While most organizations are adapting to a world where transparency is the cathword, the IOC is moving in the opposite direction. With an attitude worthy a dictatorship, the IOC tries to control every communicative aspect of the Olympic games in Athens.
First we learned that spectators are banned from the arenas if they bring in products of the wrong brand. Then we all laughed at the moronic linking policy of Athens 2004.
Now USA Today reports that Olympic athletes are largely barred from posting online diaries such as blogs.
“The IOC’s rationale for the restrictions is that athletes and their coaches should not serve as journalists — and that the interests of broadcast rightsholders and accredited media come first.”
“The Olympic guidelines threaten to yank credentials from athletes who are in violation as well as to impose other sanctions or take legal action for any monetary damages.”
The US army tried a control/command approach in Iraq but failed miserably. Why would the IOC succeed in controlling the debate, and for what reason? Today, media consumers are also producers and anyone equipped with a digital camera or an internet connection can scoop big media. Trying to stop people from expressing what they see is a violation of freedom of speech.
In the end, it is we as consumers who pay for this spectacle by bying products from the sponsors, by watching the ads that finance media, by visiting the arenas and so on. We should demand a diversity of voices and not accept propaganda style reporting.
(Link via Micro Persuasion)