From The Newsweek, via MSNBC.com: Beijing is cracking down on the media, but censors are finding it’s no longer so easy to control news.
Document 16 shows how seriously the government sees its control eroding, and “gives a dangerous picture of the future if it cannot” regain the initiative, says one Beijing-based scholar who’s read the decree. The party’s powerful Central Office first released Document 16 to ministry and province-level officials late last year. In late April, propaganda hatchet men began relaying interpretations to senior editors. The document is not a set of explicit rules; instead, say editors, it’s a rallying cry for local propaganda officials to combat specific practices”most notably yidi baodao, or “reports from other places,” in which papers dispatch teams of reporters to the site of scandals in distant provinces, far from their immediate government minders.