#Media 2012: Citizen Media and the Olympic Games


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Staff Seminar for De Montfort University (Media School) 9/2/2011

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  • I’m a 2nd year PhD student at UWS - looking at media landscape of the games. going to talk today about media 2012, a citizen media blueprint for the London 2012 Games Introduction concepts and themes of the Olympic Games
  • The biggest question I get asked is - why the Olympics? Especially my research background in new media and internet research.
  • To most, their first and only interaction with the Olympic movement is sport on the television. Every 4 years, run by big broadcasters. Elite athletics competing for world excellence.
  • But I would like to make the argument that the Olympic Games in beyond a sporting event. And to study the Olympic Games in this way does not require any engagement with the sport.
  • Governance structures - the IOC run the show. Based in Lausanne, made up 115 members. There are also organising committees (such as vanoc and locog) and 205 national olympic associations. Just to give an idea of what is happening over this time.
  • What differs the Olympics from other sporting events is the Philosophical Concept that underpins the event. They build the world on greek mythology and focus on themes such sport as a human right, sport to promote harmony and human dignity and sport to promote the spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.
  • The charter also dictates branding and the protection of the brand (especially the rings/flag)
  • The rings are particularly sacred - something that the IOC hold dear to them.
  • It’s also a source of ritual and spectacle - the torch bearing, the expensive opening ceremonies, the medal ceremonies - all designed to make you stop your daily routines and pay attention to the festival.
  • In the 1980s, the IOC had less than 100,000 in their bank account. They were almost bankcrupt - in LA (a city that did not need to host the games) turned the spectacle from a sporting event into an exercise in branding, sponsorship and media rights.
  • Over recent years, the stadiums and venues have became the grand focus of the event. Transforming a city into a host city.
  • There is also the 2nd pillar of the Olympic movement. The Cultural Olympiad started out as a equal to the sports. A competition of minds (poetry, pottery) now it is most likely knows as a cultural program to occur during the events time. It is difficult to say how the visibility is achieved - A space to critical the Olympics.
  • The media are the glue which hold the games together. They project a local event onto a global stage, the images and branding are clear and consistent. They have their eyes on the sport. The Olympics is first and foremost, a media event. It would occur ANYWAY but without seeing it, there would be no point.
  • With development and restructuring a city, comes changes which are not always pleasant. Becomes a site of global attention, keep to protect it and watch it. Surveillance. Privatisation brings security.
  • Budget shuffling When other areas get cut, the Olympic Delivery gets ring fenced Story about BC arts funding - Cultural Olympiad
  • Displacement of communities. First nation slogan, taking land for development.
  • Explain the Olympic Tent Village as an example of Local Resistance Legal Observer Network Displacement http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hw_UfpnuDKk
  • Locally produced Olympic Resistance Networks (built on local issues and shared challenges)
  • The Olympics draws attention to national issues - such as the Alberta Tar Sands project (and the corperations which bank roll the developments)
  • The Beijing Olympics could be remembered for their global protests (not in China) around Tibet, Darfur etc An International platform for getting messages out there.
  • Mexico 1968
  • Just a taster of what happens around the games.
  • Moving target - opportunity to access what is going on.
  • And the IOC shaped their recent history on the images and archives provided by audience members (those who were there and could afford the technology)
  • Martin Sorrel, Rupert Murdoch’s friend proposed at the IOC congress that need to adopt to new media technologies FAST if they want to still be relevant to young people. Go where they are.
  • The concept that the audience as labour is not a new concept - it’s just new for the IOC. They are talking about people talking about and liking their brand, they aren’t asking the audience to become the media.
  • Sport is out of bounds.
  • Talk about media rights.
  • Our Olympic broadcasters, the BBC
  • Since 2000, explain non accredited
  • You need to be accredited to centre - gives you access to people, but also gives key figures ready access to media who aren’t focusing on sport.
  • But this still isn’t about citizen journalism - it is still very dependant on the ‘skill’ of knowing how to access it.
  • the IOC were prepared for bloggers - when bloggers are ACCREDITED media. Not a blogger, you are still a journalist with a blog.
  • You are not allowed to broadcast media from the a statium. Moving images are their product - but with the advent of smaller, faster, cheaper and smarter mobile technologies - who’s to stop them?
  • Infact - the sponsors of the Olympics are the ones producing the technology. This advert is from 2004 and was hinting at a future to come.
  • Cease and Desist.
  • Or this.
  • Half way through the games, this happened. explain story.
  • They admitted AFTER the games that it was a social media games.
  • Media Activism - be the media by copying their techniques. Could get into events, free travel, fool security because they only knew enough to know what a pass looked like. They didn’t copy the media passes, they just made theirs look better.
  • They are all media/freelancers/bloggers/skilled media workers - they just aren’t accredited
  • The outputs were not the focus on the activity, it was the act of doing - rather than what came out of it.
  • It became meta because media were keen to capture the supposive ‘social media’ Olympics.
  • Show clips from WGH http://vimeo.com/11268572
  • Who was watching the watchers? Increased Security.
  • watching the watchers... (tent village)
  • DTES Donated space. Occupying an empty building.
  • A cinema link up to We live in Public
  • Links between UK and Vancouver - unheard of usually.
  • Online presence
  • Most of us are not going to get anywhere near the live sport - and it is difficult to take on the Olympics with all its might. We can use the Olympics are an opportunity for social participation. A door which is open for only another 18 months. We can actually be literally inspired by London 2012.
  • Built a network - got hubs in Bristol, East Midlands, West Midlands, Scotland and working towards to London
  • #Media 2012: Citizen Media and the Olympic Games

    1. 1. #MEDIA2012 Jennifer M Jones - @jennifermjones - University of the West of Scotland Citizen Media and the Olympic Games
    2. 3. Why the Olympics?
    3. 4. It’s all about sport...
    4. 5. The Olympics is not a Sporting Event
    5. 6. The IOC
    6. 7. Olympism as a Philosophical Concept?
    7. 8. Symbolism & Branding
    8. 10. Ritual and Spectacle?
    9. 11. Global Sponsorship
    10. 12. Grand infrastructure?
    11. 13. Cultural Programming CODE Live (Cultural Olympiad, Vancouver 2010)
    12. 14. Media Visibility Main Press Centre, Vancouver 2010
    13. 15. Increased Security? Olympic Park, London (Summer 2010)
    14. 16. Budget Cuts
    15. 18. Local Resistance http://www.flickr.com/photos/blackbird_hollow/4366647425/in/set-72157623337247025 / Photo by The Blackbird (Flickr)
    16. 19. Photo by @kk Olympic Resistance Network
    17. 20. National Resistance
    18. 21. International Resistance
    19. 24. <ul><li>...is a globally recognised media event </li></ul><ul><li>...is locally interpreted on a host city level </li></ul><ul><li>...is a stand-alone, complex (and often conflicting) multi-narrative phenomena. </li></ul>The Olympics...
    20. 25. Media Technology and the Olympic Games
    21. 26. 1896: The 1st Olympic Games
    22. 27. The first Olympic ‘media’ was a ‘citizen journalist.’
    23. 28. The IOC’s Digital Revolution, 2009 http://www.olympic.org/media?articlenewsgroup=-1&articleid=73350
    24. 29. Audience as a ‘co-conspirator’ (Martin Sorrell) (Martin Sorrell)
    25. 30. The Price of Access
    26. 31. Accredited Media
    27. 32. Exclusive to Sport
    28. 34. Non-Accredited Media
    29. 35. Access to People/Media
    30. 37. ‘We are the Media’
    31. 38. Accredited “Bloggers” http://www.olympic.org/Documents/Reports/EN/en_report_1433.pdf
    32. 39. Cheaper, Smaller, Faster, Smarter
    33. 40. Sponsors & Technology Samsung Wireless Olympic Works, 2004
    34. 41. Cease and Desist, Oct 2009 http://richardgiles.com/2009/10/09/the-olympics-and-creative-commons-photographs/
    35. 42. Prohibited
    36. 43. The IOC’s Digital Revolution, 2009 http://www.olympic.org/media?articlenewsgroup=-1&articleid=73350
    37. 46. But what about everyone else?
    38. 47. Amplifying Local Resistance Vancouver’s Opening Ceremony Protests
    39. 48. Visibility of Cultural Olympiad
    40. 49. Self Accreditation
    41. 51. Who are the Media?
    42. 53. TNMH became News
    43. 54. With Glowing Hearts http://vimeo.com/11268572
    44. 57. W2 Culture & Arts House
    45. 58. Re-appropriating Space
    46. 59. Meeting Areas
    47. 60. Press Conference
    48. 61. Conferencing
    49. 62. Media Facilities
    50. 64. <ul><li>TNMH had no physical space, social media only. </li></ul><ul><li>W2 was a community space, transforming when required. </li></ul>
    51. 65. Towards London 2012
    52. 66. London as a “National” Games http://www.london2012.com/map.php
    53. 67. Social Media is part of Games Experience
    54. 68. Local Resistance
    55. 69. ADD PIC National Unease
    56. 75. www.media2012.org.uk #media2012 @media_2012 @media_2012 @media_2012