Posted by Danwei on Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 6:57 PM
Ahead of Sunday's non-protests in downtown Beijing's Wangfujing pedestrian street, a number of foreign journalists reported receiving telephone calls reminding them to follow relevant laws and regulations in the course of their news-gathering. Some were instructed to contact the Wangfujing administrative office ahead of time to obtain approval to conduct interviews.
Reporters who arrived at the scene on Sunday met with a sizable security presence. Some were pushed around, and a few were detained by police.
Existing regulations on reporting (dating from October, 2008), state that foreign journalists need only obtain prior consent from individuals or organizations they wish to interview. But McClatchy's Tom Lasseter notes that a cryptic item in the state media the week before mentioned that prior approval may now be required to conduct interviews in China. And the Wall Street Journal's China Real Time Report quotes foreign ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu's response to complaints about mistreatment: "When a German television reporter described police detaining him for hours and erasing his tape, Ms. Jiang said: 'I sympathize with what befell you. But I’d like to ask you a question: Did you apply ahead of time to visit that area for interviews?'"
It turns out that Jiang Yu is correct, at least for the Wangfujing area. New detailed regulations that went into effect on January 1, 2011 contain an expanded list of activities prohibited in the pedestrian street.
The detailed rules are based on a set of rules that have governed conduct in Wangfujing since October 1, 2000. Here's the text of Article 7 of the earlier rules:
Article 9 of the new rules clarifies the "other activities" mentioned in (4) with a new rule:
The new rules seem to have been posted online fairly recently, and do not show up in a Baidu web search as of this afternoon.
Links and Sources
Jobs in China
Henry on The Eurasian Face
Caroline W on Big in China
Michael on Julia Lovell on translating Lu Xun's complete fiction: "His is an angry, searing vision of China"
Brandon K. on Clueless academic takes on popular fantasy novels
China Media Timeline
Major media events over the last three decades
Danwei Model Workers
The latest recommended blogs and new media
Books on China
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.
Front Page of the Day
A different newspaper every weekday
From the Vault
Classic Danwei posts
+ Korean history doesn't fly on Chinese TV screens (2007.09): SARFT puts the kibbosh on Korean historical dramas.
+ 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.