Accredited journalists working from the Main Press Centre at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games might have to go hungry and thirsty.
An inspection of the MPC by AIPS president Gianni Merlo has discovered that food and beverage services are extremely lacking.
“More than 5,000 accredited journalists are expected in Rio and if there’s one thing that journalists don’t like it’s being hungry,” said Merlo.
There is one very small refreshment station with water, coffee and tea that is not able to support the thousands of accredited media who will make the MPC their base.
In a letter to the President of the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee Carlos Arthur Nuzman, the AIPS president said: “Water is not enough – there is no bottled water, coffee and tea is simply not served in adequate quantities, so the containers are empty most of the time.
There is nowhere in the MPC to get food. Not even a snack bar for sandwiches and beverages. These facilities have been provided in the IBC for the broadcasters (with two snack bars).” Merlo said the situation was unacceptable.
“The working press will need access to fast food options. Is the working press any different from those housed at the IBC? Why are we being treated as second class citizens?”
“The situation is very different from what has been always presented in the lead up to the Games where we were told that several food and beverage outlets would be provided in the MPC for use of the Press.”
It is hoped the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee will upgrade food and beverage options in the MPC before the games kick off on August 5.
As yet AIPS has not received an official response from the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee.