As a blogger myself and someone who is interested in institutional accountability and transparency I have spent sometime this morning looking at the website of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). I can’t find any financial information or minutes of executive board meetings or of their “Sessions” which are basically the AGMs of the IOC. If anyone knows where you can find this stuff please point it out to me and save me from having to write to request this information from the IOC.
In my search I did though find the IOC’s blogging guidelines for Beijing here. They are pretty constraining. You can only write about yourself or use a photo of yourself and if you transgress by talking about any other participant they threaten to take your Olympic identity and accreditation card away. So we won’t hear any stories of IOC bigwigs throwing hissy fits or “Count” Jacques Rogge, IOC President, picking his nose.
Apparently blogs need to be “be dignified and in good taste” and “at all times conform to the Olympic spirit and the fundamental principles of Olympism”. Sounds like censorship to me.
The IOC keeps an iron grip on the way the Olympics and they themselves are portrayed. For instance Rule 49, Bye-law 2 of the Olympic Charter says:
Only those persons accredited as media may act as journalists, reporters or in any other media capacity. Under no circumstances, throughout the duration of the Olympic Games, may any athlete, coach, official, press attachÃ© or any other accredited participant act as a journalist or in any other media capacity.
The accreditation process and long memories allow them to control what accredited journalists say and their rules don’t allow anyone to compete with accredited journalists. This kind of authoritarian approach might be in keeping with 20th century totalitarian states but not with the modern world. Will London be different?