James Fallows noted in The Atlantic that CNN and BBC reports revisiting the often-violent relations between Tibetans and Han Chinese were being broadcast unfiltered on the Chinese mainland. Fallows also linked to an unexpectedly subtle repudiation of the Dalai Lama printed in the China Daily. The state mouthpiece displays a firm grasp of public relations in its article. Indeed, publicity is the core of its argument.
"You are no ordinary publicist. ... That is why your
apparent innocence and sensational stories of
Wait a minute. "More evidence" when dealing with the press? That's our line!
There are also signs that the more neutral term "Dalai group" is being used at least occasionally in place of the absurd-sounding "Dalai clique" as the English translation of choice for the phrase dalai jituan, which describes His Holiness and supporters in official Chinese government discourse. A Google search finds 1,600 references to "Dalai group," almost all of which have appeared since March 2008.
But do changes in media tactics signal a genuine change in media policy? Not so far. Tensions mounted in the weeks prior to Tuesday's anniversary of the failed antigovernment uprising that sparked rioting this time last year.
International reporters--who are legally allowed to interview
anyone who consents in
Several correspondents have blogged about their experiences.
The BBC's James
Reynolds cut short a visit to the Tibetan plateau after being tipped off
that police were on their way, according to his Wednesday post. The same day Malcolm
Moore, a Shanghai-based reporter for the British Daily Telegraph, published a Foreign Correspondent's Club of China (FCCC)
statement. Journalists with at least six international news organizations have
been detained or harassed while reporting on
If things are bad for the foreigners, conditions for locals
are worse. High
Peaks Pure Earth, which publishes English translations of Chinese and
Tibetan-language blog posts from the region, has seen nearly all of its sources
rendered inaccessible in the space of a week. The blog host Tibetan Culture Net
replaced its usual content with a notice
announcing a one-day maintenance closure on March 5, but a week later the site remains
inactive. Another site now shuttered had hosted the blog of the Tibetan TV
editor and news producer Jamyang
Kyi, according to High
Peaks. Jamyang Kyi, who studied
news broadcasting as a visiting scholar at
CPJ's 2008 prison
census records two other Tibetan journalists missing since their arrests
last year. The whereabouts of another Tibetan TV journalist arrested in
September, Rangjung (many Tibetans use one name), are still unknown. Dhondup
Wangchen, a filmmaker, shot a moving documentary exploring life under Tibetan
rule in the run-up to the Olympics. While friends in
The arrests took place just days before last year's rioting erupted, in the kind of high-security environment that is again dominating the region. In this clip from the film, Dhondup Wangchen holds a Chinese newspaper dated March 10, 2008, to the camera. An Olympic athlete waving the Chinese flag is visible in the corner.
"We are close to finishing our project," he narrates in Tibetan.
"Our footage is ready, either tomorrow or the day after, to be taken to
Releasing a journalist imprisoned for publicizing events in