Pioneering former Southern Metropolis News (ÂçóÊñπÈÉΩÂ∏ÇÊä•) editor Cheng Yizhong has been invited by Sohu.com to write daily commentary on China’s newspapers. Cheng spent five months in prison but was released last August, and was the recipient of the 2005 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize. From one of his recent commentaries:
Critique, including media critique, is not merely a search for truth, but more importantly a way to exercise the rights that we all have. This is a means of self-expression that has nothing to do with the truth. If opinions are right or wrong is not the issue; the issue is whether or not we are free to express them. To prevent people doing evil in the name of truth, we need to defend every person’s right to freely express their opinions on public matters…
The fact that everyone can speak freely is actually a very powerful thing. You may have no power, but if you don’t even have free speech, you are really doomed. So defending the right to freedom of expression is the fundamental responsibility of all humankind. „ÄÄ
UPDATE: ESWN has also translated additional excerpts of the commentary.