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Olympics: Media matters

Olympic Sports

February 08, 2022
ANDREW MILLIGAN/PA IMAGES VIA GETTY IMAGES
ANDREW MILLIGAN/PA IMAGES VIA GETTY IMAGES

The GIST: After a foreign reporter was pulled from their live shot during last week’s Opening Ceremony, censorship and control in China is in the spotlight once again.

The story: Last Friday, a Dutch reporter was “forcefully pulled out of the picture without any warning” while attempting to broadcast during the Opening Ceremony. Security allegedly couldn’t tell the reporter what he’d done wrong.

  • And while the International Olympic Committee (IOC) called it an “isolated incident,” this isn’t the only example of troubling censorship at the Games.
  • A French reporter says he was assigned a “guide” who monitored his interviewees, while a different journalist was told he couldn’t ask people how they were enjoying the Olympics. Yeah, not good.

On social: Transitioning to social media, Chinese figure skater Zhu Yi faced horrible online abuse after finishing last during Sunday’s women’s short program team event.

  • “Zhu Yi has fallen” trended on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, garnering 200 million views before the hashtag was reportedly censored.

Control in competition: Meanwhile, China might be flexing their power on the field of play, too. South Korea’s Olympic team will appeal the disqualification of two of their speed skaters after alleged judge bias kept the athletes out of the men’s 1,000m final.

  • The judges’ decision allowed three Chinese skaters to advance. Lots to keep an eye on.