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Archive for the ‘Magazine’ Category

China blocks magazine over Taiwan democracy report

Posted by Author on January 29, 2013


A Chinese magazine dedicated to history has been forced to halt the release of a February issue that was to chronicle Taiwan’s democratic transformation, a Shanghai-based newspaper reported yesterday.

“National History” magazine, published by the state-run Chengdu Xianfeng Culture Media Co. based in Sichuan province, had compiled a series of articles authored by Taiwanese writers for a special February edition titled “Taiwan’s Foot,” the Oriental Daily News reported. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Asia, censorship, China, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Magazine, Media, News, Politics, Press freedom, Taiwan, World | Comments Off on China blocks magazine over Taiwan democracy report

Chinese magazine president and editor punished for citing historian

Posted by Author on August 20, 2011


New York, August 19, 2011 (CPJ)–The demotion of a magazine president and suspension of an editor for an interview deemed critical of a Communist Party legend are the latest punitive steps taken by authorities against mainstream journalists in China, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Chen Zhong, president of the Guangzhou-based biweekly Nanfeng Chuang (Window on the South), was removed from his post, though not dismissed, and editor Zhao Lingmin was suspended during an internal meeting on Monday, international news reports said. These measures were related to Zhao’s July 25 interview with Taiwanese historian Tang Chi-hua, according to a letter the editor wrote to his colleagues that was published online by the Hong Kong University-based China Media Project. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in censorship, China, Freedom of Speech, Guangdong, Guangzhou, Human Rights, Journalist, Magazine, Media, News, People, Politics, SE China, World | Comments Off on Chinese magazine president and editor punished for citing historian

China: Small-town Officials And Police Traveled 500 Miles to Beijing to Arrest Reporter for Corruption Exposure

Posted by Author on January 12, 2008


By Edward Cody, from Washington Post, via the San Jose Mercury News, U.S. 01/09/2008-

BEIJING – China’s media and Internet users erupted in criticism Tuesday against some small-town officials and police officers who traveled nearly 500 miles to Beijing seeking to arrest a magazine reporter who wrote critically about their local Communist Party leader.

Editorials in the Beijing press said the officials, from Xinfeng county in northeastern China’s Liaoning province, had abused their power. Even the party’s official propaganda organ, People’s Daily, ran a signed editorial suggesting the way to deal with libel accusations is to go to court rather than use heavy-handed “administrative power.”

The attempt to arrest the reporter was an uncomfortable reminder of the degree to which local Communist Party officials and their police, in the absence of an independent judicial system, routinely exercise power without legal restraints.

Rising expectations

But the outcry from editorialists and online commentators also showed that the Chinese public’s willingness to accept such untrammeled power may be diminishing. Public expectations in this regard have been heightened recently by repeated pledges from President Hu Jintao to make the party more honest and responsive to people’s needs.

“I have always wondered what makes these cadres, even though they are educated and trained by the party for so many years, fail to perform normally, ignoring their superiors and arrogantly challenging the central media,” wrote an Internet user who said he was a professor at the University of Political Science and Law in Beijing. “Where does their confidence and strength come from? It shows a lack of democracy and rule of law at the grass-roots level.”

The controversy began when a Xinfeng gasoline station owner, Zhao Junping, accused the county government of failing to pay her adequate compensation when it expropriated and tore down one of her stations in 2006 to make way for a new trading center. Reinforcing her complaint, she sent her friends a number of cell-phone messages satirizing the local party secretary, Zhang Zhiguo, for refusing to give in to her demands for more money.

Zhao also traveled to Beijing last year to petition the national government for redress. But Xinfeng county police followed her to the capital and took her back, eventually jailing her and putting her on trial in a local court for tax-dodging and libel. She has been behind bars for about nine months, her case still unresolved.

The dispute caught the attention of Zhu Wenna, editorial director of a monthly magazine in Beijing, and she wrote a story about it in the Jan. 1 issue. Three days later, the Xinfeng country propaganda director and law committee director showed up in her Beijing office with a document accusing her of inaccuracies about party secretary Zhang.

Zhu refused to entertain their complaint. But they returned in the afternoon, this time accompanied by three Xinfeng police officers and armed with an arrest warrant from the Xinfeng Public Security Bureau accusing her of libel, which in China can be a criminal as well as a civil offense.

Zhu, meanwhile, had disappeared, and her editor, Wang Fengbin, refused to reveal where she was. The police officers waited until 6 p.m. for her return, but to no avail. From her hiding spot, she told friends she had retained an attorney and was seeking help from the party-sponsored All-China Journalists Association.

Defects of society

Party leader Zhang, contacted by the Beijing newspaper Xinjing Bao, said he had not issued orders to the Xinfeng police to arrest Zhu and had no idea how they came to travel to Beijing. But his critics seemed not to buy that defense.

“This incident shows fully the defects of our society, in which power is not effectively checked and local so-called judiciaries are actually the tools of local officials,” said one of Monday’s 30,000-plus Internet commentators. “What’s the difference with the feudal emperors?”

Zhan Jiang, a journalism professor at China Youth University for Political Sciences, wrote in Xinjing Bao that the attempt to prosecute Zhu for criminal libel was “appalling and will incur serious criticism from the public.” At the same time, he noted libel can be a criminal offense under Chinese law, so the police were legally justified in coming to Beijing to make an arrest.

But a commentator in Shanghai disagreed: “Why, I feel like I am watching a gangster movie,” he wrote.

– Report from the San Jose Mercury News: China party officials stir media, online protests

Posted in Beijing, China, corruption, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Journalist, Law, Liaoning, Magazine, Media, NE China, News, Official, People, Politics, Press freedom, Social, Speech, World | 4 Comments »

Free Speech Is Bad News For China Censors

Posted by Author on August 2, 2007


By Edward Cody, from The Washington Post, via Seattle Times, August 2, 2007-

BEIJING — According to a report circulating among Beijing intellectuals, Li Changchun, China’s senior propaganda official, went to President Hu Jintao recently suggesting a ban on the July issue of the magazine Yanhuang Chunqiu.

The scholarly monthly had published a daring article by a Communist Party professor saying the party’s monopoly on power was the “root cause” of many of the ills afflicting modern-day China, including corruption and peasant unrest.

Although Hu has shown a restrictive attitude toward free speech, he counseled tolerance this time, the report said, advising Li it was better to have such debate in the open rather than let it ferment under the surface. The magazine remained on the stands.

The incident was the latest in a string of setbacks for Li and China’s propaganda bureaucracy.

An explosion of negative news — tainted-food exports, slave labor at brick kilns, political challenges and supposedly cardboard dumplings — has pained party censors and renewed demands for ideological and political discipline among China’s journalists.

“News-publishing professionals must … voluntarily commit themselves to upholding the sacred mission and glorious responsibility bestowed on them by the party and the people,” said an order issued last week by the party’s main propaganda organizations.

The order was issued in response to a Beijing Television broadcast last month reporting that a fast-food restaurant had mixed cardboard with pork in stuffing its steamed dumplings. The report caused a sensation among Beijing residents, who cherish their dumplings.

Authorities quickly branded the broadcast a hoax. The reporter, Zi Beijia, was identified as an inexperienced temp and jailed, and party officials scolded journalists for lax ethics and needlessly stirring up worries.

Chinese authorities have been particularly sensitive recently about how the party is portrayed. In part, the concern has arisen from a desire to radiate a good image for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. But more important, officials have begun the countdown to a crucial party congress in the fall.

After a recent meeting of top Beijing propaganda officials, the capital’s newspaper editors and TV-news directors were handed a list of newly off-limits subjects, journalists said. The list included food safety, riots, fires, deadly auto accidents and bloody murder cases.

Report from  Seattle Times

Posted in Beijing, censorship, China, Freedom of Information, Freedom of Speech, Hu Jintao, Human Rights, Magazine, Media, News, Official, People, Politics, Social | 1 Comment »

2nd Online Journal Banned in July, China Censor Targets NGO

Posted by Author on July 24, 2007


ChinaScope, 07/21/2007-

On July 10, 2007, the Chinese authorities ordered the popular journal Minjian (AmongMinJian banned the People), which is dedicated to social issues, to cease publication. Since July 4, it has been the second journal that the authorities have banned. The first was the online publication China Development Brief. According to June 4 Tiannet, in a article published on July 13, 2007, the government’s move indicates that censorship is increasing in anticipation of the 2008 Olympics.

(photo: cover of journal Minjian, by June 4 Tiannet)

The Civic and Social Development Research Center under the Anthropology Department of Zhongshan University in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province publishes Minjian. The first issue of Minjian was published in 2005 with nine issues published to date. Hong Kong’s nonprofit organization, Partnerships in Community Development , has funded the publication.

The journal covers a broad range of social issues such as AIDS, migrant workers, community development, civic education, and other social problems. “Social activist Ms. Liang Xiaoyen served as editor of the publication. Rights activists Chen Guangcheng, Kouyan Ding, Chang-Ping Li. Cheng Xiang-yang, as well as many nongovernmental organizations, have written for the journal.”

On July 4, 2007, a joint team of Beijing authorities, including the Public Security Bureau, visited the Beijing Office of the online publication China Development Brief, a major source of information on the development of China’s civil society, to stop it from publishing.

“After investigations and interviews lasting around three hours, they ordered the Chinese edition of China Development Brief to cease publication forthwith.”

The founder, Nick Young from Britain, wrote of this incident, “I, as editor of the English language edition of China Development Brief, am deemed guilty of conducting ‘unauthorized surveys’ in contravention of the 1983 Statistics Law, and have been ordered to desist. It was made perfectly clear to me that any report posted on this website (which is run off a UK server) would count as the output of an unauthorized survey.”

The journal, founded in 1996, has reported extensively on issues related to Chinese civil society and has introduced Chinese readers to issues pertaining to non-government organizations.

The Ford Foundation and Hong Kong’s Partnerships in Community Development have funded China Development Brief.

“Analysts pointed out that Minjian and China Development Brief are two of Mainland China’s major sources of information pertaining to non-governmental organizations. They have served as the voice of NGOs joint letters of appeal, of petitions by local rights activists, and of grass-roots organizations. The authorities put pressure on the publishers of the two journals at the same time, as a means to restrict the development of grass-roots organizations.”

“A non-governmental organization source indicated that the cease and desist order issued to Minjian and the pressure imposed on China Development Brief demonstrate that the Chinese authorities are suppressing any voices of opposition, using all means, before the 2008 Olympics. The elimination of these two journals will help the regime control every discordant voice.” said by June 4 Tiannet.

– Original report from ChinaScope.org : Ban on Popular Journal “Minjian” Shows Growing Censorship before the Olympics

Posted in Asia, Beijing, censorship, China, Freedom of Speech, Guangdong, Guangzhou, Hong kong, Internet, Law, Magazine, Media, News, Politics, SE China, Social, website, World | Comments Off on 2nd Online Journal Banned in July, China Censor Targets NGO

Pro-china Newsletter Closed, British founder fears deportation

Posted by Author on July 12, 2007


Jonathan Watts in Beijing, The Guardian, Thursday July 12, 2007-

Chinese authorities have closed an influential publication at the heart of the country’s budding civic society movement, raising concerns about media freedoms in the run-up to the Olympic games.

China Development Brief has been ordered to cease publication pending the results of an investigation into its activities. Beijing officials told Nick Young, the British founder of the organisation, that he was suspected of conducting “unauthorised surveys”.

He has been interrogated by police and there are fears that he may be deported and barred from re-entering the country.

Although a final decision has not been announced, any move to permanently close China Development Brief is likely to stir international concern. The publication is the only newsletter specialising in the work of foreign and domestic non-governmental organisations. Subscribers and funders include the Asia Development Bank, the UN’s Development Programme, the British Council, Save the Children and many foreign universities and media organisations.

The publication’s role as a bridge between NGOs in China and the outside world may have raised the suspicions of the Communist government, which clamps down hard on any group that is in a position to link independent voices. China’s leadership is known to have been alarmed at the role that civic society movements played in the “colour revolutions” in former Soviet states in recent years.

Mr Young has a reputation as a supporter of the Communist party and a critic of western media coverage of China, but he has been under investigation for more than a year. He believes his phone is monitored and his emails intercepted.

The timing of the clampdown appears to be linked to the rising profile of China Development Brief – which recently organised a conference on China’s role in Africa and a party attended by several hundred NGO members and friends.

“I have bent over backwards to be the Communist party’s best friend,” said Mr Young, “but presumably, they realised we have influence. You can do anything in China to a certain level. It is only when you have influence that you get in trouble”.

Another factor was the planned switch of management of China Development Brief and the forthcoming Communist party congress. Mr Young was due to leave Beijing on August 8 and hand over the running of the group to local staff. “They knew my plan and thought this is a good time to close us down and make it impossible for us to make the transition,” he said.

On July 4, he said, his Beijing office was visited by officials from groups including the Beijing Municipality Statistical Bureau. He was accused of violating the 1983 statistics law, which requires advance permission for any survey not conducted by the government.

None of the Beijing government agencies he named said they knew anything about the case.

– Report from The Guardian: Briton fears deportation after Chinese media clampdown

Posted in Beijing, Businessman, censorship, China, Economy, Europe, Internet, Law, Magazine, Media, News, People, Politics, Social, Speech, website, World | Comments Off on Pro-china Newsletter Closed, British founder fears deportation

Veteran Chinese Reporter Reveals Darkness in Journalism in China

Posted by Author on June 12, 2007


By Fang Xiao, Epoch Times Staff, Jun 12, 2007-

Qi Chonghuai, reporterQi Chonghuai has been a news reporter for 13 years. He is a correspondent of China Legal News Legal System Morning Post (Fazhi Zaobao) in Shandong Province. China Legal News is a national media. Because he has written numerous sensitive reports, a lot of his articles were not published in newspapers, periodicals or on websites in mainland China, and he has been approached and harassed from different sources. He feels helpless facing the enormous pressure. The Epoch Times recently conducted an interview with Qi Chonghuai.

China’s Ministry of Publicity Sets Reporting Limits; Authorities Bribe News Media and Reporters

Qi Chonghuai exposed that China’s Ministry of Publicity once released a regulation, which states 27 types of events that are not allowed to be reported. These include emergency accidents, Falun Gong issues, birth control issues, laid-off worker issues and farmers deprived of their lands.

In Qi’s report, “Illegal Land Appropriation Causes Farmer Homelessness in Hezhe, Shangdong,” he reported that Wen Jiabao, China’s Premier, visited a farmer’s house in Hezhe, Shangdong Province during the Chinese New Year holiday in 2006. The farmer was later detained. Qi, who resides in Jinan, the capital city of Shangdong Province, traveled four times to that village to investigate this incident. He completed this report on May 14, 2007 and the report was published by the on-line version of the South Wind Through Window magazine (www.nfcmag.com) after the editors did a major revision. But the report was only published one night. The Hezhe Publicity Ministry put pressure to the leaders of the magazine and Qi’s report was deleted, with only the title left online.

In June, 2006, Qi reported a forced house demolition incident together with other reporters from Market News of People’s Daily and China Talents . They wrote the report “Hezhe Officials Say No Place Can Escape Death in Relocation.” The report was published in the magazine Observation on November 29. Local residents downloaded this article, copying and posting it in the area of Hezhe City. Later, Observation was ordered to stop publication.

The local Ministry of Publicity wanted to repair their bad reputation by promising to bring Qi Chonghuai two pages advertisements, with a total value of 140,000 yuan (US $20,000). Qi refused the bribe. Meanwhile, the reporter from Market News of People’s Daily and China Talents were offered 100,000 yuan ($12,000) and 60,000 yuan ($8,000) respectively.

Reports Banned

Qi Chonghuai told The Epoch Times that he once visited the scene to write the report “Female News Hostess Dies on Mayor’s Bed.” He sent the report to dozens of newspaper and magazines. But the report was not published in any of them.

One of his reports, “Zoucheng City Woman Experiences Naked Accident,” could not be published for eight months after its completion. In no time after the report was sent to a news agency whose editor called the related units to verify the truth, the Zoucheng Publicity Ministry immediately went to the editor’s office to stop the publication. To prevent the article’s publication, Kong Xianwei, vice director of Zoucheng Publicity Ministry, made more than 30 calls to Qi Chonghuai.

Sever Corruption and Degeneration of China’s Media

Qi Chonghuai thinks that it is a bound duty for media workers to reveal the truth. But with the corruption and degeneration of the whole society, the media system has been lost, too. In China, being a reporter was regarded as one of the most dangerous occupations. Qi said, the officials are become incredibly corrupt and if news media becomes the same, who will supervise the government?!

Qi disclosed that it was common in mainland China that a journalist was required to solicit tens of thousand of yuan in advertisements every year. To make a living, the reporters were busy at soliciting advertisement which brought them some income. No one cares about whether you have enough interviews or have written articles. Mr. Qi has to solicit up to 200,000 yuan advertisements for his newspaper office every year.

Qi pointed out that after Beijing Common People Magazine (Baixing Zazhi) received his article “Zoucheng City Woman Experiences Naked Accident,” the magazine editor did not verify the news for publication but instead contacted the local government to exchange the article for money. Qi said sadly that with the corruption of the whole society, the news media has already lost its moral standard. It is dreadful that they put money in front of the media’s responsibility—maintaining society’s righteousness.

Qi said that news media has degenerated to the deepest pit because of the crux of the system problem. Interest groups that may be exposed trade with reporters for news and bribe newspaper reporters. Media workers wallow in degeneration and are dragged into the corruption. All these make some righteous reporters and editors feel tremendous pressure and heavy heartedness.

No Guarantee of Reporters’ Personal Safety

It is quite common in China for a righteous and responsible reporter to be beaten, threatened while going about their duties.

Qi disclosed that recently when he and a fellow reporter of the Shandong Worker Newspaper left a restaurant, the other reporter was stabbed three times! The attacker was the person who was exposed in a report by the fellow reporter. As a person in charge of the Shandong journalist station, Qi has considerable influence in the local area. He said he was not afraid of such terrorism and political persecution; however he feels sad and deeply frustrated to be a reporter in China.

Qi also revealed that on March 29, 2005, after an explosion happened in a chemical plant in Qingdao Pingdu City, he took a five-hour ride by train from Jinan to the accident site. That evening local minister of the Publicity Ministry met him and invited him for dinner. The officials told him not to write any reports— the mayor and party secretary of Ping Du city were trusted followers of Du Shichen (who was the Party Secretary of Qingdao Municipal Committee of Shandong Province that was dismissed later). No one dared to offend him.

Qi, though threatened, still decided to send the report to the China Production Safety Newspaper . The local authorities were provoked and they organized a working group—a special team—to sue his newspaper office and got the Ministry of Publicity involved…

Articles Published by The Epoch Times Attract Readers’ Attention

Recently The Epoch Times published Qi’s two articles, titled “Zoucheng City Woman Experiences Naked Accident” and “Investigation of the Death of a Female Student in Shandong Taishan College.” Qi said he was moved to tears. He exclaimed that The Epoch Times dares to publish various reports which the mainland media dare not publish. He admires The Epoch Times for its courage to post so-called sensitive news. He was more touched that evening when he received messages from readers in Inner Mongolia, Beijing, Hilar and Shandong expressing their admiration for his courage.

original report from the Epoch Times

Posted in censorship, China, corruption, East China, Human Rights, Jinan, Journalist, Land Seizure, Law, Magazine, Media, News, Newspaper, People, Politics, Qingdao, Rural, Shandong, Social, Speech, Women | Comments Off on Veteran Chinese Reporter Reveals Darkness in Journalism in China

China: Media Freedom Under Assault Ahead of 2008 Olympics (2)

Posted by Author on June 1, 2007


Harassment of Journalists, Censorship Still Prevalent Despite Official Pledges

Human Rights Watch, Hong Kong, May 31, 2007-

(cont’d)

Harassment of Chinese Researchers, Translators, and Assistants

Public Security Bureau and Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials also routinely subject domestic Chinese assistants, researchers and translators of foreign news bureaus to questioning and intimidation. “I was told directly that I am responsible for what my boss writes and that I must report to them when we plan to do ‘sensitive’ stories,” a Chinese assistant to a foreign television network told Human Rights Watch. “All the Chinese assistants face these risks and we have no protection.”

Even those Chinese citizens working for major international news outlets are vulnerable. Zhao Yan, a researcher for the New York Times in Beijing is serving a three-year prison sentence that runs to September 2007 after being convicted of fraud in a case that was marred by multiple violations of due process and concerns that his conviction was politically motivated. Human Rights Watch has repeatedly called for his release.

Retaliation Against Foreign Journalists’ Sources

Intimidation and retaliation against foreign journalists’ sources and interviewees is still prevalent. Fu Xiancai, an outspoken advocate for villagers displaced for the Three Gorges Dam, was beaten by an unknown assailant on June 8, 2006, after local police questioned him about his interview with German television station ARD. Security officers in Chongqing municipality (southwest China) threatened a local environmentalist assisting a European journalist with a story on toxic pollution, warning that the activist might face physical danger if he returned to the area.

According to another foreign correspondent familiar with the incident, the authorities recognized that the temporary regulations legally permitted the ARD journalist to do what she was doing; “the local powers-that-be just decided to go thuggish and go after the journalist’s source [instead].”

Chinese Journalists’ Concerns About Upcoming Regulations

Human Rights Watch is concerned that the Chinese government will tighten its existing stranglehold on local journalists to ensure overall control of information disseminated by state media in the run-up to the Beijing Olympic Games.

Chinese journalists have expressed fears that rules due to be issued on July 1 from the General Administration for Press and Publications that will tighten the registration requirements of domestic print media in China indicate a looming crackdown on publications that at times challenge the government line.

Several Chinese journalists have privately told Human Rights Watch that they anticipate the new regulations will strengthen the government’s ability to shut down “offensive” publications affiliated with larger state-owned media, but which lack licenses and registration. Publications that have gained large readerships for taking courageous stances in reporting cases of corruption and sensitive subjects are expected to be particularly vulnerable to the new regulations ahead of preparations for the 17th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in October.

In the past two months, the Chinese government has hit at the popular magazines Commoner and Lifeweek through measures including mass transfers of its reporters and editors to other publications after the two magazines covered “sensitive” topics including official corruption in the countryside and events during the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution period.

In January 2006, the Propaganda department sacked the editor of Freezing Point, a weekly supplement to the China Youth Daily newspaper, and temporarily suspended its publication before resuming it under a new editorial team. A government document accused Freezing Point of “viciously attacking the socialist system” for acts including the publication of an article that criticized official middle school history textbooks.

Human Rights Watch urged the Chinese government to extend to Chinese domestic journalists the same reporting freedoms granted to foreign journalists under the temporary regulations and ensure that those rights are upheld.

“Not only is China violating freedom of expression, but it is also engaging in invidious discrimination against its own nationals,” said Richardson.

Both rights are guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) to which China is bound as a member of the United Nations, as well as the International Covenant on Cultural and Political Rights, which China has signed but not yet ratified.

“China’s long-planned 2008 Beijing Olympics ‘coming-out party’ can easily become a public relations disaster if the government persists in failing to honor its obligations to media freedom,” said Richardson. (end)

<< Previous

original from Human Rights Watch

Posted in Beijing Olympics, censorship, China, Human Rights, Journalist, Law, Magazine, Media, News, Newspaper, People, Politics, Report, Social, Speech, Sports | Comments Off on China: Media Freedom Under Assault Ahead of 2008 Olympics (2)

China Steps Up Publishing Curbs on Magazines

Posted by Author on May 27, 2007


Radio Free Asia,  2007.05.23-HONG KONG—China is to step up curbs on the country’s magazines and periodical publications from July 1, in what industry insiders see as a bid to tidy up the burgeoning industry and prevent negative coverage ahead of the 2008 Olympics.

Behind the new rules, called the “Regulatory basis for the publication of periodicals,” is the powerful General Administration for Press and Publications (GAPP), which wants to tighten controls on some 9,000 weekly and monthly publications.

“They have been talking about putting restrictions on a large number of publications on July 1 for a while now,” a source in the publishing industry in China told RFA’s Mandarin service.

“But I’m guessing that they’ll want to restrict some Hong Kong publications, many of which are published here too, so I guess they’ll want to set some limits on them because they come from a special background and they don’t have a numbered publishing license on the mainland.” ( …… more details from Radio Free Asia )

Posted in censorship, China, Law, Magazine, Media, News, Politics, Social, Speech | Comments Off on China Steps Up Publishing Curbs on Magazines