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October 15, 2010
Lucia Montanarella predicts New Media will force revolution in access to Mixed Zone and accreditation categories

REVOLUTION Lucia Montanarella. Photo/Julian Finney/Getty Images
by Roslyn Morris, AIPS Secretary General

LAUSANNE, October 15, 2010 - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) should review access to the mixed zone to keep up with changing demands created by the explosion of journalists using new media tools.

This is the view of Italian Lucia Montanarella, Director of Press Operations for both the Vancouver 2010 and Torino 2006 Winter Olympic Games.

“With new media comes the question of access to the Mixed Zone. This is a big question for the IOC – to review access to areas for journalists with broadcasting equipment. Up until now non-rights holders have been denied access into the Mixed Zone – they have to change – the IOC must lead this change,” Montanarella told AIPS president Gianni Merlo in an interview posted on the AIPS website.

“With the internet we have YouTube, Facebook and the like – new media require video and the IOC cannot avoid doing it,” said Montanarella who commanded a staff of 164 paid workers and 587 volunteers in Vancouver.

When asked if the written press are disadvantaged by long delays in accessing the sources Montanarella said it was inevitable that the category of “press” will change.

“In future there will be no photographers, no written press, non rights holders and rights holders categories. This will require a bit of a revolution – everyone will have access to the sources at the same time.

“We will have to work with the broadcasters – it must be a joint project. It will require a lot of discussion, and that is the direction,” the Singapore Youth Olympic Games Young Reporters Programme mentor added.

When asked by Merlo about the growing trend for organisers to provide free internet for the media, Montanarella said more and more journalists are going to the venues and staying less in the MPC.

“It is a big planning question on how many spaces are needed at venues and in the MPC but internet must be provided free of charge, like access to water,” she said. “I know Sochi are working in that direction.”

Please click here to see the full interview.

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