Thursday, February 14, 2008

Running Rings

For internet TV, the Beijing Olympics are going to rival the Sydney Olympics, for all the wrong reasons.

If you remember back, the rights for the 2000 Olympics were negotiated in 1992, before the internet as we know it today existed, so there were no internet correspondents allowed in at all - and the event has suffered a yet-to-be-realised decline ever since.

Now, internet TV has appread to threaten traditional TV, and there's little doubt that it will be totally sidelined during this year's Olympics since it is a huge (and not very commercial) inconvenience. I believe that the internet TV rights vest with the national broadcasters, so some of them may offer a simulcast service.

The most iconic image to come out of China since the great wall was the man with his shopping bag standing in front of a tank. And, as we approach two weeks of blanket coverage in support of one of the most dreadful regimes on earth, I worry about all those events in Tianamen that were not captured on camera (so we presume that did not exist) and, even more than Darfur, the dreadful, dreadful things that have happened in Tibet, far from the lense of any camera (we have no pictures, so they did not happen).

There is a semiotic conviction in the developed world that, if it isn't caught on camera, it didn't happen. So, the development of internet TV is a great opportunity to represent what is really happening in the world - provided there are people brave enough to originate this content and can then use Internet TV to get the truth to the world. I doubt if that will happen in China this year.

No comments: