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G&B: Apologies to Sting

It's been a blast, folks. The Worlds Most Popular Podcast is signing off. Truth to be told, there's not enough hours in the day for ...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

jeff marek on media in beijing...

I had an exclusive chat with Jeff Marek about his stay in Beijing while covering the 2008 Olympics. Jeff is from the last breed of talent that was brought up listening to radio when it was entertainment and not just filler and he deserves all the success that comes his way.

Marek commented about the big brother mentality over there. . "It's not overt but you do get the feeling that you are always being watched, for sure". He hinted, "There was army presence everywhere, even if it was just one soldier standing at the corner. Not as bad as Korea in '88, as I understand it, we didn't see any machine guns but still...we we're also told to expect that every phone call was being recorded and every email read so we all went into it eyes open wide." Marek remarked, "Oh and we had room service insist on cleaning our rooms everyday while we were out of the rooms which we all kinda figure was their way of having a peek at what we had in our chambers"

Pretty shady.

And how about the media overall in Beijing? "The media is completely different as it's pretty well all state run (CCTV) and you can see the governments influence in print, radio and TV. You could not find a story about anything in China that did not have a shiny happy spin on it." Marek confides,
"Everything at the games was the best and absolute perfection and don't get me wrong, something were simply tremendous but there was nothing mentioned at all about the smog, pollution, protests (other than they were hostile interlopers) in either print or TV." However, Marek did say, "the TV coverage was outstanding as host feed from all the events was world class and thorough."

Sometimes, we should look overseas to learn more on how to progress an artform. However, it's when the artform is taken over by the business is when you know you're going in a bad direction.