When journalists are not media

Things have been pretty calm so far. It’s not too crowded yet, but then the International Media Centre is not exactly the center of Olympic Village. And I’m not anywhere near the center of the IMC.

Even though we’re here doing journalism, Vericorder is not a media company. According to Vericorder President and CEO Gary Symons, they have formed a temporary “media group that will create and distribute content at the Olympic Games.” Because of this, we have some additional restrictions that other media outlets don’t have. This also means a limited number of “media” credentials, which are given to our real journalists — the students. In my role is as editor I can be in the background, so I have a limited access “partner” credential.

(But I’m at the Olympics and you’re not!)

Here are some of the other specific rules we must follow, as sited by Symons:

1. The International Olympic Committee is a large and powerful group and they are extremely protective of the Olympics name. Therefore the words ‘Olympics’, Olympic Games, ‘the Games’, or any other reference to the Olympic Games, cant be used in any story which also names a private company, especially VeriCorder.
2. We can’t have nudity or profanity in any of our stories, except for rare exceptions, with approval from one of our editors.

Gary Symons of Vericorder

Gary Symons of Vericorder

3. Because Samsung is the telecommunications sponsor for the Olympics, we can’t reference Apple products in our stories.
4. We cannot publish any stories that could be considered “political, social commentary, or any stories that imply criticism of the Olympics or the International Olympic Committee.”

These restrictions are pretty easy to live and work with. These restrictions will not force us to be PR vehicles for the Olympics. The IOC is extending privileges to a non-journalistic company and this is a concession we have to make. There are tons of good stories to be found here, we’ll have plenty of raw materials for testing out the Vericorder software.

Lastly, in the “small world” category, I’ve made friends with Souie (pronounced soo- ee) Gorup, a Mi’kmaq native woman who is volunteering at the BC IMC. Her son was an Olympic-level 10m platform diver and looked into joining the diving team at Mizzou. Alas, he opted to stay in Canada. His name is Wegadesk Gorup-Paul. His first name means northern lights in Mi’kmaq language.

See you later, eh.

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6 responses to “When journalists are not media

  1. Seems like you’ve already violated rules 1, 2, and 4, unless this blog is not considered publication. Don’t worry–I won’t tell.

    I imagine the Mi’kmaq might have a very different notion of technology literacy.

  2. You’re right — because this is my blog, the rules aren’t the same.

  3. Lynda Kraxberger

    Darn it. I was expecting lots of stories with nudity at the gigantic sporting event in Vancouver. Nude curling. Nude luge. Nude bobsledding. 🙂

    We are having a terrible time without you in CoMo. We are, however, planning a terrific welcome home event. #uberhomecoming

  4. I got Souie’s pronunciation figured out before the helpful tip, then you tripped me up on Mi’kmaq and a bit on Wegadesk (unless it is pronounced exactly how I would think).

    Sounds like you’re going to have a good time in BC.

  5. Pingback: Conflicted about cameras and content « Learning as I go

  6. Hmm, interesting. So a blog is not yet considered a “publication”? Where are the lines drawn on this issue? Are all websites viewed in the same light?

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