Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Why Media Must Meddle; on the Inside

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Why Media Must Meddle; on the Inside

Article excerpt

Byline: ADRIAN WARNER

INSPECTORS from the International Olympic Committee are under strict instructions not to be seen chatting to the media during next month's visit to London to probe the capital's plans for the 2012 Games.

Apart from an official press conference at the end of the visit - which will be stagemanaged - members of the IOC's evaluation commission have been told to keep quiet about what they really think of the Bid.

The latest word from the IOC is that London's bid book has gone down very well and that Seb Coe and his 2012 team have made huge progress since the capital's transport plans were criticised in a provisional report.

But it is becoming increasingly obvious that the IOC are worried about the British media, which is far more inquisitive than the Press from rival bids Paris, New York, Madrid and Moscow. It is said that the critical British media could easily lose the vote for London in Singapore next July.

Clearly the IOC have forgotten the huge success of the 2000 Sydney Olympics despite an aggressive media.

Would the atmosphere in the stadiums have been as good if Australian reporters had not exposed initial plans to sell off the best tickets to corporates?

No chance.

Tame reporters don't make good Games. There is no way the Press would allow a London organising committee to sit on their hands for three years like the Greeks did at the start of their troubled preparations for the 2004 Athens Games.

Caborn's weighed down WHILE France's sports minister Jean-Francois Lamour has been able to concentrate on helping Paris prepare for the IOC evaluation commission's visit, British counterpart Richard Caborn has had controversial changes to licensing laws to worry about. Anybody looking for evidence that the Government doesn't take sport seriously enough need only look at the fact that Caborn (right) and culture secretary Tessa Jowell have had to contend with gambling and pub-closing when both issues belong in the Home Office. …

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