Countdown to Beijing 2022 | Beijing 2022 welcomes attention and coverage from global media, says spokesperson

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BEIJING, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- The Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (BOCOG) upholds the principle of hosting an open Games and has always welcomed attention and coverage from global media outlets from the outset of the preparation work, Beijing 2022 spokesperson said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua here on Friday.

Following are the questions and answers from the interview.

Q: An organization named "The Foreign Correspondents' Club of China" this week expressed concern about foreign journalists reporting on Beijing 2022 in China. Does the BOCOG have any comment on this?

A: First of all, as the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman has said, China does not recognize the organization. It cannot represent the genuine voice of the foreign journalists in China.

The Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are the biggest sports extravaganza in winter. Upholding the principle of openness, BOCOG has always welcomed attention and coverage from global media outlets from the outset of the preparation work. To provide good media service, BOCOG has invited resident journalists from the Beijing office of foreign media outlets to attend group interviews, media saloons, press conferences, "Experience Beijing" testing activities, and has provided Newsletters among various forms to inform media organizations from countries and regions around the world of the lastest updates on the preparation of the Games.

Over the past 12 months, a number of journalists have participated in the aforementioned activities and 28 editions of Newsletters have been sent. In addition, BOCOG organized group interviews for resident correspondence in January, February and July 2020 in the three competition zones of Beijing, Zhangjiakou and Yanqing respectively.

Taking the Zhangjiakou visit as an example, BOCOG invited journalists from 18 media organizations, namely Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse, Getty Images, European Pressphoto Agency, National Broadcasting Company, Kyodo News, Tokyo Shimbun, Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata, Korean Broadcasting System, Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Sveriges Television, Radio France Internationale, Financial Times, Russian News Agency TASS, Russia Today, Kazakhstan's 24kz TV channel and Kazinform to a two-day visit in the competition zone.

Journalists toured competition venues including the Genting Snow Park, Guyangshu venue cluster and non-competition facilities, during which relevant Beijing 2022 officials, venue operation team members and designers of the venues gave comprehensive introductions to issue media were concerned about.

What's more, BOCOG provided assistance for 15 foreign media outlets in acquiring press accreditation for the Beijing 2022 test events. With these on-site interviews, foreign journalists collected first-hand materials on preparation progress, technology highlights, legacies and sustainability of the Games and how hosting the Games will invigorate local development.

We reiterate that on the basis of abiding by the laws, regulations and COVID-19 policies of China, all registered foreign journalists will be able to report on Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in China. BOCOG will ensure journalists' freedom on reporting in accordance with the Host City Contract and relevant policies in China, and provide convenience and assistance for their reporting in China as we always do.

Q: How BOCOG plans to improve on organizing reporting activities and managing interview requests?

A: BOCOG plans to hold a round table press meeting in the coming days, which will be attended by main advisors of the Playbook and officials in charge of the Games service department and media operations department. They will have a face-to-face exchange with journalists from foreign media outlets who required interview on the Playbook.

Based on the COVID-19 situation and working schedule off the venues, three group interviews will be organized for resident journalists from the Beijing office of foreign media outlets, visiting sites including the National Speed Skating Oval, the Winter Olympic Village, the Wukesong Sports Center and the main logistics center.

As the test events progress, BOCOG will increase press accreditation quota for foreign media organizations. Two press conferences will also be held by the end of this year, which are open to domestic and foreign media.

Of course, we are aware that there has been surging needs for reporting as the Games approaches. The number of interview requests and inquiries has increased significantly in the second half of the year, with 209 received since July. To meet those demands, BOCOG has assigned specific staff to manage these, checking emails every two hours and giving immediate response. They will work on arranging the interviews or collecting inquired information upon seeing those emails.

The organizing committee has been adhering to the principle of responding to and explaining everything, trying the best to overcome the challenges brought by the pandemic and assist the journalists in conducting requested interviews as soon as possible.

Q: How will BOCOG ensure reporting activities during the Games?

A: BOCOG welcomes global media outlets to China to cover Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Games. So far, over 2,500 written and photographic press have applied for accreditation for Beijing 2022. BOCOG will operate a counter in the Main Media Center to provide media service and manage interview requests, as well as holding daily news briefings together with the International Olympic Committee to offer sufficient information for media coverage.

At the same time, BOCOG will offer media services including catering, accommodation and transportation inside the closed-loop to provide a comfortable environment and convenience for journalists to cover the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Online interviews will also be available to meet as many interview requests from journalists outside the closed-loop as possible.

BOCOG welcomes reports on Beijing 2022 preparations including venue construction, Games organization and operation, and is willing to accept supervision by the media, which will help improve on capability of Games organization and operation.

Let's work in a concerted effort, focusing on sports and the event itself, providing a good experience and nice stories for the Games participants and creating a friendly environment for the successful hosting of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Enditem

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