The Australian: China - Failing the real Olympic test - by David Bandurski
China - Failing the real Olympic test - by David Bandurski
When the Chinese Government last week reneged on its pledge to offer unfettered internet access to foreign journalists in Beijing to cover the Olympic Games, the flashpoint issue of press freedom in China moved once again to centre stage. BOCOG spokesman Sun Weide responded to concerns over the blocking of internet sites: "Our promise was that journalists would be able to use the internet for their work during the Olympic Games. So we have given them sufficient access to do that."Ah, so the slogan of media freedom was really about "sufficient access"? But as we criticise China's Government for its cynical actions, and as we harp incessantly on the Olympics as a test of media freedoms in China, aren't we glossing over our own duplicity? Our promises resound like empty slogans, too. We talk about human rights in China, about its commitment to media freedoms. But we seem to have forgotten how meagre the promise was that we levied on the Chinese in the first place as a condition of playing host to this year's Games.