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BIMC to Be Open to All Media
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The 2008 Beijing International Media Center (BIMC) will be open to all media during the Olympics, especially those who cannot get official accreditation to enter the Main Press Center (MPC), the Games' organizers said yesterday.


The official website www.2008bimc.cn, run by Sohu.com Inc, was also launched yesterday.


The center will provide some 10,000 non-accredited journalists from around the world with work areas, accommodation and many other services. It will also be an important platform for the host city to distribute Games-related news and showcase its unique cultural heritage and attractions.


The center will be located in the Gehua New Century Hotel (the former Huabei Hotel), which is currently being renovated. It is just 2 km from the main Olympic venues, between the North 2nd and 3rd ring roads.


According to Sun Ying, director of the organizing office of the BIMC, the 18-story hotel will have an information and service area on the first floor, including reception desks, a dining area, shops, bars, banks, a post office and health center.


The second to fifth floors will be working areas for journalists and center staff, while on the top floor will be the Media Lounge, where many cultural events will be staged.


A number of rooms will also be available for non-accredited journalists to use as private accommodation.


Sydney established the first International Media Center (IMC) for the 2000 Games as a base for the media. Athens and Turin followed suit in 2004 and 2006, respectively.


"The MPC and IMC play different roles during the Olympic Games. The MPC provides information about the competition while the IMC focuses more on the historical and cultural side of the host city. Media get to know more about the city through the IMC," Richard Sleeman, media consultant to the BIMC, said.


"The BIMC will benefit Beijing for several generations. Sydney and Athens have already succeeded in doing that."


During the Games, the Beijing municipal government will hold daily press conferences at the BIMC to address the city's operational issues.


(China Daily July 9, 2007)

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