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(photos) 100 China reporters collect hush money for mining accident cover-up: photographer

Posted by Author on November 8, 2008

The Epochtimes, Nov 5, 2008-

Real and “fake” reporters collecting hush money (from Internet)

Real and “fake” reporters collecting hush money (from Internet)

Dai Xiaojun, a reporter from the Shanxi branch office of West Times who took pictures of real and “fake” reporters collecting hush money from the Ganhe coal mine operation in Huobao, Shanxi Province, has recently became famous for exposing the cover-up of a mining accident.

According to, Ganhe Coal Mine Company tried to cover-up a mining accident that killed a coal miner on September 20. Dai Xiaojun received a tip from a friend on September 25 that the mine company was giving out money to silence reporters, and that about 100 people had lined up to collect the hush money. Dai’s friend, a senior reporter from a newspaper in Shanxi Province who did not want to expose himself, called and suggested that Dai report the story and told Dai to take a camera with him.

Reporters lineup waiting for collecting hush money

Reporters lineup waiting for collecting hush money

Dai said that he had read similar reports before.  However, he did not expect to see so many people at the scene. There were 38 people in the 4 pictures he took, and there were many who were not in the photos. The mine company claimed that only 28 people collected hush money, which means that they not only tried to cover-up the mining accident, but also the number of so called reporters who collected the hush money.

Dai sorted through the names iof those he had taken pictures of and found only two with reporter IDs issued by the General Administration of Press and Publication of the People’s Republic of China. The great majority were fake reporters.

Reporters sign-in paper

Reporters sign-in paper

Dai said that he felt a cold chill run down his spine when he took the pictures. He thought about another reporter, Lan Chengzhang, who was beaten to death while investigating an illegal coal mine in Huiyuan County in Shanxi Province. He therefore feared that the mine owner and the fake reporters would attack him.

Escape Plan

Dai said that he and his coworker had worked up an escape plan. His coworker parked the car downstairs and started the engine, and was supposed to drive off as soon as he ran downstairs. Dai should throw the camera into the car if he was caught before getting into the car, and his coworker should just leave with the camera and call the police later.

Dai said that it only took him a few seconds to take pictures of a list with names of people who had collected hush money because he acted so fast. He took a few more pictures in the stairway. Those people did not realize what happened when he went back to the car. He and his coworker first drove in the opposite direction for fear of being followed. They then turned back.

Dai uploaded the pictures on the Zhi Bo Jian website and published an article to report his findings. He said many people had questioned his motive and reliability. He thought that’s normal because he had hit a sore spot in many people. He said he did not think too much about it once he decided to report the story.

Dai said that a few years ago he read a report about a mining accident in a village in Henan Province. He saw a picture of a tall building in a newspaper with a caption saying that a local mining accident had not been reported to the authorities, and that many people collected hush money inside the building.

Dai said that the picture impressed him so much, and he was wondering why the picture could only be taken outside a building. He wondered if his camera lens could get inside the building to take more pictures of real scenes with real people collecting hush money.

Zan Aizong, formerly a Zhejiang Province reporter for China Ocean Newspaper said that giving reporters “hush money” is a common practice for industries and government officials. Some people would rather pay money to prevent something bad from being exposed to the public.

Zan said that as long asthe  General Administration of Press and Publication exists, similar incidents like “hush money,” “fake reporters and fake news reports,” “Sanlu’s tainted milk scandal cover-up,” “earthquake damages cover-up,” and so on will continue to happen. He said that if everyone is living in an environment with untrue news reporting, people will lose their ability to make good judgments and society will become worse. He said the use of hush money is unlikely to happen if non-government-run media outlets are allowed to exist.

The Epochtimes

3 Responses to “(photos) 100 China reporters collect hush money for mining accident cover-up: photographer”

  1. Thanks for this post..

  2. Busby Test said

    Sorry China again

  3. […] Read more: (photos) 100 China reporters collect hush money for mining … […]

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