Photo journos at 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi can't use mobile phones - or else

Photography journalists will not be allowed to use mobile devices to capture the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, according to two Russian news websites.

Vasily Konov, head of Russia's R-Sport news agency, allegedly announced that photography journalists cannot use mobile phones to film athletes or spectators. If they do, they'll lose their accreditation to cover the games. This strict policy apparently applies to tablets and pocket cameras, as well. 

The news was delivered at the National Forum during a training seminar on 8 November for sports journalists in Sochi. The Verge specifically claimed the new policy meant reporters cannot post photos or videos to apps like Instagram and Vine, but there is no mention of officials at the National Forum having singled out either mobile app.

It seems journalists with special badges and professional equipment can record the competition. That said, it's worth noting some DSLR cameras have Wi-Fi capability and can post online. It is unclear whether journalist can use these Wi-Fi-enabled DSLRs or even post to mobile apps after the competition.

In past years, journalists practically had free reign at Olympics, as evident by the 2012 London Olympics. If this new policy remains, the real-world implications could be severe. Journalists might fear using their cell phones to make calls, because it could put their accreditation in jeopardy, which would thus have a stifling effect on the Olympics overall, as mentioned by The Interpreter.

We've contacted the International Olympic Committee for clarification, and we'll update when more information is available.



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