Wednesday, March 05, 2008

New Olympic Facilities in Beijing...and Censorship

The 2008 summer Olympic Games are upon us. Almost. And befitting of the timing, this week, the Chinese government gave tours of the new olympic housing facilities to the media. While spartan by normal standards, I am sure that compared to the normal chinese home that these temporary housing units for the athletes are better than many of those used by every day Chinese.

Running water is the hot item and definitely a must have when you are living in a dormitory type situation and competing on the highest level there is for athletics. But that brings us to the one item which the Chinese are not being so open about.

Internet access and transmissions apparently will be available but will be subject to the same stringent safeguards as the official government line says. What this means is that those athletes who plan on blogging their experiences will find that their words are being scrutinized by people who agenda it is to prevent any dissension among its people.

Free speech which is enjoyed in many countries is not enjoyed by the most populous nation on the earth and will not be enjoyed by any of the athletes coming to beijing this summer. Those who have politically tuned blogs will particularly need to be wary of the censors and would more likely be better off doing a daily journal and posting those to the blog once they leave China.

A more interesting way would be to post to the blog and then when they get home, post the real materials. It will be particularly interesting to find out what the government feels is worthy of their time and efforts. Any one care to take this one on?