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November 16, 2005

Chinese media stand up and speak up

Here's an absolute must-read from China Daily: Why must Chinese press take a detour for virus info? The author is Hu Shuli, editor-in-chief of Caijing Magazine. Her article is both a demand for more transparency in Chinese media, and an indication that such transparency is actually happening. Here's an excerpt, but read the whole thing:

When other domestic press, including Caijing, sent journalists to Xiangtan [where 12-year-old He Yin died], they met many obstacles in gaining access to the case. Apparently, local government agencies do not quite see eye to eye with Beijing on the matter of transparency.

Admittedly, the situation has improved immensely over what we witnessed in the early days of the SARS epidemic in 2003, when the question of the virus's very existence in China was deemed a state secret.

But if we want to further improve the situation, we must also acknowledge that officials still are not open and efficient enough in disclosing virus information to the public.

Millions of Chinese farmers, with their lives and property directly threatened by the virus, deserve to receive information first-hand the minute it becomes public. Better informing farmers means granting greater freedom to the domestic media. At very least, they should be allowed to stand on the same starting line as their foreign counterparts.

you stand is where all journalists should be standing.

Posted by dymaxion at November 16, 2005 01:10 PM

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