Media regulation

Sketch of a media blackout

Quotes get results

There's been a media blackout on the Gao Qinrong case, Jonathan Ansfield reports on China Digital Times.

Baidu News search turns up no articles newer than Sunday; the reprint of Democracy and Law's article that ran in China Times this morning is not indexed. Baidu has also completely filtered "高勤荣" as a keyword, but as the previous search shows, clever manipulation of the search term still returns results. The image at left compares a web search for Gao's name, which comes back empty, and a search for his name in quotes, which gives results.

The original SMD and SW interviews are still up on their papers' websites as of this writing, but reposted copies have mostly been taken down - as in past media blackouts, it seems like the lesser-trafficked portals keep copies up longer.

And this afternoon, China Daily online reposted ESWN's translation of the Southern Metropolis Daily interview with Gao along with Danwei's translation of Wang Renlong's commentary on corruption investigations (originals here and here). A sign of the disconnect between the way China's propaganda efforts deal matters for internal consumption and those for promotion abroad, a bold editor making a daring statement, or just another example of the vacuum in which the CD website operates? Your pick. (There's a screencap here if the link gets taken down.)

There are currently 2 Comments for Sketch of a media blackout.

Comments on Sketch of a media blackout

"Other websites are welcome to republish Danwei stories in full as long as they are credited with a link to and the author's name at the top of the republished article. Please ask for our permission before rewriting or mashing-up Danwei stories for republishing."

I didn't see a link to your original story in the CD article (nor to ESWN's translation). Did they get your permission? Has this occurred regularly? Is the English translation of that article legally yours?

I vote for choice 3, the vacuum in which the CD website exists.

This has occurred in the past; for a while it seemed like the CD site would lift an ESWN translation every week or so. In this particular instance, the website republished just the translation without any of the notes or introduction, so crediting the original author is probably OK, even if a "translated by" credit would be nice. English-language Chinese media has much room for progress on two fronts: standards and practices, and editorial choices. So it's hard to take a position that the CD website should run more relevant, critical articles and then turn around and slam them for this. Even if it would be nicer to see them do more hard-hitting, original reporting, they probably don't have that ability right now.

For a slightly different take, see this.

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