(BEIJING, July 8) -- The Main Press Center (MPC) for the Beijing Olympics formally opened on Tuesday, July 8 and will follow a 24-hour operation schedule between July 25 and August 27 for media crews from around the world, Director of the MPC and IBC operation team, Sha Wanquan, told reporters Tuesday.
The International Broadcast Center (IBC), nearby the MPC, also began operation Tuesday, stated Director of the BOCOG Median Operations Department, Sun Weijia, who joined Sha at the press conference.
The Chinese government, Beijing Municipal Government and BOCOG have attached great importance to media services with courtesy for media members a top consideration, both Sha and Sun stressed.
With a floor space of 62,000 square meters, the MPC is the largest media center in Olympic history. Located within reach of the "Bird's Nest", "Water Cube", National Indoor Stadium, the Olympic Fencing Hall, the Olympic Village, Media Village and other venues, the MPC allows for more convenient news coverage and easy access by journalists.
The two media hotels are conjoined to the MPC, allowing for direct flow between media work space and living quarters, setting a precedent for the Olympic Games, Sha said.
With 971 workstations, the press work room is also the largest in Olympic history. Among these workstations, 680 are equipped with electrical and network interface features to provide media crews with optimal communication capabilities. An additional 206 workstations will be available for photographers. W-LAN and laptop locks will accompany all stations for user convenience. To date a record 144 media organizations have rented 110 offices at the facility.
The MPC and IBC will follow international practice to provide information terminals, Games-time live broadcasting, competition results, and print and distribution service stations. "In addition, we have also set up a resource area offering a variety of international newspapers, magazines, and library facilities for members of the media," Sha said. "Abundant news coverage and press conferences addressing various topics will also be conducted to provide additional information," he added.
For added convenience, the MPC will offer facilities such as free of charge internet buffet, mobile phone charging stations, Internet IC card lending machine, a bank, a post office, a UPS center, a medical station, a pharmacy, a licensed product shop, a dry cleaning shop, a hair dresser, a travel agency, a convenient store and vending machines. The MPC will also offer a restaurant with a wide selection of international foods, media lounge, massage room, gym, showers and other spaces for relaxation.
Discussing the IBC, Sun said that it would also offer similar facilities for media teams. Additional information would be made available through press conferences from July 8 to 23. Starting July 8, the help desk will begin accepting applications for use of interview facilities and assisting crews with navigating the facility and addressing any concerns.
Offering optimal working conditions and cutting edge technology capabilities has been a priority for planners. "Ever since the early planning stage, we have been committed to top service and setting new Olympic precedents with our offerings," Sun said.
This would be the first time high definition signals would be provided to broadcasters to serve over four billion spectators around the world
"This is also the first time that new media technologies such as the internet and mobile phones will be used for widespread broadcasting," Sun said.