The Committee to Protect Journalists gave out three press freedom awards this year, to three journalists and one lawyer, and one of those journalists was jailed reporter Shi Tao. Shi Tao’s story became high-profile in the international media after it was revealed that the incriminating evidence in his case came from email sent from his Yahoo! account. This led to condemnations of Yahoo! for complying with the Chinese government, the most recent coming from a veteran dissident Liu Xiaobo. Whether or not Yahoo! was legally obliged to provide this information seems to still be debated, as some have claimed that Yahoo! Hong Kong revealed this information, and as part of the SAR they supposedly aren’t beholden to Chinese/PRC law, but according to this report, the servers for the email account (check the name of Shi’s email account, you should get a sense of where he stands politically), are located in China. Shanghaiist isn’t a student of the law, so we don’t know where in this delicate case where both law and ethics are involved, where to take a stand. Certainly, we think that it’s amusing that Liu Xiaobo would write to Jerry Yang alone, because Jerry Yang is Taiwanese-American, but frankly, in this day and age, does that “cultural bond” really amount to anything?
This list gives a brief but fairly complete account of the difficulties that Chinese journalists (as well as some western reporters) have faced in going about their jobs in China during 2005.