Chinese media team a huge force in London

Updated: 2012-08-09 09:51

By Zhang Chunyan in London (

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As Chinese athletes compete in the London Olympic Games, China's media are also attracting a lot of attention.

Since the beginning of the Games, the huge Chinese media group was noticed inside and outside the Olympic stadiums.

Nearly 300 are accredited journalists and photographers, while over 800 are non-accredited, said Gao Dianmin, director of the London Bureau of Xinhua News Agency and member of the International Olympic Committee press commission.

China Central Television (CCTV) also sent more than 500 people to London as one of the Olympic Games broadcasters, Gao added.

The London Media Centre (LMC), which has been set up mainly to cater to worldwide non-accredited media, also announced that a total of 73 countries are represented in the LMC, including Bangladesh, Barbados, Sierra Leone and Somalia.

Besides the UK, the largest contingent is from China, with more than 800 journalists registered to report stories.

Wang Yong, a journalist from Xiaoxiang Morning Herald, a newspaper based in Central China's Hunan Province, said the newspaper sent three reporters to London.

Wang and his colleagues booked a hotel online and flew to London with about 120 Chinese journalists from other media.

Notably, China's leading online media companies, such as Tencent, Sina and Sohu, all sent staff to London and prepared platforms providing a variety of Games-related information and interactive content that will support huge audience interactions during the Olympics.

Some people online questioned whether it was necessary to send so many journalists to London, while others said this embodies China's development and people's needs.

"As the predecessor host city, and as the country that has sent one of the largest sports delegations, it is natural Chinese media would send a big press group," said Kerry Brown, head of the Asia Program at London-based think tank Chatham House.

"The Olympics is a global event, and to allow that to happen you need press there to spread news and information about it," Brown added.

Raymond Li, head of the BBC Chinese service, agreed with this view. "So many Chinese journalists coming to London reflects the interests and needs of Chinese audiences and readers after the Beijing Olympics."

Chinese people want to know about the performance of China's athletes, especially Chinese teams that led the gold medal table in the Beijing Olympics, Li added.

Li also said that the competition is fierce, and some powerful Chinese media can send their journalists to cover more vivid and lively stories.

"As a famous international city, London can bring more inspiration about British culture to Chinese media," Li added.

In fact, Li noted, Olympic broadcasters need hundreds of people to cover all the related work. During the Beijing Olympics, BBC sent more than 400 people to China.

As a long-time Olympic broadcaster, US network NBC also sent many people to cover the Olympic Games.

Local media reported that the economy is set to be given a massive boost thanks to the arrival of the Chinese media team for the Olympics.

Before the London Olympics, 130 members of the press from China arrived in Romford, a large suburban town in northeast London, and will be staying at the Harefield Manor Hotel on Main Road until the end of the Games on Aug 12.

According to the local Romford Recorder, Paul Harris, manager of the hotel, said, "It's just a massive boost for the local economy."

The Chinese media guys go out every day to do interviews and use cabs, Harris said.

After they got in touch with the hotel after seeing it advertised on its website, Harris expanded his building and even employed a Chinese chef to prepare the team's food during their stay.