MOSCOW, January 23 (R-Sport) - Russian journalists working at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics may have to sign a code of conduct following unprofessional behavior at London 2012, the head of host agency RIA Novosti said Wednesday.
Svetlana Mironyuk, editor in chief of RIA Novosti, the parent agency of R-Sport, said that the International Olympic Committee had complained about the "unbecoming behavior of some Russian journalists," in an interview with Russian newspaper Sport-Express.
“It’s not just about behavior, but also things like photo and video work in the mixed zone, where only written press have the right to work."
“The IOC has tough rules on this point, but in Russia for some reason they don’t seem to cover everyone. For Sochi, we intend to fix it.”
Mironyuk heads the Russian Olympic Committee’s press commission, which will distribute accreditation for Sochi 2014, and said journalists could have to promise to behave before receiving their accreditation.
“Maybe we’ll go as far as having a sort of code of ethics signed by journalists along with their accreditation for the Games,” she said.
Journalists’ areas at Russian sports events are often more chaotic than those in other countries, with written press and video crews jostling for space regardless of official demarcations.
Mironyuk said that her agency would send “a huge team” of around 240 staff to Sochi, which she said was 40 more than Chinese state agency Xinhua sent to Beijing 2008, and 100 more than Britain’s Press Association at London 2012. Both Xinhua and PA were host agencies.
Paralympic sport was barely shown on Russian national television until London 2012, but Mironyuk said she wanted RIA Novosti’s reporting to raise its profile.
“The IOC, when they gave us this status [of host agency], especially emphasized the need to boost interest in Paralympic sport in Russia,” she said.
The status of host agency will give RIA Novosti some of the best photography positions at Olympic and Paralympic events and possibly privileged positions in the mixed zone, where athletes can talk to the media after competing, Mironyuk said.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.