Top editors will communicate true story of SA

Last Friday the Local Organising Committee for the World Cup hosted one of the most influential sports administrators in the world, the president of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge.

Last Friday the Local Organising Committee for the World Cup hosted one of the most influential sports administrators in the world, the president of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge.

He was visiting South Africa as the guest of Sam Ramsamy and Moss Mashishi, two leading administrators in their own right.

My colleagues and our directors gave them a splendid welcome and, as always, the question about the state of preparedness came up.

Rogge reminded us and the media present that events of this nature attracted negative publicity at this stage of preparation but assured us, as reflected in the global coverage of his visit, that he was confident of the progress made so far.

Our chairman, Irvin Khoza, took up the opportunity to suggest that a successful hosting of the World Cup in 2010 will pave the way for South Africa to host the Olympics.

It was Africa Day on May 25, so the minister in the presidency, who is also a director of the Organising Committee, spoke about the relevance and importance of the solidarity of Africa in hosting the World Cup.

In keeping with that spirit, we have invited 50 members of the African Editors Forum from around the continent to attend the World Association of Newspapers Congress taking place in Cape Town from Sunday.

We are particularly pleased that we could get these influential providers of information to this gathering of more than 1300 editors and publishers of more than 18000 publications around the world.

They will be discussing trends in the media and the impact of technology on newspapers, but you can bet developments in the country are going to be put under the spotlight.

The event will take place over a four-day period. So it will be important for the different expert representatives in public life in our country to challenge distortions and actively communicate the objective and true story of South Africa.

The LOC will do its part at the newspapers congress, as our board is doing at the Fifa congress in Switzerland. Here at home, we are putting the final touches to the LOC website that can be accessed through the Fifa website, www.Fifa.com, for the launch on Friday.

The Fifa website is apparently the biggest events-related website in the world, with more than four billion visits during the World Cup itself. As our new media manager, Jermaine Craig correctly reminds us that the website is going to be our face to the world and most definitely one of our most important communication tools.

We are building capacity in order for us to provide coverage of host cities and any other 2010 World Cup-related activities in the country. We urge you to visit the revamped website on Friday. Go to the SA 2010 link and tell us what you think. We look forward to hearing from you.

l Tim Modise is the 2010 World Cup SA Local Organising Committee's head of communications. - For your suggestions and queries e-mail him on TimM@2010saloc.com

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