Chinese Journalists Face Violent Retaliation on Sensitive Stories


2004.08.25
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HONG KONG — ; China's journalists, many of whom have come a long way from the days of turning out dull propaganda tracts on demand for the Communist Party, increasingly face threats of violence as they cover sensitive news that affects powerful vested interests, a press freedom group warns.

The Chinese government has traditionally kept a tight rein on the country’s media, which it traditionally regards as a propaganda tool for those in power. But in interviews with the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), dozens of Chinese journalists reported an increase in the number of attacks against them.

“As the media in China become market-oriented—and as journalists report more aggressively on crime and corruption—they face a new danger: violent retribution from individuals or groups implicated in their reports,” the CPJ report said.

Chinese leaders have called on the media to help expose corruption in Party and among government officials, and to work harder to reflect the reality of the lives of ordinary people.

But reporters are caught between top-down directives from Party propaganda bureaus and the vested interests of local corrupt officials and criminal organizations.

The report, entitled New Journalism and New Threats, was based on research carried out by the CPJ over the last year.

On the Web:

Full CPJ Report New Journalism and New Threats

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