While the world was focusing on the peaceful demonstrations of Buddhist monks and civilians and the eventual crackdown by the military in Burma the last few weeks, the 2nd World Press Briefing of the 2008 Beijing Olympics took place on October 11-12 without much attention given outside of China. AI pressed hard on getting out its media kit for Olympics journalists just before the World Press Briefing but it seemed to have not gained much attention either.

Meanwhile, I stumbled upon the Service Guide for Foreign Media Coverage on the Olympics website when I was digging around for the World Press Briefing. The Service Guide came out this past May detailing all the trouble (visa, work permit, custom clearance, driving permit, etc) foreign journalists have to overcome when reporting before and during the Olympics. The whole guide is 270+ pages long including the covers. Do foreign journalists have to go through that many hoops for every Olympics? I have not paid attention to what’s been done for previous Olympic games so it would be interesting to hear directly from journalists about this.

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