A New Kind of Spectacle: How China Changed the Olympics [The Atlantic]

“…There were riots and mass evictions in London, but when I emailed a journalist friend to ask why these were not getting the attention that they got in Beijing, he replied that these are "normal games" and that East London really needed regeneration.  Much of the critical media coverage of China was the product of a mutual production cycle in which advocacy groups released reports at regular intervals, which were then covered in the media.  The "news" was the release of the report and not necessarily a concrete event.  The two major news generators, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have been less active on Olympics-related issues this time around, and the media has given them less coverage.  Just to give one example, in the week after the resignation of the LOCOG sustainability chairperson, there were 21 articles about it in major Anglophone media, but in the same week, there were 17 articles that mentioned the Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei although there was no new "news" about him (figures from Lexis/Nexis).  Apparently, criticizing the Chinese government is more popular than criticizing multinational corporations… “

by Jeffrey Wasserstrom

Jul 27 2012

The world went into the 2008 games asking whether the Olympics would change China, but maybe it was the other way around…

Full article link here


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