Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
Copies of Reporters Without Borders' annual World Press Freedom Index sit on a table at Agence France-Presse headquarters in Paris, April 26, 2017. RFA

China is a “festering” black hole when it comes to freedom of the press, a Paris-based media watchdog said in a recent report.

China fell one place lower on Reporters Without Borders’ (RSF) annual Index of Press Freedom, the group said, “because of the monopoly of power exercised by [its] president Xi Jinping.”


Citing Xi’s amendment of China’s constitution to enable him to serve a second, indefinite term in office, RSF said that the ruling elite suppress all debate in the country’s state-run media, “while cracking down relentlessly on citizen journalists who try to make a dissenting voice heard.”

“China’s anti-democratic model, based on Orwellian high-tech information surveillance and manipulation, is all the more alarming because Beijing is now promoting its adoption internationally,” RSF warned.

Not happy with obstructing the work of journalists within its borders, China is now trying to establish a “new world media order,” the report said.


“If [journalists] pursue certain stories, such as anything to do with the military, or the assets of the family members of Chinese leaders, offshore companies and so on, then they could get you on any pretext,” he said. VOA

“The Chinese system of total news control is increasingly serving as a model for other anti-democratic regimes,” it said.

More controls in recent years

Chinese media commentator Jin Zhongbing agreed with the report’s findings.

“There is a general sense that there are more [controls] in recent years, including legislation and various kinds of regulations, than there were before,” Jin said. “Those of us who work in the media often find that our stories don’t get published, because they touch on certain sensitive words.”

“It feels as if the definition of what is sensitive is getting broader and broader,” he said. “The space left by these policies is getting smaller and smaller, so it’s a worrying situation.”

Bruce Lui, senior journalism lecturer at the University of Hong Kong, said that even journalists working in or traveling to Hong Kong could be at risk of arrest for alleged infractions of Chinese law, under a proposed amendment to the city’s extradition law allowing the rendition of “suspected criminals” to mainland China at Beijing’s request.

“It used to be fine once you had gotten across the border into Hong Kong, but now, people will start to wonder whether they should take on certain types of reporting,” Lui said.

“If [journalists] pursue certain stories, such as anything to do with the military, or the assets of the family members of Chinese leaders, offshore companies and so on, then they could get you on any pretext,” he said.

“I think this is going to make some journalists a bit less bold about uncovering information in mainland China,” Lui said. “Ultimately, it will have an impact on the media’s function in monitoring those in power, and the public’s right to know.”

“It will mean that those in power have a totally free hand,” he said.

An extension of the CCP

President Xi has insisted that the state media are an extension of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP), sharing its aims and political goals, and act as its mouthpiece.

Last September, the U.S. Justice Department demanded that China’s official Xinhua News Agency and state-owned international broadcaster CGTN register as foreign agents.

Xinhua News Agency is directly controlled by the CCP and answers to the country’s cabinet, the State Council, while CGTN is the English-language network of Beijing-based state broadcaster CCTV, under the direct control of the party’s Central Propaganda Department.


“The Chinese system of total news control is increasingly serving as a model for other anti-democratic regimes,” it said. Pixabay

Media regulators have banned the country’s internet portals like Tencent and Sina from conducting any independent journalism of their own, requiring them to post syndicated content from organizations on the CCP’s approved state media whitelist.

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China (FCCC) found in a recent survey of its members in January that more than half thought conditions had deteriorated in 2018, and surveillance and official retaliation had become the hallmarks of reporting from China.

Nearly half of the respondents said they were followed or “were aware that a hotel room was entered without permission.” Ninety-one percent said they were concerned about the security of their phones, while 22 percent were aware authorities tracked them using public surveillance systems.

Also Read: Now The Hackers May Want To Crack Down What You Stream on Netflix

Overall, 55 percent of respondents said they believed conditions deteriorated in 2018.

Official harassment or retaliation also rendered Chinese nationals working for foreign news organizations vulnerable, the report found, with 37 percent of 91 respondents reporting that their Chinese colleagues were pressured, harassed, or intimidated. (RFA)


Popular

IANS

The Centre will launch a pilot project on the use of indigenously manufactured drones for delivering medicines in the undulating landscape of Jammu and surrounding areas from Saturday

The Centre will launch a pilot project on the use of indigenously manufactured drones for delivering medicines in the undulating landscape of Jammu and surrounding areas from Saturday with a focus on vaccines delivery initially. "This is going to be a pilot project for the area. The drone is developed and manufactured entirely by our scientists," Union Minister for Science & Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh told mediapersons. Singh said he himself will be launching the project at Jammu.

The drone is developed by the scientists at Bengaluru's National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), a constituent of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), an autonomous Society that is headed by the Prime Minister. For now, the delivery would be limited to Covid vaccines and once successful, it would be expanded to be used for regular delivery of medicines in the remote, hilly areas.

drone flying in sky The drone is developed by the scientists at Bengaluru's National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL). | Photo by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash

Keep Reading Show less
IANS

According to him Amitabh Bachchan is a great actor in the industry.

Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan shares how he feels when people compare him with his father Amitabh Bachchan on the singing reality show 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa'. He also requests contestant Rajshree Bag to sing a track 'Bahon Mein Chale Aao' featuring his mother Jaya Bachchan.

Abhishek said after looking at the performance of Rajshree, who is often compared with Lata Mangeshkar on the show, that she reminds him of being compared with his father. "Rajshree, whenever I have got the chance to watch the show, I've seen people compare you to Lata didi. It actually reminded me about how people compare me with my father and ask me how I feel about it."

According to him Amitabh Bachchan is a great actor in the industry and this is what he says to everyone making these comparisons. "My answer to them is that there's no greater actor in this film industry than Amitabh Bachchan and if I'm being compared to him, I am sure I must have done something good."

"Similarly, your voice has a different kind of magic like Lata ji and that's why people are comparing your voice with her. I feel you should always take this as a compliment," he concluded. 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa' airs on Saturday and Sunday on Zee TV. (IANS/ MBI)


Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Winters in India have always beckoned for that hot, steaming bowl of tomato and pepper rasam or the mellow, millet based Raab.

By IANSlife

Winters in India have always beckoned for that hot, steaming bowl of tomato and pepper rasam or the mellow, millet based Raab. Certain dishes like sarson ka saag, undhiyu, nimona pulao are winter specialites in the country. Seasonal food has always been an Indian speciality -- we switch our choice in fruits, vegetables, sometimes even grains with the onset of different season. The preference of using specific ingredients during certain climates is visible in our sweets as well. It's common to find local and traditional delicacies made of jaggery, instead of sugar during the winters. Case in point -- the Nolen Gur Rasgulla, a speciality made in Odisha and West Bengal between November to February.

Sarson Ka Saag | Sarson ka saag is traditional Punjabi dish Certain dishes like sarson ka saag, undhiyu, nimona pulao are winter specialites in the country. | Flickr

Keep reading... Show less