Jonathan Watts: Print and be damned – China’s paper tigers fight on
It could have been the scoop of the year: the deputy governor of Henan province had reportedly conspired with a local mayor to have his wife killed and chopped up. If proven, the murder would rank as one of the worst crimes by a senior official for decades.
But the story was a minefield. Knowing how many papers have been closed down, and how many journalists arrested, for covering such sensitive topics, most editors gave Henan a wide berth.
The exception was the Nanfang (Southern) Daily Press Group, whose papers are increasingly earning national respect, and official condemnation, for their coverage of China’s social ills.