Chinese Media Suffer
Zhu Shunzhong, chief editor of the Great Wall Monthly,
a new political magazine in Beijing, was harassed by police.
On Aug. 17, the police threatened to shut down his magazine.
On August 16, Chen Zhong, the president of Guangzhou’s
Nan Feng Chuang (NFC) magazine, was dismissed
for being “unable to correctly censor the magazine’s articles
and for taking things in the wrong political direction.”
Some people in the media believe that the
Chinese Communist Party (CCP) tightly controls the media
to maintain its power and destroy freedom of press in China,
which is sure to backfire.
Zhu Shunzhong, chief editor of Great Wall Monthly in Beijing,
appealed for help on micro-blog on August 17:
“This morning, several policemen appeared in my office and
ordered my staff to quickly find me.
Otherwise, they would close down the Great Wall Monthly.”
In the latest issue, the Great Wall Monthly commented on
several sensitive issues like the China Red Cross Scandal,
petitioners being detained in psychiatric hospitals
and directly pointed out faults in CCP’s political system.
The articles irritated many CCP officials for they reported
on issues from the perspective of democracy and rule of law.
Similarly, the president Chen Zhong of the NFC magazine,
which belongs to the Guangzhou Daily Group, was dismissed
on August 16 for being “unable to correctly censor articles and
for taking things in the wrong political direction.”
It all started with an interview article published by
Zhao Lingmin entitled,
“The Narrow Mindedness of Chinese Nationalism and
Diplomacy,” which irritated censorship offices.
Veteran media professional Gao Yu, said that the CCP’s
62 years of rule in China has failed and
it now considers its own stability
as its primary task and censors any information it dislikes.
Gao Yu: “This is a signal. The NFC magazine published
such articles inconsistent with CCP’s propaganda.
Then the CCP intimidated NFC by dismissing its president
and telling others to follow the Central Propaganda Department.
Otherwise, they will meet the same end as their president.”
Gao Yu believes that the NFC the Great Wall Monthly cases
indicate that the CCP has now intensified their media control.
Previously, there were many inside stories floating around
about the high-speed train accident, especially those about the
corruption of the Ministry of Railways,
the Great Leap Forward in railways,
and other technical and management issues.
But these stories have been repressed by censorship offices.
Gao Yu said that by blocking and closing websites,
building the Golden Shield Project, and now deleting blogs,
the CCP is fighting against the informatization trend,
including academic freedom and the freedom of thought.
But their efforts are doomed to fail in the end.
Gao Yu: “In the Deng Xiaoping Era, (the CCP)
put a stop to independent newspapers.
But now they keep the media but change the people in charge.
Anyone who disobeys or makes troubles will be replaced.
In the Deng Era, anyone who was denounced became famous,
while under Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao,
anyone that was detained would be famous.”
Du Bin, New York Times’ special photographer-writer,
said that the CCP is not very optimistic while facing
the current situation, so they intensify their control of the media.
But Du Bin believes that it will have the exact opposite effect.
Du Bin: “Because someone is repressed, people will look
back to see what exactly irritates the authorities
and they will think about things thoroughly.
Actually this kind of repression is embarrassing to the CCP.
They can kill this person or that person,
but there will be other persons in the future to face;
either this medium or that medium, since anything against
the current information trend won’t last too long.”
Gao Min, chief editor of the Business Watch,
which has been closed, sorrowfully told the Deutsche Welle,
that ten years ago he worked as a news reporter with
Chang Ping, a senior media professional.
At that time, people said that the South Weekend,
the China News Weekly, Life Week, and the NFC,
will set new standards—
but now the ceiling is pressing lower and lower.
But Du Bin doesn’t think so.
He said that Chinese people still have hope.
He believes that the ceiling will not only be broken through,
but it will also probably fall.
NTD reporters Liang Xin, Song Feng and Sun Ning