Thursday, April 26, 2007

Editor and magazine disciplined by party

Who said that China's media control is more relaxed ahead of the Olympics?

Lifeweek's editor was penalized for reporting on politically sensitive historical events

South China Morning Post via Asia Media- Thursday, April 26, 2007 - Excerpt:

Beijing recently tightened restrictions on freedom of expression and shut down publications that displayed signs of boldness in what propagandists said were steps needed to ensure a harmonious social environment ahead of the 17th Communist Party Congress. The event will see a leadership reshuffle and set the development agenda for five years.

The crackdown also highlights strict media controls heading into the 2008 Olympics....

In a reshuffle, two deputy editors were appointed recently to strengthen the editorial work.

In November the propaganda department and the media regulator ordered the magazine to reform after the publication of three issues seen as politically sensitive.

Lifeweek is run by the Sanlian Book Publication Group, a state-run publication giant.

In its October 30 issue the weekly ran a cover story on the 30th anniversary of the end of the Cultural Revolution, with a front-page picture of Mao Zedong's wife, Jiang Qing, standing trial. Jiang was part of the "Gang of Four" who played a pivotal role in the 1966-76 turmoil.

In its September 11 issue it ran a lead story on the 30th anniversary of the death of Mao, with his image on the cover. And in its August 30 issue the cover story was on the 30th anniversary of the Tangshan earthquake, in which more than 200,000 died.

In directives issued early last year the propaganda department demanded that media refrain from playing up such topics. It also asked media to limit coverage of such topics to Xinhua's official versions. (more)

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

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