Not everything Xinhua writes is music to their ears // Photo from Beijing2008
Yes, we know reporters from Caijing get beat up and writers for Southern Weekend sometimes tend to disappear, but even newspeople from government mouthpiece Xinhua can’t seem to get their legal rights protected. In an article on Global Times, Liu Meng writes about reporters who were investigating a case of illegal land use.
The reporters were first questioned by people who claimed to be local officials as they spoke with residents, and were then tailed by three cars as they drove to another interview location.
When asked to stop, the officials replied, “If we don’t tail you, we won’t know what to report to our leaders.”
On Sunday night, as the reporters were interviewing villagers in a farmer’s house in Xiaoliuwang village, several “strangers” and about five cars blocked exits of the village.
The reporters called local police for help only to be criticized for conducting interviews at night.
Police also said that they could not take action to help them without the approval of the local government.
Granted, police stonewalling doesn’t hold a candle to actually being beaten up by thugs (and then getting $75 compensation for it), like science fraudbuster Fang Zhouzhi, or even having rocks thrown at you and your cameraman, a situation a CNN reporter found himself in while trying to visit blind activist Chen Guangcheng (currently under house arrest). Still, how weird is it that even Xinhua can’t get no respect?