Covid-19: ESPN announces it won’t send reporters to Beijing Olympics

Company will instead focus on covering the Games remotely



By ANI

Published: Fri 21 Jan 2022, 8:04 AM

ESPN has announced that it will not be sending any news personnel to the Winter Olympics in China due to concerns arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company said in a statement that it will instead focus on covering the Games remotely with a robust plan that will roll out prior to the beginning of the competition next month.

“The safety of our employees is of utmost importance to us,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN Executive Vice President, Event and Studio Production & Executive Editor. “With the pandemic continuing to be a global threat, and with the Covid-related on-site restrictions in place for the Olympics that would make coverage very challenging, we felt that keeping our people home was the best decision for us.”

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ESPN had planned to send four reporters to China, after traveling five employees to last year’s Summer Olympics in Tokyo, but those reporters will now join a larger group dedicated to covering the Games remotely, the statement said.

“As was the case with the Summer Olympics, organizers have taken steps to make information and online interviews available for media outlets covering the Games remotely. ESPN has multiple reporters assigned to do so for both television and digital news platforms,” it added.

Beijing has beefed up for the prevention of Covid-19 after the more contagious variant of the virus, Omicron, has appeared in the capital city. So far, Covid-19 infections have been detected in four districts in Beijing, state media reported.

The 2022 Beijing Olympics is set to begin on February 4.


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