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Telling the Truth in Today's China

eldavojohn (898314) writes | about a year ago

Censorship 0

eldavojohn (898314) writes "Inside the land of the Great Firewall censorship is rampant although rarely transparent. Foreign Policy has a lengthy but eyeopening recounting of what it's like being an editor for the only officially sanctioned English business publication inside the most populated country on Earth. Eveline Chao of the magazine "China International Business" writes in her piece "Me and My Censor" about her censor named Snow, the three taboo T's (Taiwan, Tibet, and Tiananmen), a bizarre government aversion to flags and how she was 'offered red envelopes stuffed with cash at press junkets, sometimes discovered footprints on the toilet seats at work, and had to explain to the Chinese assistants more than once that they could not turn in articles copied word for word from existing pieces they found online.' Anecdotes abound in this piece including the story of a photojournalist who 'once ran a picture he'd taken in Taiwan alongside an article, but had failed to notice a small Taiwanese flag in the background. As a result, the entire staff of his newspaper had been immediately fired and the office shut down.' From shoddy CYA maps to language misunderstandings to an elusive "words group" faxed out by government censors, this article exposes a lot of the internal workings and responsibilities of a "government censor" inside mainland China but also the ridiculous absurdity of government censorship: 'I was told that we could not title a coal piece "Power Failure" because the word "failure" in bold print so close to the Olympics would make people think of the Olympics being a failure. The title "The Agony and the Ecstasy" for a soccer piece was axed because agony was a negative word and we couldn't have negative words be associated with sports.' The magazine couldn't use images of an empty bowl for its restaurant pieces because it might remind readers of the Great Famine."
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