The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China is offering to help any journalist who plans to travel to China to cover the Winter Olympics starting in February 2022 in Beijing. “The FCCC, with its network of 300 correspondents, diplomats and academics from more than 40 countries, stands ready to offer its members’ wealth of experience to assist colleagues in navigating the intricacies of working in China so that we may all provide objective and accurate reporting about one of the world’s most influential nations,” the club said. “Our goal is to help you hit the ground running.”
There are many unknowns about how China will grant visas and whether it will allow any degree of freedom of movement for journalists covering the Olympics. The government has in the past year forced out many U.S. and British correspondents, as an OPC program on June 15 documented. The OPC is in communication with the International Olympic Committee seeking answers about the rules that will govern coverage.
“Our strategy is to position ourselves as a resource for the incoming journalists covering the Olympics who may not be very aware of reporting conditions in China,” the FCCC said. It noted that journalists traveling in sensitive regions such as Xinjiang Province are now regularly subjected to harassment.
“A very symbolic ask we have,” it continued,“ is that China honor its commitment, made after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, to allow journalists unfettered access to reporting around China.
“We would be grateful if media outlets all over the world would highlight for their readers, sports bodies and governments the inherent challenges when committing journalism in China, and support our advocacy work for a better media environment ahead of the Olympics.”
The Overseas Press Club of America is the nation’s oldest and largest association of journalists engaged in international news. Every year, it awards the most prestigious prizes devoted exclusively to international news coverage. It was founded in 1939 by nine foreign correspondents in New York City, and has grown to nearly 500 members worldwide. The club’s mission is to uphold the highest standards in news reporting, advance press freedom and promote good fellowship among colleagues while educating a new generation of journalists.