Media censorship in China today
on February 05, 2016
Silhouette: Tian'anmen square has a couple of giant screens constantly projecting. Photo: Johnathan Nightingale. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0.
The Chinese government passed laws in 2015 which will seriously hinder media reporting and press freedom.
According to a new report published by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), "Propaganda, censorship, surveillance, intimidation, detention, brutality and attacks and televised 'confessions' have become go-to tools for the government as they tighten their grip on the media and the press in 2015."
The National Security law, adopted on July 1, 2015, is loaded with vague definitions and lacks adequate protections for press freedom, freedom of expression and access to information.
IFJ said, "The new law 'leaves the door open' to further restrictions of the rights and freedoms of Chinese citizens."
China's Great Media Wall: The Fight for Freedom
documents the broader issues impacting the work of local journalists and media workers across Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, as well as foreign journalists and online media.
For the first time, the report also includes an IFJ assessment on the number of jailed and detained journalist and media workers and documents 51 cases, some dating back to 2009.
The Criminal Law was amended during 2015 to introduce severe punishments for online reporting and coverage of matters deemed of public importance, including disasters, epidemics and/or security alerts.
Under the amendments to Article 291, Chinese citizens now faced jail terms of up to seven years if found "guilty" of the Chinese crime of "fabricating news".
The continued use of 'forced' televised confessions by journalists without formal trial continued in 2015 in the cases of business journalist Wang Xiaolu and Liu Wei, a deputy assignment editor with Guangzhou's Southern Metropolis Daily.
Foreign journalists in China continue to face a challenging and restrictive working environment. The most noted tactic used is ongoing delays in the issuing of visas.
The IFJ said: “China's Great Media Wall: The Fight For Freedom, highlights the parlous state of press freedom in this region but also shows the determination of some media workers to continue to do their jobs in the face of immense government and institutional pressure."
February 05, 2016