Maybe Not All Blogs Should be Journalism

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Japanese athletes competing at the upcoming Winter Olympics won’t be able to blog about their experiences because their posts could be construed as journalism and disqualify them from the Games.

TMC Net reports that the Japanese Olympic Committee has informed its athletes that the Olympic Charter prohibits athletes from engaging in journalistic activities during the Games.

Statements from the Committee note that blogs constitute a grey area, but that it’s not worth taking the chance. “There is no clear-cut standard to judge to what extent journalist activities are allowed, but diaries and detailed reports are no good during the Olympics period,” wrote Shin Taira, a JOC publicist.

I’m not sure where I stand on this, considering all the wrangling in the blogosphere to be recognized as a form of journalism. Maintaining a personal diary that happens to be online-particularly one without advertising-seems to me a great way to draw more attention to the Games. The IOC should take a look at its policy and clarify what athletes can and can’t do…and give a thumbs-up to non-commercial blogging.

Shel Holtz is principal of Holtz Communication + Technology which focuses on helping organizations apply online communication capabilities to their strategic organizational communications.

As a professional communicator, Shel also writes the blog a shel of my former self.

Maybe Not All Blogs Should be Journalism
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