Another big news that came out on Friday was China issuing a special set of regulations for foreign media while reporting for the Beijing Olympics. The regulations will be effective from January 1, 2007 until October 17, 2008. A few highlights of the regulations include: foreign journalists will be allowed to interview any organizations or individuals with only their prior consent and therefore, eliminate the “need to apply to provincial foreign affairs offices for permission”; and the journalists have to apply for an “Equipment Confirmation Letter at Chinese embassies or consulates” in place of “the requirement of an assurance letter provided by a Chinese host institution.” According to Xinhua News Agency, the regulations also allow the journalists to travel around China without being “accompanied or assisted by a Chinese official.”

These new regulations are possibly in response to concerns of media freedom during the Olympics. However, they don’t take away the fact that China continues to imprison Chinese journalists regardless of whether they report for a foreign or local press.

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