China / 2011

CPJ Blog

In China, real people vs. Internet minders

December 21, 2011 12:14 PM ET

In the next three months, users of China's microblog weibo.com --- "weibo" is the generic Chinese term for Twitter-like platforms --- run by the huge sina.com (the English site is here) news portal, entertainment and blogging site, will have to start providing their real-world identities to the site, instead...

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China's jailed Uighurs: Out of sight, not out of mind

December 8, 2011 12:00 AM ET

For the first time in more than a decade, China is not the world's worst jailer of the press in CPJ's annual census of imprisoned journalists. Among the 27 jailed in China, one group has seen a massive jump in imprisonments. In another first since CPJ began taking its census,...

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Defending the middle ground of online journalism

November 14, 2011 6:57 PM ET

It's easy to use polarizing descriptions of online news-gathering. It's the domain of citizen journalists, blogging without pay and institutional support, or it's a sector filled with the digital works of "mainstream media" facing financial worries and struggling to offer employees the protection they once provided. But there is a...

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China's new rules step up state control of reporting

November 14, 2011 12:01 PM ET

China's latest media regulations, issued Thursday in a bid to take some steam out of microblogs that increasingly drive the country's news agenda, signal an increased role for the state in drafting and enforcing press standards....

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Keeping a website alive behind the Great Firewall

November 11, 2011 1:20 PM ET

Wednesday's post, "Advice for colleagues on the digital front lines," offered practical advice for keeping a website up and running in a hostile political environment. But such measures are not universally applicable. Sky Canaves, CPJ's new East Asia and Internet consultant in Hong Kong, sent this reality check for Internet...

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Planning the next steps in Chinese media control

November 8, 2011 1:25 PM ET

In the latest sign of increasing pressure on Chinese companies to tighten control of the Internet, Chinese authorities convened an unusual seminar in Beijing for senior executives of 39 major enterprises involved in Internet services, technology and telecommunications....

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China confronts Internet rumors and trashy TV

October 27, 2011 1:26 PM ET

Along with cracking down on what it considers trashy TV --- China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) said Tuesday that it will limit entertainment and add more news and other programs that "build morality and promote the core values of socialism" -- the government is going...

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In lawsuit, Chinese writers allege Cisco aids government

August 24, 2011 5:20 PM ET

Three Chinese writers who have spent time in prison for articles published online are suing California-based Cisco Systems Inc., according to international news reports. The suit accuses the company of providing information and technology to Chinese authorities that facilitated the writers' detentions--allegations that Cisco flatly denies. Chinese security officials...

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Schlesinger: 'Media, Murdoch, and social responsibility'

July 22, 2011 2:37 PM ET

CPJ board member David Schlesinger, who is the chairman of Thomson Reuters in China, delivered a speech today at a conference sponsored by Caixin magazine. He touched on several current issues, and found lessons in the News of the World case that are relevant to journalists everywhere. And I...

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The highs and lows of investigative reporting in China

July 22, 2011 2:10 PM ET

Veteran investigative journalist Wang Keqin has always been positive about his chosen career, characterizing media restrictions in China as a cycle with ups and downs. In an interview for CPJ's October 2010 special report "In China, a debate on press rights," he told CPJ that "there was a big fall-off...

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China censors reaction to star-studded propaganda film

July 20, 2011 6:02 PM ET

The creators of "Beginning of the Great Revival," a new film about the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, have spared no expense to make it a popular success. Done in a popular Chinese soap opera style, the movie features more than 100 stars, along with leading directors and...

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Hong Kong's accelerating media freedom decline

July 14, 2011 12:46 PM ET

As a former resident of the Special Administrative Region, the classification given Hong Kong when it reverted to China's control in 1997, I've always watched the media there with the appreciative eye of a news consumer. The concept of "One Country, Two Systems," put forward to explain how the...

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Chinese censorship fans rumors on Jiang Zemin

July 7, 2011 5:29 PM ET

Sina's Twitter-like microblog platform Weibo blocked searches for "death," "river" and "301 Hospital" on Wednesday, according to The Wall Street Journal website. The company was responding to what Reuters reported was the service's most-discussed topic yesterday--the rumored demise of former President Jiang Zemin, whose surname, Jiang, means "river," and...

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On food safety, China misapplies a 'blacklist'

June 27, 2011 9:05 AM ET

Sarcasm reflects how aware the Chinese public has become of the dangers of adulterated food. After Japan's Fukushima nuclear crisis, a rumor circulated in China that table salt could prevent radiation. In spite of the government's efforts to curb the rumors, tons of overpriced table salt were sold overnight. Chinese...

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Uighur refugee extradited by Kazakhstan, held in China

June 20, 2011 2:40 PM ET

Kazakhstan authorities have extradited Uighur schoolteacher Arshidin Israil to China, where officials have described him without elaboration as a "major terror suspect," according to Reuters and other news accounts. Israil and his supporters believe the detention comes in reprisal for reporting he contributed to Radio Free Asia concerning the...

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Public health still risky topic for Chinese journalists

June 20, 2011 1:30 PM ET

Public health reporting is improving in China, but not fast enough. A new Human Rights Watch report on child lead poisoning in Chinese cities documents harassment of local journalists trying to cover the problem. "Journalists who reported on the lead poisoning in three of the four locations told Human Rights...

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Chinese media freedom in a 'sensitive' period

June 6, 2011 5:50 PM ET

I was in London on Friday, speaking at a seminar joint-hosted by the BBC Chinese service and the British think tank Chatham House called "Media Freedom in China and the Role of International Broadcasters." There was a lot of impassioned discussion about the range of challenges facing international broadcasters,...

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No spring in China, but are the media heading for a fall?

May 26, 2011 1:25 PM ET

Here's a quick toss to a video posted on YouTube by Australian Broadcasting's reporter Stephen McDonell. He and his crew decided to confront some Chinese security types (not surprisingly they didn't identify themselves) who had been following them in Wenzhou while reporting in China. The team was covering religion,...

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Q&A: Filmmaker talks Ai Weiwei and jailed activists

May 13, 2011 3:30 PM ET

Three years after a devastating earthquake hit Sichuan province in May 2008, CPJ spoke to documentary filmmaker Alison Klayman. The director is working on the upcoming "Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry," about the recently detained Chinese artist who documented the aftermath of the earthquake and published the names of children...

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U.S-China disagreement, not dialogue, on human rights

May 10, 2011 3:54 PM ET

The U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, which concluded in Washington today, may not have produced much in the way of specific commitments on human rights issues. But media appearances surrounding the talks have provided a forum for top leaders to re-state their views in public. ...

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U.S.-China dialogue must keep focus on human rights

May 9, 2011 5:38 PM ET

China's powerful State Councilor Dai Bingguo told U.S. officials today that his country was "making progress" on human rights issues, according to Agence France-Presse. The remarks, made at the start of the two-day Strategic and Economic Dialogue, do not bode well for U.S. efforts to keep human rights on the table...

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Only some Chinese writers allowed to attend PEN Festival

May 3, 2011 5:08 PM ET

The stage was full of empty chairs on Thursday at "China in Two Acts," part of the five-day PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature in New York, which ended on Sunday.  A two-part program featured writer Zha Jianying speaking for the first part followed by a panel discussion...

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U.S. rights message falls on deaf ears in China

April 29, 2011 11:22 AM ET

As predicted by CPJ and many other commentators, results of the U.S.-China human rights dialogue this week are less than satisfactory. The U.S. side was more critical than it has been, but China remained defiantly deaf to foreign pressure. ...

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How the U.S. should raise human rights in China dialogue

April 26, 2011 1:21 PM ET

One day ahead of two-day bilateral talks with the U.S., China's Foreign Ministry rejected what it labeled "interference" in the country's internal affairs under the rubric of human rights, according to international news reports. Despite this obstructionist tone, CPJ hopes that Washington officials, led by Assistant Secretary for Democracy,...

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Cyber-attacks on press up in number, down in cost

April 22, 2011 8:52 AM ET

The last two weeks have seen a spate of denial-of-service (DOS) attacks against news sites, coordinated attempts to overwhelm outlets with fake incoming data so the sites cannot respond to legitimate users....

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News assistants in China: an invisible, important group

April 21, 2011 4:12 PM ET

Among the first concerns a journalist may have on coming to China as a foreign correspondent is how to communicate with the Chinese people, the majority of whom do not speak a word of English. Finding a "news assistant" is usually the answer....

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Site hosting Ai Weiwei petition hit with cyberattack

April 20, 2011 12:20 PM ET

Change.org is back up and running after what the site said was a cyberattack that came from within China. Here's the site's announcement that was running on its homepage earlier today:...

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Al-Jazeera journalist pans China's Libya coverage

April 19, 2011 1:58 PM ET

In reporting on the Libyan conflict, China's media "emphasize only the humanitarian disasters caused by Western air bombardments, and [report] sparingly if at all on the violent suppression and massacre of the people by Qaddafi," Al-Jazeera's Beijing bureau chief, Ezzat Shahrour, writes on his blog. Chinese readers so far have...

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China seizes critics as domestic media avert eyes

April 15, 2011 2:28 PM ET

The Chinese security apparatus is kidnapping government critics, unchallenged by the domestic press. Writer Yang Hengjun, who went missing in March and has since reappeared, criticized the Chinese press this week for failing to report on his enforced disappearance. While state media are accusing the missing artist and social...

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In Ai Weiwei coverage, a couple of unexpected notes

April 8, 2011 11:15 AM ET

We reported Thursday that Chinese media reports on Ai Weiwei have reflected his ambiguous status in Chinese law. After several days in which Ai was considered missing, the Foreign Ministry acknowledged police were investigating him for "economic crimes" although it stopped short of saying he was detained. Coverage within China...

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In China, a state of denial on detentions, abuse

March 29, 2011 3:44 PM ET

China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Jiang Yu, today denied having heard of Sydney-based Chinese author and blogger Yang Hengjun, according to The Associated Press. We reported yesterday that Yang was missing, presumed to be the latest high-profile writer to fall victim to the government's aggressive roundup of critics who might respond...

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Is China censoring phone conversations?

March 24, 2011 11:02 AM ET

Are Chinese mainland citizens, as has been reported, finding their telephone conversations cut off whenever they mention the word "protest?" While large-scale, real-time voice recognition is a technological possibility, it is at the edge of what is believed likely. It would certainly be revealing about the capabilities of the Chinese...

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Michael Anti's exile from Facebook over 'real-name policy'

March 9, 2011 5:12 PM ET

The Chinese journalist Michael Anti had his Facebook account deleted in January. The reason Facebook gave was that Michael Anti isn't his real, government-recorded, name--which is true. Instead, Anti is the name that he has written under for almost a decade, on his own personal blogs, and in his...

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Mideast protests a red flag to Chinese censors

March 8, 2011 3:39 PM ET

Working to defend press freedom, I take it that I've hit the mark when I get censored. So I smiled today when I got an e-mail from a friend in China who said he was in the gym watching breakfast television when my face came up on CNN. I...

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Abusive Twitter messages target foreign media in China

March 2, 2011 2:22 PM ET

California-based China Digital Times (CDT) reports new Chinese-language Twitter commentators have appeared in the last week. Twitter is generally blocked in China, but heavily used by activists who access it by means of proxy networks overseas. The recent arrivals are vocal supporters of the government's efforts to tamp down...

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Lawyer's footage of house arrest published in China

February 22, 2011 5:10 PM ET

Men in plainclothes recently harassed at least six foreign journalists in Shandong province. Vivid news footage shoes a group pelting CNN reporter Stan Grant and his photographer with rocks when they tried to visit the home of an activist under house arrest. Brice Pedroletti from France's Le Monde, Stephane Lagarde...

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Is Taiwan's media independence under threat?

February 1, 2011 5:27 PM ET

As business relations develop between China and Taiwan, concerns are growing that Taiwan's media freedom may be compromised. The culprits include some journalists themselves, promoting China to preserve their own business interests, and Taiwan's Kuomintang (KMT) government, apparently attempting to exert control over the media through legislation.  ...

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China limits reporting on Egypt unrest in favor of 'harmony'

January 31, 2011 6:01 PM ET

Chinese information authorities are filtering results of Chinese-language Internet searches for "Egypt" and "Cairo," according to Global Voices Online and The Wall Street Journal. The unrest raging there could prompt comparison with the student-led protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989 or incite anti-government demonstrations....

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In China, Kristof's blogs are shut down

January 24, 2011 4:19 PM ET

Nicholas Kristof's Sunday column in The New York Times documents the latest in a series of tests the journalist has performed in Chinese cyberspace. The conflicting results he achieved while setting up a Chinese-language blog and micro-blog demonstrate how difficult it is to judge what censors will permit in an...

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In Chinese media, 'a lot to be done' is left unsaid

January 20, 2011 1:57 PM ET

It is fair to report, as Agence France-Presse and others did today, that Chinese media largely avoided President Hu Jintao's comments on human rights during a Washington press conference on Wednesday. But the nature of the omission is significant. Chinese reports acknowledged that a discussion of human rights took place...

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Washington reporters press China's Hu on human rights

January 20, 2011 1:02 PM ET

Thanks to Ben Feller and Hans Nichols for raising questions about China's human rights and press freedom record. A lot of Chinese journalists are grateful, too. When we urged U.S. President Barack Obama last week to raise press freedom concerns in his meetings with Chinese President Hu Jintao, we received...

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Obama should raise Chinese press attacks with Hu

January 18, 2011 12:17 PM ET

In an open letter on January 11, CPJ asked U.S. President Barack Obama to raise the issue of jailed journalists with Hu Jintao while the Chinese leader is in Washington this week. They have plenty to talk about, but journalist freedom and security should be near the top of...

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Chinese reporter's death came days before Hu's U.S. tour

January 13, 2011 6:10 PM ET

CPJ has written to President Obama asking him to raise press freedom issues when Hu Jintao comes to the U.S. next week. China's practice of restricting and imprisoning reporters domestically has serious implications for the U.S.-China relationship, and a concerning case last month suggests it may be getting worse. ...

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