Entries in Freedom of the Press (3)


Journalists Fighting for Press Freedom Reach Deal with Chinese Officials?

George Doyle/Thinkstock(BEIJING) -- A rare, public outcry in China by journalists demanding increased press freedom has taken a turn.

Staffers at the Southern Weekly clashed with Communist Party officials after an editorial calling for reform was censored.  Now, an apparent deal between the two sides might allow the journalists to go unpunished for their protest and for stopping work.

Censorship in China will not end.  But the deal -- and the fact that protestors were allowed to publicly criticize the government -- is a small but significant shift towards reform.

The incident erupted just two months into the new leader Xi Jinping’s regime.  While the government has not commented, it is widely believed that a top official -- Guangdong party chief Hu Chunhua -- brokered the deal, a sign that the party is taking the issue very seriously. 

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Chinese Newspaper Fights for Press Freedom

George Doyle/Thinkstock(BEIJING) -- In Guangzhou, China, a rare public fight over press freedom continues.

Reporters and editors from the newspaper the Southern Weekly are negotiating a return to work after objecting to government censorship.

A New Year’s editorial calling for increased press freedom was so watered down by propaganda officials it eventually ran as a piece praising government policy.

Southern Weekly is known as a relatively liberal publication in a country dominated by heavily-controlled, pro-party media.

The incident is causing an online uproar in China, lighting up China’s Twitter with support from noted commentators and some of the country’s biggest celebrities.

On Monday, a State Department spokesman said the U.S. hopes the Chinese government is taking note.  
Many are asking how China’s new leader, Xi Jinping, will respond.  He has pledged a commitment to reform but has not yet taken significant steps outside his predecessor’s path.

An editorial in the Global Times -- a party-backed paper -- criticized Southern Weekly for "challenging the system."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


US Freedom of the Press Ranked 47th in the World

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(PARIS) -- "Crackdown" was the word of the year in 2011, according to Reporters Without Borders.

The organization made the designation in its annual World Press Freedom Index, which listed the U.S. 47th in its rankings.

The U.S. was already in 27th place in terms of freedom of the press when Reporters Without Borders dropped it 20 places because of the arrest of journalists last year during the Occupy Wall Street protest.  That means the U.S. is now behind countries such as Czech Republic, Niger, El Salvador, and South Africa.

Iran, Syria and North Korea were at the bottom of the list of the 179 ranked countries, while Egypt and Bahrain also fell because of government action taken against reformers.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio