Covering the Beijing Olympics

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China: the emerging Superpower. 

The Olympics: the greatest sports event.

How did the world's media cover the Beijing games?

Leading newspapers around the world covered the Beijing Olympics as a sporting event rather than as a political power game, according to 2008 study led by ICMPA and conducted by the Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change.

Video directed and produced by Moses Shumow

Newspapers around the world considered these questions:

  • Which sport should we focus on?
  • Which athletes should we feature?
  • Do we talk about who's winning...or who lost?
  • Should we allow ourselves to be swept away by the successes and the stagecraft of the Chinese hosts...or should we emphasize concerns about the pollution in Beijing, the Chinese human rights record or the unrest in Tibet? 

The ICMPA/Academy study analyzed 68 leading newspapers, in 29 countries, across six continents in 10 languages:  Afrikaans, Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Hindi, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish. 

The study found many differences.

It also found similarities.

For a quick highlight of the major findings, see the Summary of Findings.

For detailed results of the study look under the following five categories:

  1. Prominence of the Coverage 
  2. Focus of the Coverage 
  3. Portrayal of Athletes 
  4. Coverage of China 
  5. Media and Ethnocentricity 

(And see the Methodology for further details on how the study was designed and conducted.)


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