Sochi Olympics will be Instagram-friendly

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – – Alexey Mosko, RBTH – November 20, 2013) Contrary to previous media reports, journalists at the Sochi Games will be allowed to use mobile phones to photograph sportspeople and spectators during the Olympics.

Journalists at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi will be able to take photographs and shoot videos for their own personal use without having to worry about loss of accreditation, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced this week via the Russian news agency R-Sport.

Photographs taken by participants and other accredited individuals during the course of the Games may be published on social media, but they may not be sold or used for any other commercial purpose except by officially accredited photographers, the statement by the IOC remarks. At the same time a video film may be used exclusively for personal use, but the rules prohibit its use on any social networks, blogs and websites.

Earlier, reports had appeared in the Russian and American media that journalists at the 2014 Games would be banned from using mobile phones to capture sportspeople and spectators.

The Russian Internet portal Ridus published material asserting that journalists using mobile phones to record those taking part and those watching would be seen as a serious infringement, and would lead to a cancellation of the guilty party’s accreditation. The publication cited a declaration made by Vasily Konov, the head of the R-Sport editorial, during a Russian national training workshop forum for sports journalists in Sochi. This news was then reprinted in many Russian and American news sources, including Buzzfeed, Techcrunch and Fox News. Konov himself, however, tweeted that he had made no mention of any bans on journalists, accusing the Ridus portal of slander.

The IOC’s statement makes it clear that there will be no fundamental differences between the work of journalists during the Sochi Olympics and during the Summer Olympics in London.

“Just as during the 2012 Games in London, accredited media at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi are free to use social media platforms or websites when compiling their reports, pursuant to the rules governing work with the social networks and the Internet for participants and other accredited individuals,” the IOC states. “There is nothing that has changed from the situation in London,” the International Olympic Committee adds.

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