The Associated Press
Training for the 2012 London Olympics extends beyond gyms and running tracks for British athletes. Coaching is being provided on how to deal with scoop-hungry British journalists.
The British Olympic Association is warning athletes that general news reporters will be at the Games to find front-page stories that “will not be in the athlete’s interest.”
“These writers have no allegiance to your sport and are sent to an event such as the Olympic Games to get a story,” says the BOA’s “Athletes’ Guide to Dealing with the Media.”
“These stories by their very nature are usually linked to a scandal and the writer does not care if he/she treads on any toes to find a lead. The news reporter’s aim is to find a front page story.”
And the media training handout cautions: “If you’re not willing to give your views then someone may make up your views for you.”
Meanwhile, some British athletes have been warned to be careful when tweeting.
People will be assigned to watch what their athletes are posting on social networking sites. Criticizing officials is on the banned list as well as obscene language.
“They know the parameters,” said David Faulkner, the British hockey team’s performance director. “If they break the rules, they will come in for disciplinary action.”
The International Olympic Committee bans athletes or coaches from “comment on the activities of other participants or accredited persons.”
IOC President Jacques Rogge urges athletes: “Think first, tweet later.”