The Bamboo Curtain Raises Up – Chinaelections


Last summer, there was grave concern that China was going to make it harder for both domestic and foreign media to do reporting on China. First, there was the proposed law in which there was a clause designed to fine media for the so-called false reporting (Manage emergency through “managing” information? , Kan Ke: do not worry over fines for reports on disasters , China’s legislature differs over fining media for breaching reporting regulations , and “No, there is no threat to the media!“). Then, there was the Measures for Administering the Release of News and Information in China by Foreign News Agencies, imposing restriction on what foreign media could report and how to report it. That attempt almost derailed Premier Wen Jiabao’s trip to Europe (Wen Jiabao pledges to protect foreign media’s rights , Xinhua’s measures won’t lead to monopoly). By December 2006, the Chinese government tried to buck the xenophobic trend by issuing new regulation on Olympic coverage ( China issues regulations on foreign media’s coverage at 2008 Olympics).

For the upcoming NPC & CPPCC annual sessions, the always-closed door seems to have opened. The Chinese government has just announced that both domestic and foreign reports will have direct access to the delegates attending the two sessions in Beijing. At a few clicks of a mouse, a reporter will be able to find out where the delegates are staying and sending out an electronic application to request an interview: Overseas journalists allowed to directly interview NPC deputies, CPPCC members [2007.03.02 ]. This new move, as suggested by another report, has everything to do with the upcoming Olympic Games: China’s parliament session a prelude to Olympic-driven media transparency.

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