According to Edward Cody of the Washington Post, the promised freedom of the press during the 2008 Olympics is far from a fait accompli. It remains to be seen whether the CCP will live up to their word. Do they ever?
Washington Post Excerpt: A manual published by the Public Security Ministry and handed out to Beijing police, who are studying English in preparation for the Olympics, contained a dialogue making clear how ministry officials believe reporting should be approached. It described a hypothetical situation in which a policeman comes upon a foreign reporter inquiring about Falun Gong:
"But Falun Gong has nothing to do with the games," the policeman says.
"What does that matter?" the reporter replies.
"It's beyond the permit."
"You're a sports reporter. You should only cover the games."
"But I'm interested in Falun Gong."
"It's beyond the limit of your coverage and illegal. As a foreign reporter in China, you should obey China law and do nothing against your status."
"Oh, I see. May I go now?"
"No. Come with us."
A Beijing policeman said the manual was distributed to him and his colleagues, along with a tape recording of the various dialogues, as practice material to supplement three-month-long formal English courses that have been underway since 2002.