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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The Eurasian Face : Blacksmith Books, a publishing house in Hong Kong, is behind The Eurasian Face, a collection of photographs by Kirsteen Zimmern. Below is an excerpt from the series:
Big in China: An adapted excerpt from Big In China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising A Family, Playing The Blues and Becoming A Star in China, just published this month. Author Alan Paul tells the story of arriving in Beijing as a trailing spouse, starting a blues band, raising kids and trying to make sense of China.
Pallavi Aiyar's Chinese Whiskers: Pallavi Aiyar's first novel, Chinese Whiskers, a modern fable set in contemporary Beijing, will be published in January 2011. Aiyar currently lives in Brussels where she writes about Europe for the Business Standard. Below she gives permissions for an excerpt.
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+ Religion and government in an uneasy mix (2008.03): Phoenix Weekly (凤凰周刊) article from October, 2007, on government influence on religious practice in Tibet.
+ David Moser on Mao impersonators (2004.10): I first became aware of this phenomenon in 1992 when I turned on a Beijing TV variety show and was jolted by the sight of "Mao Zedong" and "Zhou Enlai" playing a game of ping pong. They both gave short, rousing speeches, and then were reverently interviewed by the emcee, who thanked them profusely for taking time off from their governmental duties to appear on the show.