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  • Countdown Beijing: Media Blast, Test Event


    "It is becoming clearer and clearer that the organizers of the Beijing Olympics and the Chinese security apparatus have decided to control journalists very closely before and during the Games," reads the Reporters without Borders letter. (Getty Images)  
    Reporters Group Blasts IOC

    IOC silence on press freedom enables Beijing to crack down on media in the country, says a letter signed by Reporters Without Borders Secretary General Robert Menard.

    The letter addressed to IOC President Jacques Rogge dated Nov. 29, says the IOC must take action with the Beijing government on behalf of press freedom.

    The letter is part of a larger RWB Games-time campaign that aims to highlight censorship, press restrictions and other abuses of free expression in China.

    In the letter, Menard says a Chinese plan to compile data on Olympic journalists will function as a political screening process – not a way to combat terrorism.

    The letter goes on to list recent cases of detainment and abuse of journalists in China. Menard also accuses the Chinese government of attempting to control the tone and content of Olympics stories in domestic and international media.

    "Mr. Rogge, it is your silence that has unfortunately made all these abuses possible," Menard writes in the letter.

    In the past year, the Chinese government has introduced new rules for foreign media that relax restrictions on travel and increases the access of journalists to interview Chinese
    Tickets to the test event – the first chance for the public to look inside the stadium – start at $1.35. (BOCOG)  

    National Indoor Stadium Opens

    The National Indoor Stadium in the Olympic Green is in the middle of its first test, the Good Luck Beijing Artistic Gymnastics International Invitational Tournament.

    The first gold was awarded November 29 to Jiang Yuyuan of China in the women's individual all-around event. Later in the day, China's men took gold in their team event.

    Competitions start in apparatus events on Dec. 1, and the tournament wraps on Dec. 3.

    Some 750 volunteers are helping at the event, according to Chinese media.

    BOCOG Opens International E-Shop

    Beijing 2008 has opened its international online shop at The site, which is the first to sell 2008 merchandise outside of China, has a range of products including apparel, accessories, jewelry, pins, arts and crafts, stationery, toys, and collectibles.

    Written by Maggie Lee.

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