A rare protest by Chinese journalists at a leading national newspaper offers a window into the intensifying severity of information control in China and the sometimes sophisticated resistance to it by Chinese journalists.
A frank 19-page letter by Li Datong, a senior editor at China Youth Daily, details a struggle between the news staff and senior party officials over policies that the journalists say would encourage propaganda. The paper has been seen as a progressive organ within Communist Party media, tackling stories on corruption.
…The Chinese government has argued that a strong, unchallenged hand is needed during a time of uncertainty and instability, as China undergoes a rapid economic expansion.
Li Datong’s protest however did have an impact. Only days after his letter appeared on an overseas Chinese website and was reported widely in Asia, the leadership of China Youth Daily said it planned to abandon the appraisal policy. Staffers say it is too early to know if this is a sincere reversal of policy, or simply a tactical retreat.