Chinese Muckraking a High-Stakes Gamble – Edward Cody

From Washington Post:

A few weeks ago, Pang Jiaoming‘s career as a reporter ended, just two years after it began.

The Communist Party’s Central Propaganda Department and the official All-China Journalists Association issued a directive ordering Pang’s employer, the China Economic Times, not only to fire him, but also to “reinforce the Marxist ideological education of its journalists.” In a separate notice to news organizations across China, Pang said, propaganda officials announced that he was also banned from further work as a reporter at other publications.

Pang’s offense was a pair of articles reporting that substandard coal ash was being used in construction of a showcase railroad, the $12 billion high-speed line running 500 miles between Wuhan, in Hubei province, and Guangzhou, an industrial hub just north of Hong Kong. The ash is a key ingredient in concrete used for tunnels, bridges and roadbed, Pang wrote, and a substandard mix raised the specter of collapsing structures and tragic accidents. [Full Text]

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