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Olympic Winter Games: IOC reacts to TV scandal

Despite the intervention of Chinese security forces in a live broadcast of the Dutch TV broadcaster NOS from Beijing, the IOC sees no fundamental problem for media freedom at the Winter Games.

“These were unfortunate circumstances, someone was overzealous. These things happen,” said Mark Adams, spokesman for the International Olympic Committee. The IOC contacted NOS. It is assured that all media representatives can continue their work unhindered within the closed corona bubble at the Olympics.

Adams pointed out that NOS reporter Sjoerd den Daas was able to report back from Beijing shortly after the incident in another live broadcast. The journalist, who reports for the TV channel from China and East Asia, stationed himself near the Bird’s Nest Stadium on Friday, where the opening took place. Then you can see in the pictures how a uniformed man physically harassed Den Daas. Shortly thereafter, another security guard holds his hand in front of the camera.

Studio presenter Saida Maggé is initially shocked by the events before the switch to Beijing is canceled in consultation with the director. Den Daas reports back later from a different position. NOS editor-in-chief Marcel Gelauff was quoted as saying by the newspaper “Algemeen Dagblad” that the pictures painfully show how press freedom is in China.

In the 2021 Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders, China ranks 177th out of 180 nations. “We welcome the international media for coverage of the Olympic Games. We protect their rights and accommodate them as much as possible,” said Yan Jiarong, spokeswoman for the organizing committee, on Saturday.

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