China is defending its decision to collect information on foreign journalists covering the 2008 Beijing Olympics, saying the information will be used to help the media, not to hinder reporting.

A media official for Beijing's Olympic organizing committee, Li Zhanjun, told reporters Tuesday that the database was not created to monitor or threaten journalists.

Li also said it was not a blacklist and stressed that coverage at the Games would be open and transparent.

Meanwhile, Chinese officials denied state-run media reports Monday that the government had created a database of some 30,000 accredited Olympic Games reporters.

A report on Monday quoted China's top media official, Liu Binjie the minister of the General Administration of Press and Publication, as saying the list was made to help clamp down on "fake reporters" and unlicensed publications.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.