an Olympics blog and expanded its mobile site to carry more video.

The coverage has also benefited from the decision to embed BBC video within pages rather than in a separate player.

Video: ITV correspondent John Ray arrested covering Beijing Olympics

ITV correspondent John Ray has been arrested by officials in Beijing, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reports.

Ray was covering a pro-Tibet protest near the main Olympic site and was arrested despite identifying himself as a journalist.

The YouTube video below shows Ray in a police van reasoning with police officers before being driven away.

The camera still rolling, Ray repeatedly shouts ‘I’m a journalist’. “This is press freedom,” he says.

Online Journalism in China: Can the Olympics change the Chinese media?

Freelance journalist Dave Green reports for Journalism.co.uk from Beijing:

With the Olympic Games under way in Beijing, the political controversies surrounding the competition have taken a backseat while the world’s elite athletes grab the headlines.

There is a mood of optimism here that is difficult to define and a sense on the ground that the opening ceremony was a defining moment in history, one which it can be hoped will give China the confidence to move forward with the openness to question its past and, perhaps, admit to some mistakes.

Yet old media habits die hard: even foreign China Daily columnist Brendan John Worrell‘s assessment of the investment in “vital infrastructure” that has contributed to one of the most remarkable urban facelifts in history ignores the fact that many people have had their homes destroyed or walls constructed around their unsightly communities in the process.

Worrell conveniently ignores the protests in Tiananmen Square – perhaps unsurprising as the women marching against enforced relocations were given no coverage in the commercial press here – but he does go on to make a good point about China’s need to address “new pressing goals.”

Over on the country’s newsdesks, it took the influence of foreign editors to ensure the reporting of a US tourist’s murder received due prominence on the front pages and was not buried. Other coverage did not benefit from the same influence: the Xinhua News Agency’s report of five Tibet protesters detained in Tiananmen Square on the same day was tacked onto the bottom of the same reports of the tourist attack.

Perhaps the sheer insanity of protesting against repression in Tibet can justifiably be likened to that of stabbing three people and then committing suicide? Or perhaps it’s just because searching for the article online using the terms ‘Tibet’ and ‘protest’ will garner no references at all.

As Western eyes begin to adjust to the dark fact that the overwhelming security presence in Beijing may well be a necessary precaution given the attacks in the western Xinjiang Province, the media here is celebrating the mobilization of around 400,000 street-level forces. Yet you can’t help but feel that relishing the deployment of a 70,000–strong army of grandma vigilantes, as China Daily does, is a bridge too far.

The China Daily piece strikes an uneasy tone that veers between sinister and depreciating:

“Mind the suspicious strangers. You see one smoking guy over there is glancing this way and that, watch him, and report to the police station immediately once something is wrong,” it quotes 65-year-old Sun Li as saying.

“[C]atching bad guys is a policeman’s job but we’re here to help out and drink more water to prevent us fainting in this sunshine,” it concludes.

There are more serious issues to be resolved, in particular protests by the International Federation of Journalists over the constant presence of plainclothes police in the capital allegedly monitoring journalists, and more demonstrations will surely follow.

But, as Beijing’s media and its people feel the push and pull of global forces, it is safe to say that progress of a sort is being made. The key question remains what will happen after the circus leaves town, and will there will be enough residual pressure to keep the concessions that have already been made in place?

Former Reuters sports editor Steve Parry dies

Steve Parry, former Reuters sports editor, has died today aged 64, Reuters has reported.

Parry, who worked for the media group for 34 years, was sports editor from 1982 until his retirement in 2000.

He had been suffering from a respiratory illness and died in hospital.

Parry joined Reuters’ London sports desk in 1966 and was appointed sports news editor in 1977.

After leaving the group, he became a consultant for the International Olympic Committee.

His death comes on the eve of the Beijing Olympics – an event Parry had covered on the previous 10 occasions, attending his first Summer Games in Mexico City in 1968.

“We at Reuters are devastated by the news. Steve was one of the finest journalists Reuters ever had and one of the greatest men I ever knew,” said Paul Radford, Reuters current sports editor and Parry’s former deputy.

“He was one of the most revered and respected personalities in the world of sports journalism and a monumental figure in the Olympic movement.”

IFJ launches Olympics website to help journalists

The International Federation of Journalists has teamed up with the non-profit Play the Game initiative to create an online resource for journalists covering the Beijing Olympics.

The Play the Game for Open Journalism site features: a list of reporters guides from industry groups such as Human Rights Watch; forums for journalists to discuss their experiences; and background information on Beijing.

The organisers will also be operating a helpline for journalists in China during the Olympics, who are facing pressure from authorities because of their work. The number for emergency assistance is + 32 475 76 13 92. To report

Press Gazette: Round-up of UK media’s Olympic plans

Cross-media will be key to covering the Beijing Olympics.

Organisations will need to make the most of online to keep up with the games – particularly because of the eight hour time difference.

To handle this, News International is pooling its reporters from Times Online and News.com.au to offer rolling online coverage.

BBC launches interactive Beijing Olympics map

As promised by Claire Stocks, the BBC’s interactive editor of Olympic Sports, in her interview with Journalism.co.uk, the BBC has developed an interactive map of Beijing as part of its Olympics coverage.

Blog posts to BBC Sport’s Olympics blog and updates by BBC Sport journalists in China to microblogging service Twitter will also be plotted on the map.

The map allows users to search for sporting venues and provides info about these sites. It also features local landmarks.

Screenshot of BBC Sport\'s Beijing Olympics map