Cloak and daggers in cyberspace – dark tales from China’s Internet – Interfax
The situation in Taishi became a test case in China’s rural reform and urbanization process, but this week, much of the attention has instead shifted to the activities of foreign journalists in the area and to the responsibilities of the media.
At the weekend, rumors surfaced on a number of blogs and bulletin boards that The Guardian’s Benjamin Joffe-Walt had been severely beaten by a “drunken mob” on the road leading to Taishi. Joffe-Walt himself reported on Monday that his guide and traveling companion, the activist and elected representative Lu Banglie, had been left for dead after a horrific assault.
By Tuesday, however, Lu was found to be alive and back in his home city of Zhijiang in Hubei Province, and the inaccuracies in Joffe-Walt’s eye-witness account led to a feeding frenzy for China’s bloggers, and also elicited a response from the Chinese government.