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China: Freedom of the Press? [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2012-1-28 03:01:24 |Display all floors
This post was edited by wowzers at 2012-1-28 03:02

China unfairly ranked near bottom of the Press Freedom Index?
By Benjamin Cost
In the surprising 2011/2012 Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders, China almost skirts the bottom at number 174 out of 179 possible spots. This places them one measly notch higher than Iran (175), who is just coming off the 2009/2010 election protest involving rampant violence between the media and government, and 22 places below Iraq - the country responsible for the most reporter killings (151) in the last two decades. In an equally frightening bit of trivia, just two years ago the same slot was occupied by North Korea! Reporters Without Borders states:
This year, they [Eritrea, Turkmenistan and North Korea] are immediately preceded at the bottom by Syria, Iran and China, three countries that seem to have lost contact with reality as they have been sucked into an insane spiral of terror, and by Bahrain and Vietnam, quintessential oppressive regimes. Other countries such as Uganda and Belarus have also become much more repressive.
But is this near vilification of China's freedom of the press policies justified or a tad overblown?
Netizens seem to agree with the latter, especially when concerning the government's relatively lax stance on Weibo, blogs, and the internet in general:
Many netizens questioned China’s place in the rankings because they felt Weibo, China’s Twitter, provides a relatively free forum. One wrote, “[It seems] Weibo has ruined the Ministry of Propaganda’s efforts.” Another netizen tweeted, “[The ranking] is basically accurate; good thing we have the Internet (even with the firewall).” Another demanded, “China should have moved up! Because netizens know so much more than they used to.”While a majority felt the rankings were accurate, they appeared to reserve much of their scorn for China’s tightly managed traditional media, and not the Internet. One netizen resorted to sarcasm: “The Ministry of Propaganda has been working for years [on censorship]. After all its diligent hard work, the Celestial Dynasty is not ranked last? How is this [expletive] fair?”
Clearly, Chinese netizens' views of government censorship aren't exactly on par with "an insane spiral of terror" or "losing contact with reality" (phrases which kind've detract from the supposed impartiality of the index's rankings). Sure part of it stems from the fact that your average Chinese citizen has a different outlook on what constitutes oppression of the media. According to netizens, many Chinese believe that "freedom of speech is a myth."
But despite discrepancies between Western and Chinese standards of press freedom, Chinese citizens have been granted surprising leeway in voicing their government-directed opinions through the web - something the index has all but overlooked or ignored.
Just take a look at their lambasting of the government report that surfaced after the Wenzhou bullet train crash in December; one that allegedly scapegoated random rail officials. Or how about their forthcoming criticism of the government's donation of 23 schoolbuses to Macedonia in the wake of a school bus accident that claimed the lives of 19 preschoolers. Would all the governments of the countries ranking higher than China on the index be so tolerable of such accusations?
While Weibo is not technically a news source, it is undeniably changing the game on what is acceptable to put into print in China. So until Reporters Without Borders examines this facet of Chinese media (if anybody understands the point system they use to determine a country's "freeness" level, please let us know), they shouldn't be so quick to toss China's or any other country's name in the mud.


Good Gweilo: My job is the ideological quality control

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Post time 2012-4-3 12:32:19 |Display all floors
seneca Post time: 2012-1-28 10:27
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This speaks clearly.

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Post time 2012-4-25 16:52:41 |Display all floors
I don't think there have the news freedom of speech in China.Our government always banned from countries reputation harmfui news.Such as not long ago the exposure yogurt is made of leather shoes.The reporter was removed.{:soso_e101:}

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Post time 2012-4-25 16:58:26 |Display all floors
Unfairly? How?

Every media outlet has a full time government censor. I'd say that was a pretty restricting presence.

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Post time 2012-5-9 01:45:29 |Display all floors
This post was edited by 29042012 at 2012-5-9 01:45

Al Jazeera closes Beijing bureau after reporter Melissa Chan expelled

BEIJING—Al Jazeera is closing its Beijing bureau following the departure of its correspondent Melissa Chan, a hard-hitting reporter who was effectively expelled from the country.

It marks the first time since 1998 that Beijing has forced out an accredited correspondent and underscores the deterioration of the relationship between the Chinese Communist Party and the press.

Chan, who had tangled frequently with uncover police to expose illegal jails and land confiscations, flew out of Beijing Monday night after authorities refused to renew her visa.

At a press briefing Tuesday in Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei deflected a barrage of questions about press freedom.

The Chinese government “welcomes foreign journalists to report objectively in China,” said Hong Lei, who described the local reporting environment as “very open and free.”

Chan declined to comment, but posted on Twitter, “Yes my press credentials have been revoked and I will no longer report f/China.”

“This is the most extreme example of a recent pattern of using journalist visas in an attempt to censor and intimidate foreign correspondents in China,” said the Beijing-based Foreign Correspondents Club of China in a statement Tuesday, which called the government’s action tantamount to expelling Chan.

It is indeed very practical that the party is  judge, legislator, head of the army, executor  and  publisher  all in one in China.

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Post time 2012-5-9 01:45:58 |Display all floors
The press association said that the Chinese government was angered about a documentary that aired in November about the use of prisoners in forced-labor camps. Although Chan was not involved in that production, other reports since 2007 had angered authorities.

Chan, 31, is from Walnut, Calif. Fluent in Mandarin, she would frequently tangle with police, sometimes brandishing a copy of Chinese statues giving reporters the right to cover stories.

The iconic image in Chan’s reports was a man’s hand covering the lens of a camera as she held her ground and explained what the press had the right to cover the story. In March, she helped a distraught grandmother seeking a daughter who had been put in an illegal “black jail” for violating China’s one-child policy.

Chan had been working on temporary credentials since the end of the last year when the government refused what should have been a routine renewal request. Replacement correspondents for Al Jazeera have not been approved, forcing the Qatar-based network to close its English service here. The Arabic service will not be impacted.

Salah Negm, director of news at Al Jazeera English, said in a statement Monday: “We hope China appreciates the integrity of our news coverage and our journalism. We value this journalist integrity in our coverage of all countries in the world. ... Al Jazeera Media Network will continue to work with the Chinese authorities in order to reopen our Beijing bureau.”

Chan, who is a U.S. citizen, has been accepted into the Knight Fellowship at Stanford University and will return to Al Jazeera afterward, she said in a message on her Twitter account.

The last time China kicked out correspondents was 1998, when both a Japanese and a German reporter were expelled in separate cases in which they were accused of obtaining secret documents.
It is indeed very practical that the party is  judge, legislator, head of the army, executor  and  publisher  all in one in China.

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Post time 2012-5-9 01:47:32 |Display all floors
The reason? According to China-based website ShanghaiIst, it is apparently related to a documentary Al Jazeera did last fall on slave labor. In it, Al Jazeera focused on Chinese slave labor prison camps known as "The Laogai" that supposedly forces prisoners to make everything from Christmas lights to Homer Simpson slippers. The documentary even contained footage of what is apparently a "Laogai" slave labor camp.

The Al Jazeera correspondent, Melissa Chan, has been the network's English correspondent in China since 2007 and has filed approximately 400 reports. This is China's first expulsion of a journalist since 1998, and Al Jazeera is trying to work with the Chinese government to reopen the bureau.

"Our editorial DNA includes covering all stories from all sides. We constantly cover the voice of the voiceless and sometimes that calls for tough news coverage from anywhere in world," said Salah Negm, director of news at Al Jazeera English, earlier today in an official statement.

"We are committed to our coverage of China," Negm continued. "Just as China news services cover the world freely we would expect that same freedom in China for any Al Jazeera journalist."

Whatever the reason for Chan's expulsion, this isn't about what Al Jazeera expects. It's about what the Chinese government expects.
It is indeed very practical that the party is  judge, legislator, head of the army, executor  and  publisher  all in one in China.

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