Grainy, biased, poorly edited reports from Beijing complete picture

Controversy demands source variety. The Olympics, like war, is poorer when the variety is constrained by commercial or political decree.

Jamaican sprint wonder Usain Bolt’ display of speed and celebration spurred much commentary –even a conspiracy theory about him slowing down. All this seems to make the official NBC coverage bland.

We also faced what I hope would be the last Olympics with a news blackout –messages like “Sorry, this media is not available in your territory” — from big (old) media outfits like the BBC, that is ironically doing a great  job of unfiltered reporting through new media.

Then there are plenty of citizen journalists in the village: athletes with cameras and blogs. features some real street-level reporting complete with shaky camera, grainy video and poor audio. These reports don’t compete with the big guys but they sure add pressure for the media to rethink how it covers and keeps us informed about our world.

The Lenovo blogging program, Voices Of The Olympics, has been responsible for more than 1,300 athlete posts. “It isn’t really a program about making millions of impressions in the traditional marketing sense,” says Lenovo, but about those “thousands of connections between athletes and fans.”

Over at Bleacher Reports, another CitJo outfit that’s connected to FoxSports, a reporter called Zander Freund had this to say about the controversial tie-breaker between Nastia Liukin and He Kexin.

“If I were in charge of the IOC, I’d tell Liukin and Kexin to get their butts back up on those bars.”

Not exactly the way NBC’s Bob Costas would have put it, but it’s as authentic and grainy as you can get.

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