Uneasy Relations: China and the Foreign Press

A British journalist was roughed up and detained as he was reporting on a pro-Tibet protest on the Olympic green. AP reports:

On Wednesday, a British television journalist was detained by police as he tried to report on a pro-Tibet protest near the green, where protesters handcuffed themselves together and hung a “Free Tibet” banner from a bridge. John Ray of London-based ITV News was grabbed by police and put into a car. He was released after proving he was a journalist.

International Olympic Committee spokeswoman Emmanuelle Moreau said the committee was checking into what happened. “The IOC’s position is clear: the media must be free to report on the Olympic Games,” she said in a statement.

While Beijing vowed before the Olympics to give the foreign media unrestricted access to China during the games, Ray’s detention was just the latest in a string of recent confrontations between Chinese authorities and international journalists, adding to worries that Beijing has reverted to the tight controls it normally keeps over the press.

Domestic media are also being prevented from reporting on sensitive stories related to the Games, according to this report from NDTV. Read also The propaganda bureau’s 21-point plan from The Age.


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