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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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Report from Journalist Group Criticizes Press Freedoms in China

Posted by Author on February 3, 2007

By JOSEPH KAHN, New York Time, February 3, 2007-

BEIJING, Feb. 2 — A leading media watchdog group on Friday accused President Hu Jintao of China of seeking to bring the media to heel and instigating an expanding crackdown on the press despite China’s pledge to enhance media freedoms before the 2008 Olympics, which are to be held in Beijing.

Reporters Without Borders, based in Paris, said in its annual report on press freedoms that conditions for the news media and for journalists had deteriorated in China.

“The press is being forced into self-censorship, the Internet is filtered, and the foreign media very closely watched,” the group said in the report, which was released Friday.

It continued, “Faced with burgeoning social unrest and journalists who are becoming much less compliant, the authorities, directed by President Hu Jintao, have been bringing the media to heel in the name of a ‘harmonious society.’ ”

The group cited the five-year sentence given to a Hong Kong reporter, Ching Cheong, and a three-year sentence for Zhao Yan, a researcher in the Beijing bureau of The New York Times, among other efforts to intimidate journalists.

“In both cases they were convicted after shoddy trials with no defense witnesses,” the group said.

In total, the group estimated that 31 journalists were serving jail terms in China and that the authorities had convicted 52 more people for posting political views on the Internet.

Other reporters have faced physical attacks by hired thugs associated with the local authorities or powerful business interests, and the police often fail to investigate the assaults, the group said.

original report from New york Times

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