January 4, 2013

Chinese news censorship challenged

Interesting AP story this morning. It's about Chinese journalists rising up and challenging the news censorship imposed by Communist party leaders.
BEIJING (AP) — In a rare move, some Chinese journalists are openly confronting a top censor after a southern newspaper known for its edgy reporting was forced to change a New Year editorial calling for political reform into a tribute praising the Communist Party. 
It takes a brave person to champion news freedom in China. But I couldn't help laughing at the bland "we never censor news" statements of the party. I liked this too:
The party-run Global Times newspaper hit back with a defense of the government line, publishing an editorial saying the media cannot exist "romantically" outside the country's political reality. The spat has become one of the hottest topics on China's popular microblog site Sina Weibo. 
I love that: cannot "exist romantically". Top-down leadership is always a disaster. Frankly, I can't imagine how the ruling party has kept such a huge number of people in line, for such a long time. But it sounds like they're breaking out now, and that's great news.

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