Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Too Many Cooks Make Bland Broth
Today the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee (BOCOG) held a press conference with an unprecedented number of officials standing by to answer the media's questions. Eighteen of them from various Olympic or municipal departments either sat on stage or in the first row seats.
You'd think with so many of them around, they would surely have something important to say.
Instead the main spokesperson Xin Tieliang, deputy director of the Organization Department read out a giant laundry list of things BOCOG is doing in terms of hiring personnel in areas such as security, tourism, and traffic, and recruiting volunteers.
And the goals of each of the aforementioned groups were very vague and no clear explanation of strategies or how these people would be trained. He would only mention, for example that some 400 young police recruits were sent to the UK and Australia to get their Masters degrees in languages.
Some 100,000 volunteers will be trained but how and in what capacity they would be working were not outlined. Xin was very happy to add that 500 of the volunteers were from Hong Kong, Macau and other countries. There were no further details on where these overseas volunteers would be staying and what benefits they would receive for taking the time to volunteer at the Games.
But the best part of the event was when Xin mentioned media personnel would be chosen depending on their "political reliability".
A reporter from Reuters asked what this meant along with how many people were currently employed at BOCOG.
Unfortunately, Xin preferred to answer the latter question in detail (1,800), including the percentages of those with bachelor's degrees, masters, and doctorates.
I'm still wondering what "political reliability" means.
Can anyone enlighten me?