China Digital Times has done us all the favor again of translating directives from various governmental authorities and this week the main focus is unsurprisingly on the Jiaozhou Lu apartment block fire here in Shanghai. Among the missives: Don’t put mourning activities in a prominent position on all media outlets and websites, and withdraw issues of a magazine that dared to write about who really was responsible.
Or, as CDT translated:
November 21, 2010
From the Office of Information of the State Council: Regarding first week remembrances of the Shanghai fire, all media outlets and websites are not to put them in prominent positions.
[News Summary: At 2:00 pm on the 15th of November, 2010, a multi-story residential building in Shanghai at the intersection of Yutao and Jiaozhou Roads experienced a major fire. According to officially released figures from the CCP as of November 21, 58 people have been reported killed and more than 100 injured. November 21, 2010 is the seventh day after this tragedy, and is thus called “the first week” (Tr: literally, “the first seven”). Among Chinese people, this is traditionally a day for giving offerings [of mourning, remembrance, etc.]
“A Factual Investigation of the Shanghai Fire”
November 21, 2010
From the Propaganda Bureau of Shanghai: Because it published the story “A Factual Investigation of the Shanghai Fire,” withdraw current issues of the periodical China Management Report (Zhongguo jingying bao).
[News Summary: “A Factual Investigation of the Shanghai Fire: Who Was Responsible for the Subcontracting ‘Confusion’?” Source: China Management Report, on China Management Online (Zhongguo jingying wang), accessed: November 20, 2010, 11:14 am. Authors: Ye Wentian, He Yong]
【新闻简介：上海大火真相调查：“惑”起分包谁主佳艺？来源:中国经营报-中国经营网 时间： 2010-11-20 11:14 作者：叶文添、何勇 】
November 15, 2010
From the Party Committee Propaganda Bureau of the city of Shanghai: Do not publicize or hype [the fire.] Television stations and Internet sites are no longer do live reporting on it. It is permissible to report with reduced facts, using the framework issued by the city Party Committee Propaganda Bureau as the standard.
[News Summary: At 2:00 pm on the 15th of November, 2010, a tall multi-story apartment building at Yutao Road and Jiaozhou Road in Shanghai caught fire. A large number of retired teachers lived inside the building. The fire started between the 10th and 12th floors, and lasted for more than three hours. Several tens of people were killed, and several tens more suffered injuries.]
While I can objectively get why the bureaus would want to downplay certain stories – such as suicides and murder sprees – even though I don’t always agree, this is just heinous. There is no good reason whatsoever why the public should not be allowed to have their remembrance be front page news, and why the fire safety of all buildings in Shanghai shouldn’t be called into question.