The Observer’s 2008 Beijing Olympics Coverage

Live From Beijing: The Media Games!

By John Koblin, Felix Gillette and Tom Scocca

At lunchtime on July 29, the New York Times masthead invited a group of reporters and editors up to a conference room in the paper’s executive hall on the 16th floor to eat roast beef and turkey sandwiches and talk about the paper’s massive investment in the Olympic Games.

How, they wanted to know, could The Times best use the 32 credentialed reporters and editors that would cover the Olympics in China?


Charles McGrath and the Mystery of the Missing Elderly

By Tom Scocca

“Visitors to the Olympics,” Charles McGrath writes in today’s New York Times, “…can be forgiven for thinking that China is a land of unnatural youthfulness where nobody is older than 30…..Older Chinese, and there are plenty in Beijing, are mostly out of sight.”

Are they?


The Tough Road to Beijing

By John Koblin

Welcome to the Olympics! If you’re one of the 20,000+ journalists covering the games, you’ve probably arrived. But boy, it hasn’t been easy getting there. Over the past week, The Observer spoke to reporters and editors about their headaches getting credentials in Beijing.

“One day, they’ll e-mail us and ask for certain information and the next day, after we raised a question as to why, then it changes,” said Tom Jolly, The New York Times sports editor. “This is mostly silly stuff—like requests for photos for credentials because there was a blue background instead of a white background. That literally happened.”


Meet Joe Kahn, the Times‘ China Expert

By John Koblin

Joe Kahn, the Times‘ deputy foreign editor, is the paper’s go-to China-expert. He’s won a Pulitzer for his work in China, and has been described as the paper’s most invaluable resource for explaining Beijing and China to the paper’s sports desk. Here’s what he had to say to us while he spoke to him for our cover story this week.


Times’ Landman Says NBC’s Olympics Coverage Suffers From ‘Oldthink’

By John Koblin

The Fashion Industry Wants a Piece of Olympics Pie

By Meredith Bryan