Respected Southern Weekly Censor Dies, Leaves Behind Remorseful Confessional

Zeng Li Southern Weekly censor
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.

The Asahi Shimbun: Xi Jinping Displeased With Liu Yunshan And Propaganda Department’s Handling Of Southern Weekly Incident

Liu Yunshan and Xi Jinping
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 »

Did Plainclothes Officers Really Kidnap A Man In Broad Daylight In Front Of Rolling Cameras? [UPDATE]

ZDF interview Southern Weekly Jiang Di smuggled plainclothes officers
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 »

Taiwanese Singer Annie Yi Becomes Free Speech Champion, PRC Government Persona Non Grata

Annie Yi
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 »

A Bit Of Perspective: Southern Weekly And The Fish Bowl Effect In China Coverage

Southern Weekly Guy Fawkes mask
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.

Beijing News Publisher Resignes Over Pro-Government Editorial, Southern Weekly Journalists Say They’re Going Back To Work

Via John Kennedy (
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.

Southern Weekly Has Been Cancelled [UPDATE]

Nanfang Group
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 »

Chinese Media Ordered To “Discontinue Voicing Their Support For Southern Weekly,” Publish Global Times Editorial

China Digital Times featured image
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:

The Latest In The Southern Weekly Protests In Guangzhou

Southern Weekend protest picture
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 »

Journalists Are Threatening Boycotts, Calling For Protests Over Southern Weekly Incident

Go Southern Weekly
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 »