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Using video to cover the Olympics when event video isn't allowed
Posted by Stephanie Clary
The International Olympic Committee's guidelines can be confusing.
And the IOC's televison broadcast guidelines read like a legal riddle. There are limits to how many times per day a TV show can air Olympic material, how long each segment can last and how far apart broadcasts need to be.
But the online media rules are pretty straight forward: no video or audio of Olympic events:
Specifically, this means that no sound or moving images of any Olympic events, including sporting action, interviews with athletes in the mixed zones and competition venue press conference rooms, Opening, Closing and medal ceremonies or other activities, such as chat sessions which occur within accredited zones (competition sites and practice venues, Olympic Village, Main Press Centre, etc.) may be disseminated, whether on a live or delayed basis, regardless of source.
However, with digital media outlets receiving more credentials than any previous Olympics, Web sites aren't straying from filming here in Vancouver. With a little creativity, publications are following the IOC's guidelines and finding a way to produce video coverage.
Here's a look at how the five most-credentialed publications are capturing the Winter Games:
1. USA Today
The national newspaper's videos have focused on cultural pieces as well as celebrity and athlete interviews.
This video looks at Aboriginal culture in Vancouver, using original content shot by USA Today. It contains no sports images and is filmed outside of accredited areas:
Other USA Today videos include an audio slideshow of singer Michael Bublé describing his favorite parts of Vancouver as well as out-of-venue interviews with athletes such as figure skater Evan Lysacek.
The sports magazine and Web site uses on-air personalities to recap the Winter Games.
A reporter stationed near Vancouver's Stanley Park describes highlights, and photos are used to illustrate the day's sports news:
Sports Illustrated also filmed a behind-the-scenes video during an Olympic-related cover shoot, allowing the Web site to show athletes in the Winter Games environment without infringing the rules.
The online-only news source turns to former Olympians to analyze events such as figure skating as well as report on the street scene in Vancouver.
Sasha Cohen and Elvis Stojko break down U.S. figure skater Mirai Nagasu's performance in a recent video, and still images help complement their analysis.
The national newspaper's Olympics multimedia pieces tend to serve an informational purpose.
They combine narration — both voice and text — with original graphics and still images to explain event and news highlights from the Games.
Two examples that stand out: An explanation of how snowboarder Shaun White won gold in the halfpipe event and a look at the challenges of the Whistler Sliding Centre after a luger's deadly crash.
Yes, we're in the top-five, this isn't just shameless self-promotion.
And most of our original video has focused on the Vancouver party and cultural scene to avoid any unintentional breaking of the IOC's online rules. Here's a piece on a large-scale art installation:
For Games coverage, we've relied on our sports columnists to deliver highlights:
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