Authorities for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia are reportedly drawing a line in the sand between professional photographers and casual Instagrammers. According to Russian news outlets, journalists who use their phones, tablets, or pocket cameras to capture the Winter Games will be summarily stripped of their credentials and lose their professional accreditation.
Vasily Konov, head of Russia's state-run R-Sport news agency, reportedly delivered the stringent decision on Friday in a training seminar for print journalists preparing for the Games, which are set to begin on February 7th. According to Svoboda.org, while normal spectators are permitted to photograph the Olympics on their phones to their hearts' content, journalists using mobile phones to film or photograph athletes is considered a "violation." Reporters who fall victim to the urge to Instagram or Vine the events will effectively lose the ability to report the news from Sochi. Only those with special badges and professional equipment will be able to do so.
Vine is for spectators only
This new rule contrasts greatly with the freedom journalists had to document the 2012 London Olympics on their personal Instagram accounts. It also remains unclear whether or not news outlets can update their accounts with photos and video after competitions. We've reached out to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for comment on the decision.