Quake Shakes Beijing’s Grip on Media

Chris O’Brien reports in The Washington Times:

Public demand for news after the earthquake in Sichuan has forced the Chinese government to relax its controls over the flow of information online and in traditional media — a concession that has weighed in its favor but which analysts say is unlikely to last.

The shift toward greater, albeit managed, transparency appears to have been triggered by the overwhelming reaction to the disaster on the Internet — which rendered any downplaying of the devastation impossible — and a rare display of collective boldness from the Chinese media.

The Los Angeles Times
also looks at the earthquake reporting in the Chinese media:

Some of the reports were so graphic that reporters became emotional on air.

One anchorwoman, a young mother, had to be replaced by a colleague during a live broadcast while she composed herself.

“I have never experienced anything like this before. Some of the places we went to, every step we took, we were possibly stepping on a dead body,” said Zhang Qian, 24. She and an anchor cried together on the air while talking about what she had seen.

Riveted by what they saw on television and in newspapers, people nationwide have been turning their personal sadness into a mass volunteerism rarely seen in Chinese society.

May 23, 2008, 11:40 AM
Posted By:
Categories: Politics