Athletes, coaches and representatives will be expected to meet the press during the Summer Olympics in Rio. Those who don’t may end up on the business end of an official complaint from media, and the International Olympic Committee has provided the means to lodge such grievances.
The IOC has created a web-based reporting tool allowing journalists covering the Olympics to report press freedom violations that prevent media from properly reporting on any events, staging or organizational matters related to the Games. Formal complaints can be filed at www.olympic.org/mediacomplaint, accessible in English and French, where reporters can answer a set of questions related to the incident in question, which organization committed the violation and any pertinent evidence. The IOC can then, if necessary, take the complaint to the appropriate authorities or governmental committees.
Citing past violations of press freedoms at previous Olympics, The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) commended the launch of the reporting tool and the IOC for taking “all necessary steps to ensure the fullest coverage” of the Games.
In 2008, the CPJ noted internet censorship occurring in China during the Beijing Summer Olympics, which allowed the government to monitor and restrict media. Leading up to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, the organization published a report documenting incidents of media being intimidated, harassed and obstructed, preventing media from covering stories such as labor abuses and environmental damage taking place as facilities were being constructed in host cities.