“The International Olympic Committee is barring competitors, as well as coaches, support personnel and other officials, from writing firsthand accounts for news and other websites.” (from Wired News)
Well, that seems Deeply Stupid. The IOC says the ban is to preserve lucrative media contracts, but IMHO first-hand reports would only enhance the traditional coverage and make the Olympics more interesting. Or at least that’s certainly the way it was with the Tour de France, where in addition to the TV coverage from OLN and the web coverage from the official web site there were also rider diaries from Velonews and on various riders’ personal web sites. It was the rider diaries that really personalized the Tour, that made it less about “Rider X won stage Y by Z seconds blah blah blah” and more about individual drama — what the athletes cared about, not just what a TV interviewer thought was important to tell us. (there’s a difference.)
I know we’re watching tons more Olympics this year now that NBC is doing blanket coverage and not the cut-down soft-focus fluff they had done in the past. TiVo is grabbing like fourteen hours a day and we can pick and choose what we watch. Of course much to our surprise we’re getting sucked into things like badminton and trampoline and saber fencing. If there were blogs and diaries and more personal details we would be on the internet WHILE we were watching the official TV coverage and we would probably be watching MORE of it. MORE coverage BETTER. This just seems obvious to me.