DECEMBER 28, 2005
Posted January 4, 2006
Yang Bin, Beijing NewsSun Xuedong, Beijing News
Li Duoyu, Beijing News
The Propaganda Department removed Yang from his post as chief editor after the daily Beijing News reported aggressively on rural protests and other sensitive topics, according to international news reports. The newspaper broke the story of a violent crackdown on farmers protesting government appropriation of land in the village of Shengyou, 100 miles southwest of the capital Beijing. Online and deputy editors Sun Xuedong and Li Duoyu were also fired, according to the International Herald Tribune. Editors from the conservative parent newspaper Guangming Daily will replace the journalists.
Dozens of Beijing News editors and reporters walked out in protest of the removal of Yang on December 29, refusing to file reports.
The Propaganda Department has control over the hiring and firing of editors in the country’s newspapers. Journalists are often dismissed, transferred, or demoted in retribution for reporting that embarrasses the government or defies Propaganda Department instructions on coverage.