Killing Puts Focus on Corruption in Chinese News Media – Howard W. French

The New York Times covers the killing of Lan Chengzhang and corruption in the Chinese media:

Attacks against journalists are not uncommon in China, even if deaths are rare. But in ways that few could have expected, the killing on Jan. 11 of this untested reporter for an obscure publication has become a watershed event, with reporters and editors around the country seeing in the murky contours of the case a cautionary tale for their booming but deeply troubled profession.

That Mr. Lan’s death has become a national event was helped in no small measure by China’s leader, Hu Jintao, who in an unusual statement a few days afterward demanded that justice be done.

But it also highlighted the culture of corruption that many journalists acknowledge pervades the industry, particularly the practice among some reporters of demanding money from subjects to avoid damaging articles. [Full text]

– Read CDT’s extensive coverage of this case. See also a critique of this report from ESWN.

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