For those readers outside the Bay Area, I should take a moment to explain who I’m working for during the Olympics.
KTSF 26 is a Bay Area news station that broadcasts in Chinese, both Mandarin and Cantonese. They are the largest Chinese-language television station in the United States. I am joining them to help with their Olympics coverage. There are six KTSF people here in Beijing and one other Bay Area intern like myself. It’s a tight team that is quite efficient about what we do.
Many readers ask if I get to go to athletic events or go cover invite-only parties. The answer is a resounding no.
Media at the Olympics works so that those media companies who pay for access, get everything, and everyone else gets very little. So NBC, BBC, and CCTV have paid for rights to broadcast athletic competition (and the ceremonies) and small stations like KTSF can’t infringe on their rights. So you will never see footage of the opening ceremonies from inside the stadium on KTSF. But Beijing is an open city and KTSF has plenty of stories about the Olympics that don’t require athletics coverage.
KTSF counts as “non-accredited media” so we only have access to the Beijing International Media Center (BiMC). That sounds like a lot, but the BiMC is different from the broadcasting center where NBC and CCTV push out their coverage.
We mostly operate out of our hotel in makeshift newsroom with a bunch of networked computers and various large suitcases laying around. It’s long days but lots of fun out on the streets of Beijing.