The recent riots and protests in and around Tibet have echoed around the world — they’ve also caused a new rash of metajournalism, that is journalism about journalism. Jonathon Ansfield has written a lengthy, two-part post on Melinda Liu’s Newsweek blog, Countdown to Beijing, in which he recounts his recent problem-filled journey into Gansu province to cover unrest there. “Correspondents emerged from Tibetan hot zones,” he writes, “with more first-hand coverage of being shut out of those areas than of the areas themselves.” Ansfield’s piece is a little of both:
Been playing cat-and-mouse out West on the Tibet beat, and the cliche resonates on a few too many levels. When your movements are cut off and cornered by shifting, shrinking boundaries, you’re prone to feel like just some lab rat in an uncontrolled test of reform. It’s very hard to prove any side right, and much easier to slip into the trap of going wrong.