Press freedom got a new — but temporary — boost in China yesterday when the government announced that it would allow foreign journalists greater autonomy in advance of the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Foreign journalists usually need permission from Chinese authorities before conducting interviews and traveling anywhere outside the city where they are based. While the rules are only loosely enforced, authorities have used them selectively to clamp down on journalists covering sensitive stories.
…The government is not relaxing restrictions on Chinese journalists. Reflecting this double standard, a Chinese court yesterday upheld a three-year prison sentence for Zhao Yan, a researcher with The New York Times. Zhao was convicted of fraud after he reported on official corruption and peasant rights before he joined the Times.
Read CDT’s eariler post: “Chinese Court Rejects Appeal by Researcher for The Times.”