Voice and virtue – Mark O’Neill

From the South China Morning Post, via Asia Media (link):

Shanghai reporter Liu Ming hurries back to his office after a news conference with a state firm to file his report. He finds on his desk an instruction not to report what he heard. “The censors read Reuters and Bloomberg and decided the news was unfavourable,” he said.

It was a normal working day for Liu and his colleagues who receive, daily, detailed instructions on what they can and cannot write. Many subjects are taboo, including resistance to the city’s redevelopment, during which 1.25 million people have been moved over the past 15 years to homes in distant suburbs and their old homes demolished…

Liu works in an information system that the communist government introduced from the Soviet Union in the 1950s. Despite the sweeping changes of the past 20 years, with 400 million people using mobile telephones and 110 million the internet, the system remains effective, and is constantly modified to continue shaping public opinion and maintain confidence in the government.

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