Veteran Muckraker Wang Keqin Forced to Leave Paper

Celebrated investigative journalist Wang Keqin has been forced to leave the Economic Observer, apparently in connection with its unrestrained coverage of flooding which killed at least 77 people in Beijing last summer and other investigative reports. From David Bandurski at China Media Project:

A former CMP fellow, Wang is China’s best-known investigative reporter. Over the past decade he has tackled scores of sensitive stories, from systematic corruption in China’s taxi industry to the spread of HIV-AIDS through careless and unnecessary blood transfusions. He was forced out of his previous newspaper, the China Economic Times, in 2011 after a spate of hard-hitting reports, including a 2010 expose about the mishandling of tainted vaccines in Shanxi province.

[…] In a post made to Sina Weibo yesterday, Wang Keqin shared details with his more than 400,000 followers about the clearing out of his desk at the Economic Observer the day before:

Yesterday I cleared out of the @EconomicObserver. These are the petitioning materials I received over a period of ten years at the China Economic Times, two tons of them. For other people these might just be waste paper; for me, they represent the trust and hope the people place in me. The things stacked here are misery, blood and tears, but I’ve always seen them as treasures. They go with me wherever I go. I can throw away my furniture, but these cannot be discarded!

Click through for Wang’s photos of the treasured documents.

McClatchy’s Tom Lasseter reported last October on the current wintry climate for China’s investigative reporters. Wang himself wrote in 2011 that the fortunes of Chinese investigative journalism had “shown the wave-like pattern of the ‘camel’s hump’“, but expressed some optimism for its long-term prospects. See also a 2010 Guardian profile and more on Wang, including his 2011 departure from the China Economic Times, via CDT.