Editor known for investigations is ousted

December 31, 2006

Huang Liangtian, Baixing

Huang, editor-in-chief of the monthly magazine Baixing, was removed from his post after the magazine became known for its investigative stories on land seizures and government corruption. Huang’s superiors at the state-controlled magazine told him that his dismissal was part of a regular rotation, but he told reporters the real reason was the magazine had become too critical of the government, according to The Associated Press.

Huang took over the magazine, which is published by the Ministry of Agriculture, in 2004. Its stories about the seizure of farmers’ land without adequate compensation had angered officials, according to news reports. “Our main readers became intellectuals who were concerned about the future and the reform of China,” he told AP.

He was transferred to a job as editor-in-chief of the Agricultural Products Market Magazine. Government control over the press in China is largely achieved through administrative measures, including dismissing or demoting editors when news reporting becomes too critical.