CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Kristin Jones

Kristin Jones, a consultant to CPJ's Asia program, is an independent investigative reporter. In 2011, she was part of a team that won a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for "Seeking Justice for Campus Rapes," a collaboration between NPR and the Center for Public Integrity. Jones was CPJ's senior Asia research associate until 2007. She led writing on the CPJ report "Falling Short," which documented press freedom abuses in China ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games.


Olympics-China Media Watch: Re-education scrubbed from Web, mostly

August 22, 2008 1:57 PM ET

Bob Dietz called attention to the Chinese propaganda department's recent 21-point press directive, first reported by the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong. The whole thing in English and Chinese is posted today at Berkeley's China Digital Times. Among the orders given to the domestic media during the Olympic Games is that...

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Olympics-China Media Watch: Reflecting on success

August 21, 2008 1:30 PM ET

Chen Ruolin's win in the women's 10-meter platform dive today brought China's gold medal count to 46, and dominated the online headlines. With the closing ceremony just three days away, news outlets are trumpeting the unprecedented victories of the Chinese athletes, now leading their closest competitor, the United States, by...

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Olympics-China Media Watch: Web censors crash funeral of Mao's protege

August 20, 2008 1:10 PM ET

Buried in the celebration of China's now inevitable dominance of the Olympic Games, Xinhua News Agency today reported the death of a former national leader and Mao Zedong's brief successor with these few words: The Chinese Communist Party's outstanding party member, a warrior for Communism long tested in his loyalty, a...

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Olympics-China Media Watch: The farmer's fuel and the emperor's clothes

August 19, 2008 12:34 PM ET

Even with the world enthralled in the drama of the Olympic Games, the more basic struggles in the rest of China continue to quietly unfold. Nanfang Dushi Bao (Southern Metropolis Daily) today published a long article with little apparent connection to the Olympics, a rarity these days. It is actually re-posted from Zhejiang Daily,...

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Olympics-China Media Watch: Glory, disappointment, and reflection

August 18, 2008 12:34 PM ET

Just as American audiences have been fixated on the performances of Michael Phelps during the Olympic Games, Chinese viewers have been anticipating the heroics of hurdler Liu Xiang. So his dropping out of the 110-meter race today with an injury was the headliner at major news outlets. Photographs of his...

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Olympics-China Media Watch: Zola live-blogs his detention

August 15, 2008 12:30 PM ET

Global Voices Online noticed yesterday when guerrilla blogger Zola (Zhou Shuguang) began tweeting his own detention. His BlackBerry let the world know that local officials had intercepted him in the town of Fengmuqiao in Hunan province, and he posted updates as they forced him into a car to drive him...

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Olympics-China Media Watch: Does Xinhua know gymnast's real age?

August 14, 2008 11:12 AM ET

NBC coverage of the women's gymnastics team competition made incessant mention of the controversy over the Chinese athletes' ages. Are they really 16, or are they underage? And what does that say about the awful and efficient "machine" that pumps out China's Olympians? NBC announcers made sure that American viewers pondered the matter...

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Olympics-China Media Watch: Look at picture, don't say a word

August 13, 2008 12:15 PM ET

Bloggers in China know that certain words are easily picked out by censors' keyword searches. So they don't use them, and their posts stay up longer. But images are harder to detect, particularly if they aren't labeled.Today, somebody calling himself Qian Tiexian started a thread at the blog aggregator Bullog...

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Olympics-China Media Watch: Careful coverage of stabbing

August 12, 2008 12:35 PM ET

Despite reports of censorship, several Chinese newspapers have reported on the stabbing death in Beijing on Saturday of a relative of the U.S. men's volleyball coach. But most of the reporting has been limited to official statements. Emphasizing that the attacker acted alone, Beijing Youth Daily yesterday quoted Beijing Olympic Committee official Wang...

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Olympics-China Media Watch: Violence far from Nest

August 11, 2008 12:45 PM ET

Major news coverage in China and elsewhere is naturally devoted to the Games themselves. Two Chinese weightlifters and the Chinese men's synchronized divers won gold medals today. Yesterday's news of 17 synchronized attacks with homemade explosives in the western region of Xinjiang received little coverage in or out of China. The exception once again...

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Olympics-China Media Watch: New attacks are reported in Xinjiang

August 10, 2008 10:29 AM ET

Xinhua News Agency in Chinese is reporting a series of early morning "terrorist" attacks on markets, bars, and government targets today in Kuche county, in China's far-western region of Xinjiang. A security guard died in the attacks. A second security guard, two paramilitary police, and two civilians were injured, and...

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Olympics-China Media Watch: Xinhua sole news source on tourist attack

August 9, 2008 9:49 AM ET

Today's news of an attack on tourists at a popular sightseeing spot in Beijing has been handled by Xinhua News Agency alone. Other news outlets are simply re-posting its account. This is the norm for sensitive issues. Xinhua is a part of the central government's State Council and undergoes rigorous pre-censorship, which sets it apart from other Chinese news...

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Olympics-China Media Watch: The spectacular

August 8, 2008 1:01 PM ET

Images steal the day. Web sites around China were live-streaming the opening ceremony this evening (even as NBC insisted on broadcasting endless tips on Chinese manners, saving the Big Show for American prime time). Xinhua News Agency and People's Daily re-launched their sites to showcase photos. On 8/8/08 at 8 p.m., images...

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Olympics-China Media Watch: What protesters?

August 7, 2008 11:09 AM ET

On the eve of the opening ceremony, Xinhua News Agency waxes philosophical about the torch's journey tomorrow to the Bird's Nest, its home for the next three weeks. It hasn't been an easy road, and Xinhua refers to the "obstacles" the torch encountered in foreign cities, as well as the...

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Olympics-China Media Watch: Nationalist fervor and the Olympics

August 6, 2008 10:40 AM ET

Basketball star Yao Ming carried the Olympic torch through Tiananmen Square today in the triumphant final leg of a relay fraught with protest. His long-legged saunter under the gaze of Mao's portrait captured headlines in today's Web news outlets, along with speculation about who will light the torch at the opening ceremony...

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Olympics-China Media Watch: All the (good) news fit to print

August 5, 2008 10:34 AM ET

All the news is excellent in China today. The Web site of Xinhua News Agency today leads by telling its audience: "Olympic dream brightens the world." At the provincial levels, the news is equally good, but with a local angle. The Web site of the Southern media group reports that...

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Olympics-China Media Watch: Terrorism in English, crime in Chinese

August 4, 2008 9:30 AM ET

Information about today's attack on border police in the western Chinese city of Kashgar is coming almost entirely from the official Xinhua News Agency. What's interesting is the huge difference in the agency's own reports, depending on what language you're reading. In English, the attack was a suspected act of...

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Olympics-China Media Watch: News on the news

August 1, 2008 2:22 PM ET

The media is in the news. The official Xinhua News Agency chimes in on the fracas over Web access for foreign journalists in the Olympic press center. In a commentary headlined "Do not let 'press freedom' supersede Chinese law" Xinhua defends the government's policy of blocking sensitive Web sites, repeating...

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Olympics: IOC says Internet access 'on the table'

July 31, 2008 2:30 PM ET

Facing massive outcry over Internet restrictions at the Olympic press center, the International Olympic Committee says it met today with Beijing organizers and that "the issues were put on the table." In a statement issued this afternoon, the IOC says it has not made any deal that allows Internet restrictions to...

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Olympics-Chinese Media Watch: Fading memories of a recent disaster

July 31, 2008 1:00 PM ET

With the Olympics preparations crowding the headlines, news related to the deadly May earthquake in Sichuan province has faded. There is still plenty to report, including the recovery effort and the bitter resentment of grieving parents who believe that faulty construction played a role in their children's deaths. But a search of...

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Olympics-Chinese Media Watch: Checkpoints at Tiananmen and online

July 30, 2008 11:11 AM ET

Chinese President Hu Jintao yesterday stressed the importance of a secure Olympics, calling the responsibility as heavy as Mount Tai. But while Chinese media today reported on the new checkpoints guarding access to Tiananmen Square, no mention was made of a security measure on the minds of many visiting journalists....

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Olympics-Chinese Media Watch: Silence on human rights, pollution reassurances

July 29, 2008 9:30 AM ET

A report on human rights violations in China is being ignored in the government-controlled media. Human rights organization Amnesty International reported that China has failed to keep Olympic-related promises regarding the treatment of its citizens. The report highlights China's high number of death penalty cases. Neither central nor provincial media cover the report today. But...

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Olympics-Chinese Media Watch: Local journalists report bus explosion

July 28, 2008 12:44 PM ET

Local Chinese journalists beat central government media to the scene of another bus explosion in the southwestern Chinese city of Kunming. Today's explosion followed bus bomb blasts that killed two people in Kunming last week. Expect the official Xinhua News Agency to take over from here. Chinese officials have played...

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