Media covering the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will soon learn how the coronavirus will impact reporting from Japan later this year.
What’s being called the Tokyo Playbook is set to be released February 4th, a detailed guide to the changes coming for press credentialed to the Games. It will be the first definitive guide to the protocols media will need to follow as a result of coronavirus precautions.
“I want to be clear, these will be very different Games," warns Lucia Montanarella, head of Olympic Games Media Operations. She spoke at the open of a virtual meeting organized by AIPS, the International Sports Press Association.
Nearly 300 journalists from across the globe including Bermuda took part in the meeting, organized just a week ago as rumors flew about whether the already postponed Games might face cancellation.
“We are not in the same situation as last year. Sports are on, athletes train and classify,” Montanarella noted.
Limits on numbers of reporters at venues and mixed zones are coming. Contact between athletes and the media will be limited to digital connections for the most part.
Photographers will face big changes as a result of the need for spacing in photo positions.
“It's going to be very difficult for all the photographers to get what they need. Their positions are going to be distanced, away from the action to keep athletes safe," Montanarella said.
The Tokyo media playbook will be released February 4th followed the next week by an online forum organized by the IOC and Tokyo 2020.