Olympic Athlete Blogs: Expressing Opinion or Journalism?

On: February 8, 2007
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About Jeff van Schie
Founder and managing director of Fix Nieuwe Media BV. Became an official Master of New Media in Octobre 2007.


The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is considering lifting the ban on athletes blogs during the Olympic Games. A rule in the Olympic charter states that it is forbidden for athletes to partake in journalism whilst competing in the Olympics, but now the big question is being raised if blogging is, in fact, journalism.

“In principle, the commission is not against, but it’s quite a delicate issue and we decided to investigate a little bit more,” said Athletes commission chairman and former Olympic pole vaulter Sergei Bubka. Adding that blogging is “… a modern way for people who want to express their opinion, but we believe there should be certain rules (censorship???) respected by every athlete who participates in the Games and who is living in the (Olympic) village.” (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070207/tc_afp/iocolyathletes)

Bubka also raised questions of privacy and, probably most importantly, conflicts with media and tv rights. It looks like the IOC fears that “conventional journalism” (the media companies who have big expensive contracts with the IOC) will be challenged by people journalism, or in this case, athlete journalsm…

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