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Nieman Foundation journalism fellows at Harvard are distressed to learn that the prestigious program has agreed to provide Chinese officials with media training to help them deal with reporters at the 2008 Olympics in Beijiing, according to the New York Times.
Howard Berkes, a correspondent for National Public Radio who has covered five Olympics, objected to having the program teach tactics to a repressive government that could then thwart reporters. “The major interest of the Chinese will be to limit damaging news coverage,” he said.
Bob Giles, curator of the Nieman Foundation, countered “It’s not about press management or shaping your message, it’s about understanding what our values are and how the press works.”