The Chinese concept of “one country, two systems” is most obviously played out in Hong Kong’s boisterous media. Daily newspapers and local television reports here regularly carry photos and reports that would be banned on the mainland.
This does not seem to have abated in this special administrative region of China even as anger grows across the country over what is seen as unfair criticism in the Western media and as the mainland press pumps out glowing patriotic reports of the Olympic efforts.
Although local television spent hours with live broadcasts of the torch relay on Friday, not all media joined in. Local newsstands were covered with photos of a local bus crash, not the Olympics. The state-run China Daily was alone in publishing a shot of marching Chinese troops, and a several full-page photo essays with headlines like “Keep Olympic Joy Flowing.”
The day before, newspapers mingled images of official celebrations with coverage of protests. The English-language South China Morning Post and the Chinese-language Apple Daily and Ming Pao all ran photos of free-speech activists with gags over their mouths, and a three-story-high “pillar of shame,” which depicts a jumble of naked corpses with desperate-looking faces. Ming Pao showed an inscription on the pillar’s base reading: “The Tiananmen Massacre: The old cannot kill the young,” a reference to the 1989 crackdown in Beijing, photos of which are still censored in the mainland press.