Foreign reporters from around the world have been promised the same unrestricted access they've enjoyed at other Olympics when covering the 2008 Games in Beijing. Organizers yesterday said the government will follow international practices for coverage by media organizations during the event.
A senior organizing committee official said the government had already started amending relevant laws, formulating special policies and simplifying administrative approval procedures to ensure good working conditions for foreign journalists.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2006 World Broadcaster Meeting in Beijing yesterday, Liu Qi, president of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) said the government was taking action to improve the working environment for foreign journalists.
Liu said: "Following international practices and the successes of previous Olympics some specific actions are being taken or will be taken."
New measures will include a regulation which will exempt foreign journalists with Olympic identity and accreditation cards from having to hold visas. Their identity cards will allow them to make multiple entries into China during the Games.
Journalists will be permitted to get temporary entry permission for overseas vehicles and apply for temporary driving permits. They'll also be able to rent apartments and offices through local real-estate agencies.
The Press Commission of the Chinese Olympic Committee will assist foreign journalists set up interviews with Chinese athletes.
Foreign media organizations will be allowed to install their own radio equipment during the Games. And they can bring equipment into the country tax-free.
They'll also be able to apply for permission to film cultural relics through the BOCOG which will acquire permission from the State Administration of Cultural Heritage on their behalf. And the BOCOG will help organizations who want aerial film of Olympic events to get permission from the relevant authorities.
Another new policy will regulate foreign media organization's employment of Chinese citizens during the Games.
"The new regulations will be released and take effect in 2007 after going through legislative procedures," said Liu.
(China Daily August 11, 2006)