International media representatives warmed up for their coverage of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing yesterday by visiting some of the venue construction sites in the capital city.
The day before the opening of the Beijing Olympic Games first World Press Briefing, those attending the meeting visited some of the Olympic venues including the National Stadium, the National Aquatics Center, the Main Press Center and the Media Village.
"I'm very impressed with the progress and these dramatic facilities, some of the finest in the world, they'll be very exciting for the athletes to compete in," said Kevan Gosper, chairman of the Press Commission of the International Olympic Commission (IOC).
His words were echoed by many journalists. "The construction of the venues seems to be progressing very well and the aquatics center should be a beautiful venue once they finish the outside," said Monte Lorell, managing editor of USA Today's Sports Weekly.
As the 2008 Olympic host city, Beijing is attracting increased global attention. This press briefing attracted approximately 300 representatives from 93 international news organizations and officials from the IOC.
"We're looking at the Beijing Games as much more than a sports event," said Lorell. "We look at it as a news event, a business story as well. So far what I've seen is a very well-organized operation. The construction is moving ahead very well."
The journalists in attendance are being given a full-day briefing on the latest progress in the preparations of the 2008 Games today with media operations the main topic of interest. The Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) is also receptive to suggestions from leading news agencies and newspapers.
In order to provide efficient services for foreign journalists to cover the Olympic Games in China, BOCOG President Liu Qi, has already announced some special policies for the media during the event. He's pledged that China's relevant authorities are formulating a regulation to allow unrestricted media reporting during the Games. This commitment was welcomed by IOC officials.
"I think they're very good policies," said Gosper. "I think BOCOG is doing everything to ensure that the media will be able to report happily and easily in line with the commitments they made to the IOC."
(China Daily September 27, 2006)