New media rules and a journalist on trial

From the South China Morning Post, two stories which have implications for media freedom in China:

The Communist Party has further tightened its grip on the mainland’s increasingly bold media by imposing a pre-censorship rule on coverage of politically sensitive topics, according to sources.

In an internal document released to state-run media recently, the Publicity Department of the party’s Central Committee said the media should seek permission to cover significant historic events or key anniversaries involving revolutionary or political figures that are seen as controversial or politically sensitive…

A senior media executive said the convening of a crucial party congress this autumn was a key factor in the decision to further tighten controls because the leadership was keen to ensure a more harmonious political environment ahead of the meeting. [Full text]

SCMP also reports on the trial of a journalist who reportedly expressed support for detained lawyer :

Chinese writer who reportedly was arrested after posting articles online supporting a detained activist lawyer has gone on trial on subversion charges, a court employee said on Monday.

Li Hong stood trial on Sunday in the eastern city of Ningbo, south of Shanghai, but no verdict was immediately announced, said the employee of the Ningbo Intermediate People’s Court, who refused to give his name.

Li was arrested last year after publishing articles in support of Gao Zhicheng [sic], an activist Beijing lawyer who also was detained last year, said Hong Kong’s Apple Daily newspaper. [Full text]

– Read more about Gao Zhisheng’s case, via CDT.

January 16, 2007, 9:02 PM
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