What Does it Take to be Censored in China?
Created: 2012-07-05 18:31 EST
What does it take to be censored in China?
As foreign media move in on a slice of the Chinese market, they're faced with a predicament - play by the Chinese regime's censorship rules, or stick to their own journalist standards, and perhaps risk being censored anyway?
Last Friday, Bloomberg's website was blocked by Chinese censors after it published a report about the family wealth of Xi Jinping. Xi is the Vice Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, and tipped to take over the leadership role from Hu Jintao later this year. The report contained nothing to suggest any wrongdoing on the part of Xi or his family – but it still touched a nerve, and Bloomberg’s English website paid the price.
Bloomberg’s experience is not unique, western media that are allowed to report in China have to contend with the murky censorship waters. The New York Times, which recently launched a Chinese version of its website, will have to do the same.
So what should foreign media reporting on China do? Do they have a duty to uphold the spirit of free-press? Is this possible? Why is important to have uncensored reporting on China given the country’s growing influence in the world?