Podcasts, Olympics, Censorship!

22 02 2008

The Guardian, the popular UK newspaper and website, is reporting how members of the 2008 Olympic games in China might be victims of Internet censorship by the Olympic committee. This is a story for us because it involves podcasting: athletes (or “persons accredited at the games”, which includes media and Olympic staff) won’t be able to take video or audio of their experiences while at Olympic competitions, and therefore can’t make audio or video podcasts.

Internet censorship in China has long been a sticky subject, with debate as to how the government regulates Internet usage of its citizens, but this decision has been made independently by the International Olympic Committee — therefore it only seems ironic that this issue is / will be based in China. We’re anticipating a lot of podcasts about the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and we were definitely hoping for any podcasts about action in the trenches, on the fields and by the racing tracks at the Games.

We now hope this issue brings light to Internet censorship, and to how audio and video taken by anyone is just as important (or moreso) as the ‘journalism’ a newspaper, radio station, or magazine would provide. The dictionary says journalism is “material of current interest or wide popular appeal”. Sounds like a podcast by someone at the Olympics would have wide popular appeal, wouldn’t it?

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