From Chasing the Dragon Blog
It’s often said that Beijing has tightened its grip on the media since Hu Jintao succeeded Jiang Zemin as leader of China’s communist party. So foreign journalists at a media awards dinner in Hong Kong last week were taken aback by the remarkably upbeat assessment of Chinese press freedom offered by the evening’s keynote speaker, Li Datong.
Li, a former editor of the state-run China Youth Daily, is China’s most outspoken critic of media censorship. Last February, Li became an international celebrity of sorts after officials from the state propaganda department had him sacked, and shuttered Freezing Point, the controversial weekly supplement he edited. Technically, Freezing Point was closed for publishing an essay challenging the orthodox views of history presented in Chinese textbooks. But Li’s real sin was that he mounted a direct public attack on propaganda authorities via the Internet.[Full Text]