By Helen Lenskyj
Makes use of the Sydney Olympics as a prism by which to discover contemporary Olympic scandals, media assurance, reform efforts, and controversies.
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Extra resources for The Best Olympics Ever?
Failure of anticipated private sector funding ($65m) for several major facilities was blamed, and unexpected costs in environmental cleanup to the Homebush Bay site were also cited—a fairly predictable blame-shifting to the troublesome environmentalist lobby. Knight was quoted as defending the additional $400m in public funding as taxpayers’ investment in the future. By July 1996, the government estimate stated that the Olympic Village would cost at least $300m less than the original projection, thus signiﬁcantly decreasing the cost to taxpayers (Humphries, 1996b; Korporaal, 1996d).
Despite the Salt Lake City precedent following the bribery investigations of 1998-1999, when most organizing committee meetings, as well as agendas, minutes, and reports, were open to the public, Knight resorted to the “commercial in conﬁdence” argument, claiming that SOCOG board could not deal with private commercial matters if its meetings were public (M. Moore, 1999g). On the ticket question, Moore subsequently published a controversial story about SOCOG’s premium ticket option. Members of Sydney’s exclusive social club, Tattersall’s, had been offered between 300 and 400 guaranteed seats to the most popular events, without having to enter the public ballot system that had been advertised as the only method of securing such seats.
The term refers to the process by which the news media, often in collaboration with politicians, 34 THE BEST OLYMPICS EVER? police, or other state authorities, present selective and biased coverage in order to generate scare stories or to fuel moral panic about volatile issues such as violence, drugs, youth, and immigration. There is some debate over the extent to which beat-ups are simply created by journalists struggling to produce new copy every day because that is their job, rather than by some underlying propaganda model of the mass media, as Chomsky and Herman would explain it (Lumby, 2000).
The Best Olympics Ever? by Helen Lenskyj