- Cara Anna of the AP reports police dragged away over 100 parents protesting outside the courthouse in Dujiangyan (都江堰) holding pictures of their children who died in the Sichuan earthquake:
“Why?” some of them yelled. “Tell us something,” they said as black-suited police wearing riot helmets yanked at them.
The parents had been kneeling in front of the courthouse yelling, “We want to sue.”
Police dragged an Associated Press reporter and two photographers who were covering the protest up the steps into the courthouse, trying to prevent them from seeing the demonstration.
“The parents were here to give their report to the court,” said one police officer who refused to give his name.
Calls to local police were not answered Tuesday.
Asked why reporters were removed from the courthouse, an official from the foreign affairs office of the local government, Zao Ming, said “this is not a good place to do interviews. … In a disaster like this, there will be a lot of opinions. The government will solve their problems.”
There were also several Japanese reporters at the courthouse. One witness who did not want to be identified said police told the parents: “The Japanese are reporting bad things about you.”
- David Bandurski of the China Media Project notes that propaganda chief and fifth-ranking official in the land Li Changchun (李长春) is now in Sichuan and visiting Chinese journalists:
Does this signal a broad media crackdown? Not so fast. Yes, the Xinhua News Agency release on Li’s visit does suggest there’s some finger wagging going on here – as though Li is cautioning, “Easy, EASY.” But we should be careful not to read too much into his visit.
There are notable differences in terminology in this release when compared to news of Li Changchun’s CCTV visit over a week ago. We are not yet seeing the dreaded word “guidance,” or daoxiang (导向). But we are hearing new whistleblows from the referee, like “emphasizing positive propaganda” (正面宣传为主) and “upholding unity, stability and encouragement” (坚持团结稳定鼓劲).
- Well, that was yesterday’s post and Bandurski today reports that:
Reliable CMP sources report that Guangdong’s top official, Wang Yang (汪洋) , ordered the recall of Guangdong journalists from Sichuan after a meeting just before the weekend in which he expressed his dissatisfaction with critical coverage of the quake by Southern Metropolis Daily, Southern Metropolis Weekly and even the official Guangzhou Daily. This rather unexpected recall of journalists should remind us of the chaos and complexity of China’s media environment.
- The WSJ‘s China Journal observes that pages 44 and 45 of the latest edition of National Geographic have been glued together in China:
These pages didn’t make the often-censored slip-up of treating Taiwan as a separate country, but the concern might have been labeling several borders disputed with Pakistan and India. Another map, on pages 126 and 127, showing the distribution of China’s ethnic minorities, was also glued, perhaps because of recent sensitivities over the country’s Tibetan population. Pages 100 and 101, which feature controversial artwork, as well as pages 128 and 129, on dissent, were also censored, presumably for more obvious reasons.
- Meanwhile, the South China Morning Post [behind paywall] writes that a 27 year old Tibetan monk by the name of Luojie has gone on television to say “he realised he had been wrong to express his grievances in front of foreign journalists two months ago”.
Photo from g_yulong1