A News Story on School Collapses Tantalizes, then Disappears

China Media Project discovers and re-posts an important story that made a brief appearance on the websites of People’s Daily and its spin-off, China Economic Weekly:

…This is a story to keep your eyes on — we’ve pasted the full Chinese text at the end of this post — and one that amply illustrates the complexity of China’s media environment. Where did the story come from? Why was it allowed to appear at all?

The story’s jumping-off point is an academic study on construction quality in the quake zone launched last year by Tsinghua University, but it makes much more explicit the findings of the study as they are relevant to the problem of school collapses.

The story, by reporter Zhou Haibin (周海滨), uses the numbers in the Tsinghua study to make it clear that schools surveyed by a team of experts suffered far more crippling damage in the quake than did government buildings. For example, while 44 percent of government buildings studied were still deemed usable, having sustained little seismic damage, only 18 percent of school buildings studied were still deemed structurally sound.

Read more about the school collapses via CDT.

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