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BOCOG Promises Top Press Facilities
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Foreign reporters have been promised the same unfettered access they have enjoyed at other Olympics while covering the 2008 Games.

Organizers yesterday said the government will follow international practices for coverage by media organizations during the 2008 Olympics.

A top organizing committee official said the government has already began amending relevant laws, formulating special policies and simplifying administrative approval procedures, to guarantee 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 that will exempt foreign journalists with Olympic identity and accreditation cards from having to hold a visa. Instead their identity cards will allow them to make multiple entries into China during the Games.

Journalists will be able to get temporary entry permission for overseas vehicles, and will be able to apply for temporary driving permits.

They will also be able to rent apartments and offices through local real-estate agencies.

The Press Commission of the Chinese Olympic Committee will help foreign journalists set up interviews with Chinese athletes.

Foreign media organizations will be able to install their own radio equipment during the Games. And media organizations will be able to bring equipment into the country tax-free.

They will 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 to aerially film Olympic events 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.

(Xinhua News Agency August 11, 2006)

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