World

Olympians compete in Beijing amid low TV ratings, criticism of China

NBC’s coverage of the 2022 Olympics in Beijing China has gotten low ratings, as they are faced with strong criticism of China and strict COVID-19 protocols.

The Olympics are taking place in global states amid surges of new coronavirus variants in an authoritarian country that is set on total elimination of the virus. Additionally, it has proven to be a precarious balance between broadcast journalism and protecting business interests.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Biden Administration announced in December that it would conduct a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Games because of China’s violation of human rights against the Uygher Muslim population in Western China, which has since been declared genocide. Eight other U.S. allies responded similarly. 

Jules Boykoff, a professor at Pacific University who specializes in sports politics, said, “NBC is basically in business with the International Olympic Committee and they had a clear interest in promoting the event; but at the same time, they are a news organization which makes claims to journalistic integrity – so it’s an odd place to be.”

NBC executives promised to address human rights issues, China’s constraints of the press, and the pandemic, while focusing on the sporting events.

Molly Solomon, the executive producer and president of NBC Olympics production, said during a January 19 press conference, “We are going to be focusing on telling the stories of Team USA and covering the competition. But the world, as we all know, is a really complicated place right now, and we understand that there are some difficult issues regarding the host nation. So our coverage will provide perspective on China’s place in the world and the geopolitical context in which these Games are being held.”

ARTICLE: JILLIAN WEIDNER

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: BOSTON.COM

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I was born and raised in Omaha, NE before moving to Sioux Falls, SD to attend college at Augustana University. This past May I graduated from Augustana with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Biology with an emphasis in Allied Health. I first discovered FBA through my involvement with Turning Point USA where I worked as a Campus Coordinator in college. I have a passion for politics and activism, and was drawn to FBA’s dedication to spreading the truth. Unbiased news is rare in today’s society, so I wanted to be a part of FBA’s mission to change that.

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