Fake journalists ‘extorting money from wrongdoers’

In what is perhaps a backhanded compliment to the growing power of the investigative media in Chinese society, illegal organizations are hiring people to pose as journalists and extort money from people involved in corruption or other illegal trades, according to a report in the Straits Times: “Oriental Outlook said that these illegal media groups were able to start operating just by paying 50,000 yuan (S$9,900) to buy names for their offices and agencies. They would then recruit so-called journalists and deploy them to carry out extortions armed with threats to write ‘exposes’ or pen ‘internal reports’ on their victims, who were often people in dishonest trades… Within three months, Jingshi Zhuankan reporters had collected 220,600 yuan in cash and 16 cartons of cigarettes, and were given free food, lodging and holidays valued at more than 12,000 yuan. ”

Meanwhile, ESWN has translated an article from Secret China analyzing real reporters’ salaries in Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an and Chongqing.

November 19, 2004 9:03 AM
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