The International Olympic Committee’s reluctant acceptance of bloggers and social media’s participation in sharing information from the Olympic Games has been challenged by Reuters’ editor-in chief David Schlesinger.
Speaking to the International Olympics Committee Press Commission, he said that it was now not possible to control how established and new media disseminated information.
“The old means of control don’t work. The old categories don’t work. The old ways of thinking don’t work. We need to come to terms with that,” he said.
“Fundamentally, the old media won’t control news dissemination in the future. And organisations can’t control access using old forms of accreditation any more.”
The IOC does not regard blogging as a form of journalism, but rather as a “legitimate form of personal expression”, and although bloggers are tolerated, Schlesinger was asked by the IOC to remove one of his own blog posts because it included a photo and he was only accredited to use text.
He suggested that by the 2012 London Olympics, citizen reporting would eclipse traditional for getting news out immediately it happened: “”Twitterers sitting in the stadium banging out the result in a Tweet from their mobile phone”.
He said that officials needed to work with the tech and publishing-savvy public, not against them. “Could you imagine gun-toting guards trying to confiscate every phone off every spectator? That would become the story of the Games and it would ultimately fail.”
We’ve seen how the reporting of news and collation of eyewitness accounts has changed dramatically over the past few years — you only have to look at Iranian protesters’ use of Twitter to see that. Trying to control how the public share information is near-impossible, and the IOC is just one organisation that needs to work out how it can avoid alienating an increasingly powerful force… US.
(Via Press Gazette)