Opinion Columns & Blogs

August 8, 2008

Press, politics and the Olympics

Three years ago, China and the Beijing Olympics were already on my mind. I was at Harvard University for a reunion of fellows at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism – I was a fellow in 1999. A tempest had swelled over a decision for the foundation to sponsor a weeklong training session for Chinese government officials on how to handle the media during the Olympics. You read that right. The Chinese were asking the U.S. media to give them tools to manipulate the media better. Well, that's my view. It was also the view of a journalist from China, a 1996 Nieman fellow, who said: “The Chinese know that democracy is their enemy… they want to know how to deal with the press… they want to know how to lie to the press.”

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