Despite promises to the contrary, it looks more and more like Chinese officials will limit media access during the 2008 Olympics kicking off in eight days. (Perhaps this shouldn’t be a surprise. The country promised clean air, but that wasn’t exactly true either.)
Given Beijing’s decidedly negative attitude towards snooping reporters, perhaps in-country journos should consider staying anonymous. Deadspin’s trio of intrepid comrades have chosen this route, citing a “healthy fear of deportation (and an outside chance of imprisonment).”
Mark Glaser‘s Mediashift went the other way, recruiting University of Missouri journalism student Elle Moxley to blog about her experience on the ground in Beijing as a media volunteer. Moxley, along with 58 other students, has toured the city and been less than impressed. “By the end of the day, we are calling this ‘Propaganda Tour 2008,'” she writes.
She rapidly became even more disillusioned with the state of the country:
As I navigate Beijing’s packed streets with a knowledge of Mandarin that begins and ends with xie xie (“thank you”), I’m not so sure [the media freedom exists]. I might not speak the language, but I can still read the signs.
Great stuff, but watch out for those mascots. They look cute, but censorship is no laughing matter.