Special Reports

Taiwan


Criminal defamation cases and news documented by CPJ
I am very happy to announce that self-censorship, a phenomenon that has been disturbing the journalistic circle in Hong Kong for many years, is dead. As a matter of fact, it never existed.

Let's be realistic. We should stop calling the sickness "self-censorship" and name it what it really is‹censorship.

Front-line journalists seldom censor themselves. Their stories are usually killed by their superiors‹plain old censorship. Chief editors, senior managers, and publishers do the dirty work for the government by watering down criticism or spiking offensive stories.

Those looking to take the measure of China's attitude toward Hong Kong's outspoken press may not need to wait for macroeconomic changes. Beijing has already expressed its distaste for Hong Kong's independent journalism in the case of media magnate Jimmy Lai. The flamboyant millionaire has built a media empire in a very short time by combining investigative reporting with the flash of tabloid journalism and a reputation for no-holds-barred criticism of China.
China

Chen Fang BOOK BANNING
Aug. 21, 1997
The Communist Party's propaganda department, the Culture Ministry, and the Press and Publications Administration banned Chen Fang's 1997 book, Wrath of Heaven: A Mayor's Severe Crime, for posing a threat to Chinese leadership with its coverage of government corruption. Though a novel, the book describes the infamous 1995 corruption scandal involving the former mayor of Beijing, Chen Xitong, and Wang Baosen, deceased deputy mayor.

The Tail of the Dragon

Two intrepid Chinese women‹one a naturalized American working as a reporter in New York, the other a former Beijing business writer now serving a six-year sentence in a Chinese jail‹have helped define what is at stake for East Asia and the world now that the Hong Kong press is under the formal sway of the People's Republic of China.

On May 3, World Press Freedom Day, the imprisoned Chinese reporter, Gao Yu, was presented a $25,000 press freedom award in absentia by UNESCO Director General Fernando Mayor. Beijing reacted with furor, calling Gao Yu "a criminal" and threatening to close UNESCO's China office or quit the U.N. agency altogether.

In a landmark victory for democracy and press freedom, a Taiwan court on April 22 dismissed criminal libel charges against American journalist Ying Chan and Taiwan-based journalist Hsieh Chung-liang. An amicus brief signed by ten prominent United States media companies and the Committee to Protect Journalists on the defendants' behalf was a strong factor in the judge's decision, observers said.

The Tail of the Dragon

Two intrepid Chinese women--one a naturalized American who works as a reporter in New York, the other a former Beijing business writer now serving a six-year sentence in a Chinese jail--have helped define what is at stake for East Asia and the world when the Hong Kong press comes under the formal sway of the People's Republic of China. On May 3, World Press Freedom Day, the imprisoned Chinese reporter, Gao Yu, was presented a $25,000 press freedom award in absentia by UNESCO Director General Fernando Mayor. Beijing reacted with furor, calling Gao Yu "a criminal" and threatening to close UNESCO's China office or quit the U.N. agency altogether.
Africa
  • For the third consecutive year, Ethiopia held more journalists in jail--31 at year's end--than any other country in Africa. Most were detained without charges.

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