Posted by Jeremy Goldkorn on Tuesday, August 7, 2007 at 6:23 PM
This is an Internet rumor and so should be taken with a large grain of salt, but this Chinese blog is saying that the confession by the cardboard baozi journalist only happened after the journalist had been beaten to a pulp.
For background to the case see ESWN — Why Do People Think That A Fake News Story Is Real?, and Danwei — Is the fake news story fake news?.
UPDATE: Tomorrow, almost today, is August 8, the start of the one year countdown to the commencement of the 2008 Olympic Games.
In honor of this date, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Sans Frontières, and the Foreign Correspondents Club of China have all released reports and held press conferences to tell the world that foreign reporters continue to be hassled and the local media still is not free.
Many of your correspondent's Chinese friends think that the organizations listed above are just silly, trouble-making foreigners who don't really get it.
On the other hand, those same people don't know whether to believe the government line or the apparently fake news item about the cardboard baozi — which even if fake, has the the ring of truth.
All of which underlines the reality of the severe crisis of trust in China today. Who can we believe? Who will tell the truth? The government? The media, Chinese or foreign? NGOs?
Many Chinese people, and a lot of Westerners who observe China, will turn to certain bloggers, certain news agencies and newspapers, certain magazines, and certain editors, public intellectuals and writers.
Smart media companies in China will latch on the this phenomenon: people are starting to need accurate information and informed opinion. Whoever can deliver accurate facts and consistently trustworthy opinion will win the long war in China, even if many short term battles are lost.
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+ Culture and corporate propaganda in Soho Xiaobao (2007.11): Mid-2007 issues of Soho Xiaobao (SOHO小报), illustrating the complicated identity of in-house magazines run by real estate companies.
+ Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship (2010.03): Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship at an officially sanctioned meeting in Shenzhen.
+ Crowd-sourced cheating on the 2010 gaokao (2010.06): A student in Sichuan seeks help with the ancient Chinese section of this year's college entrance exam -- while the test is going on!