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  • IOC Bestows Agency Designation on Xinhua


    (ATR) The IOC has added Xinhua to its list of international news agencies, granting the company a list of privileges when covering the Olympic Games.

    Bach visiting Xinhua Headquarters (IOC/Greg Martin)
    Thomas Bach visited Xinhua during his ongoing visit to China to bestow the designation. Anthony Edgar, head of IOC Media Operations, told Around the Rings the decision is a “first for over 30 years” for the IOC.

    Xinhua will join the Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France Presse as the recognized international agencies.

    The agency was started in 1931 and is considered the largest media company in China. Xinhua is a state-run agency, and its President is a member of the Chinese Communist Party central committee. 

    “The designation is a recognition of the global reach and distribution of each news agency's news and sports coverage,” Edgar explained. “The appointment is in line with fulfilling Olympic Charter Rule 48.1. ‘The IOC takes all necessary steps in order to ensure the fullest coverage by the different media and the widest possible audience in the world for the Olympic Games’.

    “There is no contract between the agencies and the IOC with the appointment. The agencies have complete freedom of reporting. The agencies cover every sport and disciple at each Olympic Games, guaranteeing that independent coverage of all sports and athletes at the Olympic Games is available to news organizations worldwide.”

    As a result Xinhua will now receive priority seating in all Olympic press tribunes, the ability to negotiate credentials through the IOC instead of the Chinese Olympic Committee, larger office space for both the Summer and Winter Olympics, guaranteed seating at high demand events, and access to the agency area in mixed zones.

    Xinhua will also be represented on the IOC Press Commission, and be allowed to join the International Olympic Photo Pool.

    Edgar said that some of the benefits will be “phased in” for Xinhua, as credentials and office space have been allocated for Tokyo 2020.

    In Beijing Bach met with Cai Mingzhao at Xinhua headquarters, the first visit by an IOC President to the organization, the agency reported.

    Xinhua reported that Cai expressed “appreciation” for the designation and that the IOC can have “full confidence,” in reporting for Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022.

    "We hope to have more fruitful and effective cooperation with the IOC at a new starting point," Cai said.

    Written by Aaron Bauer

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