Three days after retiring, Southern Weekly in-house censor Zeng Li is dead. The story via SCMP:
Zeng Li had become a prominent figure during the weekly's protest against censorship in January. His farewell letter has been shared on Weibo thousands of times on Thursday and caused widespread soul-searching about the state of the media in China.
Japan’s highly respected daily The Asahi Shimbun suggested in an article on Monday that Xi Jinping was unhappy with the way the “media control division” handled last week’s Southern Weekly ordeal. Specifically, Xi was unhappy with the way Liu Yunshan, chief of the propaganda department and a longtime Hu Jintao guy, forced newspapers around the... Read more »
In Guangzhou recently, the German TV station Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF) was interviewing a young man about Southern Weekly when a team of plainclothes police allegedly swooped in and smuggled him into a white van. The description on the YouTube video from channel ChinaNewsChannal suggests that the officers kidnapped the man, Jiang Di, because he was giving the... Read more »
Sina Weibo was recently aflutter with Yi Nengjing, also known as Annie Yi, Inō Shizuka, and formerly Wu Jingy. As Tea Leaf Nation tells us, born in 1969 to a political family, Yi has been somewhat of an atypical pop star, often clashing with media and remaining outspoken even at the cost of potential endorsements. She’s taken... Read more »
China’s Internet censors are really outdoing themselves with the Southern Weekend scandal. Not only have they blocked searches for “Southern Weekend” on Sina Weibo and other microblogs, they’re making some attempts to block discussion within the Chinese diaspora.
Media reports say that some Southern Weekly journalists were told they could return to their former posts and that the paper would publish today, as normal. It's yet to arrive. We'll keep an eye on people who are in Guangzhou keeping an eye on this.
The Central Propaganda Department can force papers to run their government-line editorials, but even with the power vested in them by the Party, it can't determine where those op-eds appear.
Like, say, next to a humongous ad for pesticide control.
More than a few journalists and observers have averred the significance of the Southern Weekly "incident," but the actual story has appeared to fall short of their expectations. As I wrote two days ago, "But is this really a watershed moment for media rights in China, as some hope... or will we return to our jobs soon and let the more vested parties enter negotiations on the future of both Tuo Zhen and Southern Weekly?" There's nothing wrong with hoping, but as Zhongnanhai points out, sometimes we would do well to step back to view the story in its proper context.
Two big Southern Weekly updates this morning. First, it appears the ripples have spread to Beijing News, a sibling publication to Southern Weekly under the ownership of Nanfang Media Group, where the top publisher has resigned instead of publishing a pro-government editorial.
We just received a tip, one person removed, from the public relations office at the Nanfang Media Group that Southern Weekly has been cancelled. No new content will be published on the website or under the name “Southern Weekly” (also known as Southern Weekend). The Nanfang Group’s PR staff, which has been sequestered inside their office... Read more »
China Digital Times, with its indispensable series on leaked directives from the “Ministry of Truth,” published this amazing leaked memo from China’s propaganda department yesterday: Central Propaganda Department: Urgent Notice Concerning the Southern Weekly New Year’s Message Publication Incident: Responsible Party committees and media at all levels must be clear on three points related to this matter:
We're in the second day of censorship protests outside the offices of Southern Weekly in Guangzhou. Today: leftists have come to bat for the government, young men give speeches, and Chinese media rally to Southern Weekly's cause in the only way they can.
For the first time in more than 20 years, according to SCMP, a major newspapers’s editorial staff in China has gone on strike to protest government censorship. They were on the streets this afternoon in Guangzhou, outside Southern Weekly’s offices, scattering chrysanthemums and other flowers, periodically chanting for democracy and human rights. It’s been basically peaceful... Read more »
It began as a strongly worded letter. When journalists at the Guangdong daily paper Southern Weekly returned to work on Thursday to find a section had been altered by a propagandist — headline changed, article replaced — they published an open letter demanding “an investigation into the incident.” They named names, in particular accusing Guangdong propaganda chief Tuo Zhen of... Read more »
The page editor at Southern Weekly, a Guangdong daily newspaper, left work two days ago thinking his section was set. The next day, he and everyone else discovered a pro-government introductory message in their paper, headlined “Pursuing dreams,” that no one had previously seen, according to SCMP.