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Chinese Journalists Beat Censorship With Web

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the end-run-around-the-man dept.

193

chris-chittleborough writes "When Beijing tried to make a journalist's pay at one newspaper depend on official reactions to their stories, a web-savvy reporter was able to create a groundswell of public opinion and reverse the move." From the article: "Just before the meeting, Li had posted a blistering letter on the newspaper's computer system attacking the Communist Party's propaganda czars and a plan by the editor in chief to dock reporters' pay if their stories upset party officials. No one told the editor in chief. For 90 minutes, he ran the meeting, oblivious to the political storm that was brewing. Then Li announced what he had done."

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193 comments

frist psot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14769517)

fp.

Let's get it out of the way. (4, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769519)

> Chinese Journalists Beat Censorship With Web

"In Communist China, Web Journalist Censored, Beaten"

(Someone had to say it.)

Re:Let's get it out of the way. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14769808)

This isn't funny, it's Insightful.

Learn to mod.

Re:Let's get it out of the way. (3, Funny)

dbolger (161340) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770396)

I was going to reply with a "DO NOT WANT!!!", but I know it would just cost me karma. At the same time, I hate wasting a Star Wars engrish reference, so I'll just reply to a reply and hope nobody with any mod points sees me down here...

This is china, you think he cant be tried? (4, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769520)

It's not the us where they can just rag on their leaders and thumb their nose without cosequence, as much as i'd love it to be otherwise. What's to stop the party from taking revenge or setting an example by making him "disappear"? I'm concerned for this guy.

Re:This is china, you think he cant be tried? (2, Insightful)

i_ate_god (899684) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769551)

well, to be fair, in the US you just get sued and ruined financially.

In the US, you're fingered as a terrorist. (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769601)

The goverment doesn't care if they suck all the money from you (that's what taxes are for), but being called a terrorist will get you blacklisted forever. Or maybe that' if they call you a communist. Hrmmmmm...

Re:In the US, you're fingered as a terrorist. (2, Insightful)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769728)

That's when you write a book and spend the next several years of your life giving speeches at Universities (like Mitnick, Poulson, etc). Being a victim in the United States can be great for your career as long as it doesn't kill you.

Re:In the US, you're fingered as a terrorist. (1)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770086)

Yeah, but didn't Mitnick have to write his book on a stone tablet or something?

I thought they said he couldn't touch anything that ran on electricity. That would most definitely suck.

(Ohhhhh, now I'm XHTML compliant too!)

Re:In the US, you're fingered as a terrorist. (1)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770110)

That sucks, I need to learn how to use preview.

Should read:

Blah, Blah, Blah...
<humor />
(Lame joke about XHTML...it's not even worth it)

Re:In the US, you're fingered as a terrorist. (1)

Eccles (932) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770232)

On the plus side, he shouldn't have to worry about his storage media being unreadable any time soon. No CD rot for him!

Re:This is china, you think he cant be tried? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14769675)

What guy?

Re:This is china, you think he cant be tried? (3, Informative)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769703)

The article time line was a bit to read through, but it sounds like the writer was fired and the section of the newspaper was closed in January... It looks like the points system was initialy introduced in August.

-Rick

Oh man (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14769522)

Is he ever going to be solly he did that.

followup (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14769525)

Followup story: Chinese web censors beat journalists. With sticks.

im sure he'll be treated fairly now (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14769527)

actually i predict he'll go mysteriously "missing" next week.....

Re:im sure he'll be treated fairly now (1)

HappyDrgn (142428) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770001)

"actually i predict he'll go mysteriously "missing" next week....."
 
...and no one will report it for fear of having their pay docked...

Freedom fighters (4, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769565)

A lot of Americans, left and right, (yes, both sides do it equally) talk about giving up freedom like we can get it back in the next election. Freedom has rarely ever been given back in any form because an electorate said, "please sir, might we have some more." It usually takes overt acts of defiance which makes this journalist all the more heroic given which society we're talking about.

The irony is that in America, anyone who votes for the two major parties is voting for the rise of Fascism. The Chinese live tyranny daily compared to us. If we ever get to the point where we live like them, it'll be our fault, and I don't see many Americans today who have the guts to pull a stunt anywhere near like this. A nation that won't even tell private security officers at stores like Best Buy to leave them alone when they're harrassing them, won't stay free long.

Re:Freedom fighters (2, Insightful)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769665)

Totalitarian regimes always fall. As things get worse and worse, more and more people are negatively impacted, and as a result, more and more people start taking things seriously. Even if they're ignorant and don't really understand what's going on, most people wake up when they realize things are "majorly sucking". Even if they don't know exactly who to blame and haven't really thought it through, they know that they're angry and that, somehow, the people "in control" must be at fault. Eventually there are too many for the oppressors to beat down, no matter what technological advantages they may have.

It's an endless dance. The cycle of tyranny, rebellion, liberty, and decadence will probably continue until the end of time.

Re:Freedom fighters (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769777)

I don't know cuba has been keeping it up pretty well. It probably won't survive much past castros death and eventually capitalism would breach it anyways, but Castro has been able to tiptoe on that delicate balance between tyranny and rebellion.

Re:Freedom fighters (1)

RollingThunder (88952) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769958)

Define a timeframe for "always", though.

If the timeframe is 200 years, then it may as well be "forever" for the people that live through it.

Far too short (2, Informative)

hawk (1151) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770034)

The Roman Empire was a military dictatorship from the beginning (The Imperator was the military commander).

That's the First Century BC (I'll leave it to historians to quibble about whether the empire started with Caesar overstaying his term as Dictator or the crowning of Augustus), and it lasted the Fifth Century AD in the West--and another thousand years in the East.

That's a very long time to wait . . .

hawk

Re:Freedom fighters (1)

kthejoker (931838) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769780)

Actually, pretty much all freedoms that have been denied American citizens during wartimes have been given back without much of a fight. Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus, Woodrow Wilson's Sedition Acts during World War I, Japanese interment - all of these were reversed and undone within a few months of the end of those respective wars, and with relatively little fanfare or defiance required.

That may not hold true in every scenario of every country ever to appear on this planet, but yes, many times the act of sacrificing and regaining freedoms is a fairly transitory and bureaucratic one.

bring back the Sedition Acts. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14769861)

they should have never been removed.

Re:Freedom fighters (5, Insightful)

fritsd (924429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769882)

You said:
all of these were reversed and undone within a few months of the end of those respective wars,

so... after "Terrorism" has surrendered in this current "War", legislation that curtails the freedoms of americans will probably also be reversed? Oh well, that won't take long..

Mod Parent up (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769969)

The "War" on Terrorism is self-sustaining and unwinnnable. If we wait for it to end, we may be waiting for an ideological shift that is never going to happen.

Re:Freedom fighters (4, Insightful)

Starker_Kull (896770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769911)

So when will the War on Terrorism be done? Let me know what the criteria are so I can prod my local bureaucrats into restoring a few freedoms that have been lost this round. Ditto for the War on Drugs, running for decades now, with no clear winners or losers or end.

It is a bit more insidious in modern times, I think...

Re:Freedom fighters (3, Insightful)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770020)

So, when will "The War on Terrorism®" end? Near as I can tell, the answer to that question is "Never.". That's a pretty gloomy schedule for getting back our freedom. In fact, it's positively Orwellian. Constant war as an excuse for limited freedom.

Re:Freedom fighters (2, Insightful)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770136)

They may give back freedoms, but they love to keep the legislation.

I'm still waiting for them to repeal the Income Tax.

Re:Freedom fighters (1)

KeiichiMorisato (945464) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770209)

Woodrow Wilson's Sedition Acts during World War I, Japanese interment - all of these were reversed and undone within a few months of the end of those respective wars, and with relatively little fanfare or defiance required.

Japanese internment reversed? Sure they were allowed to go back to where they lived, but they never got back the land that was sold off for scraps, they never got back the possessions that were sold off, they had to rebuild their lives from scratch, citizens who lived there for generations.

If you call losing all that you ever owned due to huge civil rights violations during a time of war, "reversed" and "undone"....then your definition may fit.

Re:Freedom fighters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14770270)

"Japanese internment reversed?"

The U.S. Government did pay reparations to those families affected by the internment. Also you do not see Americans of Japanese origin being interned today. I would call that a reversal like the original poster said.

Re:Freedom fighters (3, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770011)

The irony is that in America, anyone who votes for the two major parties is voting for the rise of Fascism.

Yeah, but just try telling a democrat that Clinton was just as willing to put an end to our privacy as Bush, or telling a Republican that they're spending more than the Democrats did last time around, and they will work themselves into a hilarious snit. They have a massive ego investment in the idea that there's some practical difference between the wings of the Ruling Party.

-jcr

Re:Freedom fighters (1)

Arandir (19206) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770154)

How true. The left acts as if Bush invented wiretaps without judicial oversight, but it was done during the Clinton administration as well. And the right acts as if pork is a Democrat sin, while the biggest pork purveyors are Republicans.

Re:Freedom fighters (1)

banaanimies (944641) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770236)

It's useless to whine about Clinton. He's gone and won't be coming back. Bush is the president, so something still can be done.

Re:Freedom fighters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14770216)

So, let's say many of us see the same things you do. What do we do about it?

Simply discussing it in a blog is useless--most of the members of the conservative ruling party (both wings--demo & repub) have become experts at ignoring whatever doesn't conform to their existing views.

Any attempt to push a more moderate view is met with redicule and derision. This, combined with a continual power shift from the masses to the upper class is destroying any chance of doing anything.

I hear many pro-gun advocates saying that if everyone owns a gun we always have final control over the government, but how do you fight your own people in tanks and bombers? This is an utterly useless stance--even if you armed every non-military American you couldn't take on our current millitary; not that you'd even get the chance because apparently (as of the last election) almost half of us are more scared of gay marriage than the current government.

I just give up. I'll try to do what I can for the people in my family and those around me. Wake me up when you need help hiding your kids in Canada--although I'm not sure they will be any better by then...

Re:Freedom fighters (4, Interesting)

lasindi (770329) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770336)

Freedom has rarely ever been given back in any form because an electorate said, "please sir, might we have some more." It usually takes overt acts of defiance which makes this journalist all the more heroic given which society we're talking about.

A lot of people on Slashdot say this, and while I agree that it's very important to vigilantly guard civil liberties, I don't think this argument that "freedom given away 'temporarily' is impossible to get back easily" really flies. Also, the electorate usually doesn't "say" something timid like "might we have some more." It's usually a firmer "back off!" For example, look at the Alien and Sedition Acts that were passed under John Adams' administration; under our modern interpretation of the 1st Amendment, the laws were clearly unconstitutional, and a lot of Americans at the time thought so too. What happened? In 1800, the electorate threw John Adams and his Federalists out of power and voted in the Democratic-Republicans with Jefferson, who strongly opposed the acts. A similar episode came when Ford was kicked out when Americans voted after Watergate was exposed. The point here is that the American voters tend to tolerate relatively small transgressions on their freedoms, but if politicians take a real serious chunk, they'll let them know.

The irony is that in America, anyone who votes for the two major parties is voting for the rise of Fascism.

There is a slippery slope here, but you're turning it into a vertical cliff. The only censorship advocated by American political parties today is censorship of "obscene material" containing violence, sex, expletives, etc. While I completely agree that this ought to be covered under free speech, let's look at this honestly: this isn't political speech. Alberto Gonzales would like to could get rid of porn not because it's critical of Bush, but out of genuine (from his perspective) concern about "corrupting" children. The slope is slippery, but there is still a very significant bump that any politician wanting to do political censorship would have to overcome. However, even if political censorship is acceptable, that doesn't mean that all semblance of free speech disappears immediately. Look at many European countries, where denial of Holocaust or "hate" speech is prohibited. Such speech is banned for truly political reasons, and yet (nearly) free political discourse still survives in Europe.

Again, I think that any censorship is silly and unethical. It's both futile and unnecessary; people will always get around it, and with free speech stupid ideas will die without logical underpinnings. But freedom is not quite as fragile as you think, and you completely exaggerate the political climate in America. Saying that censoring curse words by law on TV is the "rise of Fascism" would be like pointing at someone who just got a ticket for speeding and saying that they will turn into a serial killer. Yeah, the censorship of "obscene material" is wrong, but it's not the end of the world.

A nation that won't even tell private security officers at stores like Best Buy to leave them alone when they're harrassing them, won't stay free long.

Why do you see things through such a black and white lense? Some people don't mind if Best Buy takes steps to prevent shop-lifting, even if it's a bit of a bother sometimes. Many Slashdotters seem to think that if authorities even dare to check on whether or not you're breaking the law, whether through surveillance cameras at the Olympics, checking IDs at airports, or DRM on music, that is the end of the free world. The government can't be constantly watching because there is a danger of abuse, not because we're supposed to always presume that no one would ever violate the law when given the chance. Best Buy can't just lock you up because you look guilty, but you also cannot expect them to not do anything to prevent shoplifting.

In short, there is a lot of gray area between not letting minors buy Grand Theft Auto and totalitarian political censorship that you are completely ignoring. It's not good, but it's not fascism.

Two parties are enough (1)

amightywind (691887) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770449)

The irony is that in America, anyone who votes for the two major parties is voting for the rise of Fascism.

No, the two party system is simply the byproduct of the need for a elected majority to make law and control the US government. The republicans and democrats ones simply exchange members from the political center in long period cycles. I see the purity of Reagan's party (smaller government, fewer taxes, strong defense, moral clarity) has been sorely compromised in the present by moderates. Today's republican party is unrecognisable even from the mid 1990's. The pendulum is likely to swing back democrat soon.

China bashing month (0, Offtopic)

Oldsmobile (930596) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769580)

What is this, China bashing month?

I'm sure there are alot of other wrongs to right out there, how about posting about those too?

I'm critical of China, but this is getting out of hand.

Re:China bashing month (4, Insightful)

GenKreton (884088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769628)

True events can hardly be described as bashing.

I agree we should also take notice of other countries transgressions but that doesn't mean we can ignore major stories in other countries because their quota for the month has been met.

Re:China bashing month (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14769727)

True events can hardly be described as bashing.

The media overreporting the same kind of true events over and over can be.

Re:China bashing month (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14769848)

The media overreporting the same kind of true events over and over can be.

What is "overreporting" in this context? These aren't trivial events like a presidential blowjob, or Y2K, or an MP caught doing naughty things with a doberman. These are pertinent issues. The Chinese represent what, a sixth of humanity? I'd say that news reports about their political situation, good or bad, are more important than most.

Re:China bashing month (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14769963)

You never hear a damn thing about similar issues in Africa and South America.

Re:China bashing month (2, Insightful)

liangzai (837960) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769827)

No, this is pure China bashing. There's nothing new in what is reported, just new iterations of the same stuff, and it is the same China-illiterate crowd that howls "Communists!" as always.

There are other stories that could have been discussed, like Swedish security police and state department shutting down a political party's web site for showing a picture of Muhammed (Sweden is supposedly a democracy), like Austria sentencing a British author to three years in prison for having non-conformant views (Austria is supposedly a democracy), like the EU deciding to store Internet traffic, like the dissolution of the freedom of the press (and speech) in Europe and other parts of the Western world after Islamist extremists threatened with violence.

These questions are so much more important at this moment than what is happening in a dictatorship on its slow march to civilized society and democracy.

Re:China bashing month (1)

HardCase (14757) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770047)

Swedish security police and state department shutting down a political party's web site for showing a picture of Muhammed (Sweden is supposedly a democracy)

You mean for violating a law that was passed with the support of a majority of the population?

Austria sentencing a British author to three years in prison for having non-conformant views (Austria is supposedly a democracy)

You mean for violating a law that was passed with the support of a majority of the population?

I'm not saying that they were right (primarily because I don't think that they were), but a very fine analog of democracy is "mob rule". Just because a government is democratic doesn't mean that you automatically get a Bill of Rights. Neither government is a US-style democracy, that's for sure.

-h-

Re:China bashing month (1)

liangzai (837960) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770088)

No, there is no such law in Sweden. The GOVERNMENT censored a political opponent's web site (which contained nothing illegal whatsoever), and this is strictly illegal. Not a word on Slashdot...

Re:China bashing month (1)

GenKreton (884088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770178)

First. I agree those are issues that deserve coverage. But this is a tech site last time I checked. This story has pertinence to the world of technology, unlike a few mentioned. It demonstrates the use it can provide to citizens against oppressive governments. This story I had not seen before personally. Every other story you mention has gotten a lot of press coverage as well. When it comes down to it this story has a place on a tech site and has seen less coverage, at least in my travels.

On a side note, I just hope the pendulum swings back before my time is up... As an active student on my college campus in the US, not everyone is oblivious and some of us are really trying to help things.

Selective view is bashing (1)

aepervius (535155) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769988)

I see a real underreporting of stuff which is maybe worst (as another poster on the same thread level listed) on the EU and US side. Funnily it is a human right violation to imprison a chinese "freedom" fighter for life because he goes against the party line, but it isn't to imprison seemingly without process/judgement in a cuban prison. Yeah. Right.

Re:China bashing month (2, Insightful)

ShimmyShimmy (692324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769667)

What is this, China bashing month?
-- yeah, and they deserve it

how about posting about those too?
-- you see all those little columns on the left, like 'Apple', 'Hardware', 'Science'? Knock yourself out.

I'm critical of China
-- does not appear so

Re:China bashing month (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769686)

Well there's precious little to report out of Iran or North Korea; so I suppose one could say that the China-bashing is a good thing (if you're Chinese), in that it shows that something there is happening. It's the places where you know a lot of censorship happens but that you never hear any internal criticism out of that are probably worse to live in, because that means the censorship is working. In China, it's not -- at least not all of the time.

Of course that could just be because they're the biggest, so there are necessarily more examples like this for us to concentrate on.

Re:China bashing month (1)

CottonEyedJoe (177704) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770253)

Well there's precious little to report out of Iran or North Korea; so I suppose one could say that the China-bashing is a good thing (if you're Chinese), in that it shows that something there is happening. It's the places where you know a lot of censorship happens but that you never hear any internal criticism out of that are probably worse to live in, because that means the censorship is working. In China, it's not -- at least not all of the time.

CNN had a story on N Korea not too long ago. Part of the story covered smuggling people across the Chineese border... to... ahem... safety. When China is your safe haven you know you got it bad!

Re:China bashing month (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769768)

We only import billions of $ of goods from them every year, and the US has sold the greenback to China. It's not like they are trying to avoid the news, and the world media is the paparatzi.

China's hosting the Olympics in 2 years too, so they are going to get some attention whether they like it or not, and if they don't like the attention they are getting they ought ot make real reforms.

I wouldn't be surprised... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14769583)

I wouldn't be surprised if the guy disappears without a trace in a year or two.

A cunning plan... (4, Funny)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769590)

Wow.

Well, there's a plan for defeating censorship... it only takes someone outside China with an IM client and a group of people willing to forward the messages.

Especially if the messages end with "... and Kwai Chang Caine, who taught his son wisdom in a Shaolin temple, forgot to forward this message. An evil force destroyed the temple. Father and son each believed the other had perished. Then Kwai Chang Caine found the message in his chat log and forwarded it to all the people on his contact list. Now they are reunited..."

The fall of the CPC? (3, Insightful)

ndogg (158021) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769595)

I've been noticing a lot of press on China lately, and it seems that reporters are taking braver actions than before. Do these events portend the fall of the China Communist Party? Will the CPC fall from within? If it does, that would be a wonderful tribute to the strength of human will, especially considering that the Iron Curtain required external help.

Re:The fall of the CPC? (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769828)

Well from what I've been reading china is slowly coming around to the success of capitalism (aka they know they need to leave Hong Kong alone, and apparently they have a test capitalism city forgot what its called.) Strangly they believe they can loosen the reins on the economy while keeping tight social controls. One can only wonder if the capitalistic regions will rebel first because of their knowledge of what is truly happening, or will the poor regions rebel first simply out of desperation.

Only if they are stupid (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770111)

A. Some chinese people are doing very well financially. People with good pay checks don't riot unless they are under threath to loose them. The LA riots did not take place in the hills.

B. There are those who claim China is becoming more capatalist. Yeah right. Only those who do not have a clue as to what it means believe that. China very much has its own system and it isn't what you think it is.

C. They only got to look to the west. No not the US, Russia to see what happens when the communist leave. Do they want that? See point A. and D.

D. Variant of point A. It is hard to get upset by unjustice to someone else especially when protesting about gets you in trouble and you are doing fairly well while the unjustice is going on but stand to really loose by stopping it.

Recap, It is hard to get upset about say tibet for a chinese person when doing so can get you in serious trouble when you do not succeed in overthrowing the goverment and when you do your country becomes a slum like russia.

The chinese at the moment got a unique system that is making a lot of people rich (well except the poor but who cares about them) and as long as the repression is happening to other people people are reluctant to loose a good thing.

Yeah it is nasty but if mothers can live with the husband who gives them a good income while he rapes their kids then I am not suprised people can happily live under a system that kills some total strangers hundreds of miles away. (A very real example to proof this? Female circumsion. It is being battled in the simplest way, get the fathers to do it. They are fine when it happens outside their visions but when they are asked to hack up their crying daughters they suddenly become very reluctant to keep up the old ways (meanwhile keep the kid away from grandmothers cause they will have no troubles, women are evil). Seen it on tv so it must be true.)

Will the system ever collapse? Perhaps. Nothing is forever but lets examine Cuba. It is still there despite not being america's favorite trading partner. Being in a dictarorship is not all that bad apparently if you are not the one being trampled on.

and lets be honest, who in the west who is upset about western goverments support for the war on terror is really prepared to overthrow those goverments? Complain all you want about Bush and call him Hitler 2 but unless you are currently practising your sniping skills you are meaningless, as meaningless as this journalists protest.

I see this as just another attempt by the chinese goverment to keep control. Some will fail of course but others will stick. Just like in the west and every attempt to get in stuff like mandatory ID's and camera's. I seen a lot of that stuff and lots spark a huge protest and yet over the 35 years of my live I have switched from not even owning a passport to carrying one all the time and there is a camera in the highstreet around the corner.

Because I am not ready to give up my okay live to battle it.

The chinese goverment chance of falling is about the same as that of the current western goverments. Except the chinese economy at the moment is doing well.

grammar? spelling? sense? (1)

kevin.fowler (915964) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769603)

"When Beijing tried to make a journalist's pay at one newspaper depend on official reactions to their stories, a web-savvy reporter was able to create a groundswell of public opinion and reverse the move."

Ed Note: Must use the check of spell.

Re:grammar? spelling? sense? (1)

Voltageaav (798022) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769774)

Yep, Word 9.0.6 finds nothing wrong with that. I don't see anything offhand myself. What exactly are you smoking and where can I find some?

Re:grammar? spelling? sense? (1)

HardCase (14757) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769992)

I believe that he is referring to the disagreement between the the singular of "journalist's" and plural of "their". Now that's anal. It's also a grammar error.

Re:grammar? spelling? sense? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14770070)

Right, except the reference is to Bejing. Which refers to the city or paper? Either way that is plural and the use of their is correct. I really don't see any fault with this sentence at all. Just another nazi gone bad.

Re:grammar? spelling? sense? (1)

kevin.fowler (915964) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770208)

I cleaned my windowless bathroom with some mega grout cleaner yesterday and have felt a bit odd since.

It's called Lysol Scrubless Tile Cleaner if you want to give it a go.

Re:grammar? spelling? sense? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14769907)

Makes perfect sense to me. It's hard to break the sentence down any more than that in english. The first section of the sentence (When ....) specifies a time period (the time when Beijing tried to make a journalist's pay depend on the reaction to their stories). The second part describes what happened in that time period (a reporter was able to reverse the move).

It certainly does not obey the current rule of writing newspaper content at a seventh-grade level so as to not confuse the masses, though. Perhaps you were confused by the descriptive phrases that described the reporter (web-savvy), how he reversed the move (by creating a groundswell of public opinion), or where this took place (at one newspaper).

When is a crackdown - a crackdown? (4, Insightful)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769611)

The party's propaganda department had targeted Freezing Point in its media crackdown because it often published investigative reports that embarrassed officials, as well as essays on history, society and current events that challenged the party line.

It surprises me that they didn't just call the cops to come in there, arrest everyone and shut the whole thing down.

Or just lock the doors to the place and tell everyone to stay home and do some censored blogging.

Re:When is a crackdown - a crackdown? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14770022)

Because, although the authorities in China might be quick, the speed it takes to bulk email an internal memo is quicker (that, and a 90 minute head start). This was a battle of information politics, and the Chinese government lost. Period. If you had any doubt about the power of the Internet, this should have squashed it.

Being an American, it is hard to fully comprehend how such an event can transpire and actually 'kill' the intending idea. I.E... Public made aware of government intentions to censor unfavorable journalism, the government is then forced to drop the issue out of public backlash.

I'd say its a brighter day in China, and a step in the right direction toward the idea that is 'Freedom'!

China is our real enemy (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14769623)

China is such a fucked up and dangerous country. Dunno why Bush is wasting time with the Muslim sissies. China is the real enemy of humanity.

Re:China is our real enemy (1)

Kookus (653170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769642)

this post really lacks for a good troll, it's not even worth my mod points to mark it down.

New Policy From The Propaganda Czars (5, Funny)

TomSawyer (100674) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769652)

For 90 minutes, he ran the meeting, oblivious to the political storm that was brewing. Then Li announced what he had done.

Do not hire any more journalists with noticeable bulges in their pant crotches caused by a case of having massive balls.

Not exactly fresh... (1)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769673)

I read about this from a Digg post and noticed that these events weren't exactly new - but the recent exposure here in the US has brought it to our attention.

Li Datong, the author of the memo (I can't help but be reminded of Jerry Maguire), was basically fired for this.

"They are being transferred to work in the paper's news research department, which they jokingly referred to in their letter as 'the warehouse.'"

from "Radio Free Asia" [rfa.org]

Li Datong's Letter (5, Informative)

atomic_toaster (840941) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769674)

For those who are interested in the letter that got the Chinese censors so up in arms, a copy of Li Datong's letter can be found here [zonaeuropa.com].

good bye old red (2, Insightful)

freg (859413) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769694)

The old ways of China are falling right before our eyes. The question is will this great nation degress into civil war or will enough of this young free-thinking generation pull together and peacefully take the reigns from the old guard. If the latter happens America may be left wondering where its world dominance went so quickly. I don't know enough about China's political situation to guess which route they will take though.

Re:good bye old red (1)

dbolger (161340) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770440)

Does it make me old that I don't consider Chinese history starting in 1949 as the "old ways"? :/

Freedom Fighters (4, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769701)

In China journalists brave jail and execution for independence. In America journalists are afraid to ask politicians questions about their crimes.

You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone.

Re:Freedom Fighters (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770035)

In America journalists are afraid to ask politicians questions about their crimes.

No, they are not. American journalists swarm all over any politician who's in any kind of trouble, if they think there's a chance of being the next Woodward or Bernstein.

-jcr

which is more insideous? (4, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770230)

In China journalists brave jail and execution for independence.

Li didn't seem all that worried about either, to be honest. I think you're romanticizing things a tad.

In America journalists are afraid to ask politicians questions about their crimes.

So, which is more insideous? The blatant "don't go against the groupthink, or we'll kill you"?

Or, the subtle "don't go against the groupthink, because we give nothing useful in a public press conference, and you won't be given the good stuff anymore like your colleagues. You'll be labelled a 'biased liberal', and because nobody in the administration will speak to you, you'll be unemployable"?

Study the White House press core situation, and tell me that isn't censorship in full force. The press secretary refutes any serious question with almost every trick in the logical-fallacy handbook. Unless you play along, you don't get the "government official, speaking on condition of anonymity" or "after the press conference, Scott McClellan said privately..." tidbits. Remember the days when presidents would be the ones speaking at a press conference, not a guy who keeps saying, "The President feels..."?

I recall reading recently how the WH press core got all bent out of shape about getting the news late about Cheney's little shooting incident. Where was the outrage over something that matters, like domestic spying? And if they were truly so angry, why didn't they just all get up and leave?

The White House press core are like crack whores. They rely on yet despise their pimps, occasionally developing some backbone or attitude. But at the end of the day, they're still just puppet addicts.

Meanwhile in holland (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770379)

To explain the dutch broadcasting system completly would take more space then the /. servers have but simply, we got multiple broadcasters who share stations according to popularity. Each broadcaster usually comes from a certain background, socialist VARA, Christian EO, Youth BNN.

Because they survive partly on goverment grants they got to make responsible programming. So lots of boring talkie news programs and very little pure mindless entertainment to compete with the commercial stations.

This was thought up by dutch politicians as a way to ensure that some quality news tv would remain. All that has happened is that it shows that politicians are stupid dumbfucks who should be hung from the neck.

Why? Well they still got to compete because the other part of the income comes from ads and from people subscribing to them (well the tv magazine each one sells) so they still got to be popular?

How do you become popular when you have to produce only news programs and other reponsible stuff? You make it as lightweight as possible so it can compete with the mindless entertainment. The 8 o'clock news used to be 30 minutes. Last time I watched it was 5.

The worst? The KRO (catholics) has a new magazine that came after the news that highlighted current events. It used to be okay. they had a nasty bit years ago where a reporter faked a scandal with human heads being for sale but otherwise were okay.

What was on last time I watched? 30 minutes of drivel following the dutch royal family (americans, you may be fat lardass gassguzzling warmongering idiots but at least you got no royalty. Applause for yourselve) in the most moronic way. Not even a hint of critism, the entire thing look like an informerical except that even then you usually got someone asking, "but this can't be true can it". None of that.

I was litteraly dumbstruck. I don't watch a lot of tv (the internet takes up all my mindless entertainment time) and haven't watch dutch tv in months but I had no idea things had gotten so bad.

It was about as good a news story as to MTV reports on the latest movie.

Oh and it seems this program was part of a sequel, at least one before and one coming next week. At least. A minimum of 1.5 hours of meaningless royalty worshipping. On a news program.

Perhaps people in China are better off. At least they can only improve. In the west we can only sit back and watch things collapse. When you protest you hear stuff, but we got to attract viewers or there are plenty of places worse in the world.

A, if you want to attract viewers do the naked news, Real News with Real Nudes. As for their being worse place in the world. Yeah so? There are worse things then me sticking your microphone up your ass but I bet you will still scream when I do it!

Oh and the next time I see some journalist reporting LIVE! from a location where nothing is happening talking like WW3 is about to start I am going to scream. /me flips to the BBC news AAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Dead in five years :-( (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14769750)

He'll be left alone until the West forgets, which will happen within a year or two, five at most.

Then he'll quietly 'retire', or 'fall into ill health', or 'go to stay with a loving relative', and no one will ever hear from him again.

It's a shame. He was a very brave man. The best we can do to honour his memory is to keep the media spotlight on the issues he will no doubt end up giving his life for. :-(

It might not happen. Nelson Mandella survived. Change is possible.
--
AC

Re:Dead in five years :-( (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14769996)

It all depends on your point of view. To some people this is called freedom, and to others its called terrorism.

I am pretty sure i know what the chinese gov't is calling it.

Speed of Propogation (3, Insightful)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769783)

The chief editor stammered and rushed back to his office, witnesses recalled. But by then, Li's memo had leaked and was spreading across the Internet in countless e-mails and instant messages. Copies were posted on China's most popular Web forums, and within hours people across the country were sending Li messages of support.

The government's Internet censors scrambled, ordering one Web site after another to delete the letter. But two days later, in an embarrassing retreat, the party bowed to public outrage and scrapped the editor in chief's plan to muzzle his reporters.

This is a perfect example of both the promise and the peril of the Internet. The fact is Li, but moving quickly and quietly, was able to get his story out on the Web and probably global during the span of a 90-minute meeting. It took two days for the Communist Party in China to realize that the information had travelled beyong their reach and they had no choice but to back down.

It would be interesting to know the speed of propogation of any piece of information on the Internet, in other words, given that a piece of information is placed somewhere (blog, news site, etc.), how long would it take that piece of information to travel globally? I suppose you could figure out a rough approximation by how many times the information is linked to and from where. But even with no hard data, it goes to show that any information, reliable (in this case) or erroneous (possibly) can travel so far afield that authorities can do little to stop it without advanced warning.

Re:Speed of Propogation (1)

chill (34294) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770017)

It took two days for the Communist Party in China to realize that the information had travelled beyong their reach and they had no choice but to back down.

Back down? How about "bide their time". The journalist, Mr. Li, has already been reassigned to a "news research" department which apparantly does neither news nor research. Their policy will be quietly reintroduced after the furor has died down.

Similar to the way things work in the U.S., when an unpopular bill gets defeated then all the nasty parts show up as clauses in other bills and effectively get in under the radar. The people get their "victory", many politicians get to thump their chests and say "I stood up for your rights", but nothing changes. Status quo.

  -Charles

Re:Speed of Propogation (1)

mike77 (519751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770159)

It would be interesting to know the speed of propogation of any piece of information on the Internet, in other words, given that a piece of information is placed somewhere (blog, news site, etc.), how long would it take that piece of information to travel globally?

It's called Fark.com, and I'd say about oh... 5 minutes?

pretty cool. (4, Insightful)

Phybersyk0 (513618) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769790)

If you RTFA it's pretty cool. Li attacks the Communist Party with real communism. Whodathunk?

The core of these regulations is that the standards for appraising the performance of the newspapers will not be on the basis of the media role according to Marxism. It is not based upon the basic principles of the Chinese Communist Party. It is not based upon the spirit of President Hu Jintao about how power, rights and sentiments should be tied to the people. It is not based upon whether the masses of readers will be satisfied. Instead, the appraisal standard will depend upon whether a small number of senior organizations or officials like it or not.

Article misses point (5, Insightful)

Ulf667 (227615) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769842)

Li Datong and his deputy were still fired, and as Li was the editorial heart of the China Youth Daily, even if the policy was not applied, censorship still won the day.

This seems more of a loss than a victory to me.

Re:Article misses point (2, Insightful)

dhardisty (914014) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770108)

"...in January, propaganda officials finally shut down the section. Before doing so, they called executives from all the major Web sites to a special meeting and warned them not to allow any discussion of the action.

The news spread quickly anyway. "


I'm constantly impressed by the selflessness of Chinese people who risk their job and their freedom for the good of their country.

My guess? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14770030)

My guess? Someone has got needle-nose pliers on the guy's balls as we speak. Next they will pluck all of his ball hair with tweezers. The finale will involve a car battery, sandpaper, a sheet of paper, lemon juice, coca-cola, and of course, the guy's balls.

The Jouranlist was fired and Blacklisted (1)

macz (797860) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770078)

I bet he has a hard time existing on anything but the charity of others for a very long long time.

So it was a Phyrric victory at best.

would a censored google have helped? (1)

hopeless case (49791) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770169)

I wonder how the existance of a censored google would have effected the equation. Would it have made it easier for word to spread quickly?

Notice how the government had the ability to censor any web page it wanted, but that even so, word spread faster than the governement could stop it.

I'd say a general case was just made *for* the morality of companies offering censored internet services in China.

If email services were not a prevalent as they were, censored or not, Li might not have gotten away with it.

stick it to the man (1)

slackaddict (950042) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770234)

Good for him! Although it makes me quite concerned what could happen to this guy for such a bold move. Can we follow up with him periodically to make sure he's safe?

If the USSR had to do it all over again... (4, Insightful)

realmolo (574068) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770316)

Why haven't we stopped all diplomatic relations with China? Why haven't we imposed trade sanctions?

Oh, right, China supplies us with cheap manufactured goods, and makes various U.S. companies richer.

Apparently, being a totalitarian, human-rights-suppressing government is *perfectly fine* with the United States as long as you supply us with lots of cheap goods. Oh, and buy up our debt so we can continue our fiscally irresponsible ways.
 

Mod Parent Up for China Hypocrisy. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770418)

Well, when you're a free trade partner that can paint any critic as xenophobic, you can get any damn thing you want.
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