From China Media Project:
Chinese media reported on July 10 that Chongqing‘s Qijiang County is using hidden cameras to monitor the on-the-job performance of government officials [Chinese here]. The news received enthusiastic support from many Chinese internet users, but a handful of media, including the usual suspects at Southern Metropolis Daily, took a step back and questioned the system’s effectiveness and its failure to address systemic problems. The issue again was how to check power independently through the public and the media.
The Southern Metropolis Daily article, an editorial from a reader, looked at this new technology monitoring in the context of traditional Chinese governance, suggesting it was the latest incarnation of the kind of “top to bottom governance” that has haunted Chinese politics for millennia. This discussion is directly relevant to the continuing debate within China over the role of media, which came to the fore during the recent controversy over the draft emergency management law. Many media professionals are pushing for a greater role for media in checking power and ensuring disclosure of information. [Full Text]