Foreign TV Crews Cleared to Broadcast Live News from Beijing

Starbucks Yuanyang Tiandi

Listening to the rumble

1347 hrs.

Geoffrey Fowler at The Wall Street Journal looks like he scooped just about everybody, reporting that foreign TV crews would be allowed to uplink their news coverage of Beijing directly to satellite during the Olympics. Olympic broadcasters are even allowed to broadcast directly from Tiananmen Square, the political and spiritual heart of the city that is miles away from the venues.

On the one hand, this is a big deal, probably the first time foreigners have been permitted to uplink TV signals directly from Beijing for almost two decades.

Two thoughts jump quickly to mind:

First, I think we can be pretty sure that security around Tiananmen Square and similar venues will be even tighter than normal. I foresee lots of crew-cut lads in sweats mixing in with the crowds.

Second, I wonder how much of this concession was driven by growing broadcaster frustration over the hassles getting facilities in and around the Olympic Green ready for the big show? “Gee, we’re sorry about the logistics stuff. Oh, by the way, NBC, you can set up your broadcast booth in Arrow Gate if you want…”

Just bummed I won’t be able to see the NBC coverage here in Beijing…