At Global Times, Lin Meilian describes petitioners’ attempts to get their stories heard by the international media:
Petitioner Hu Cheng from Chongqing has bought the phone numbers of several Beijing-based foreign news organizations, at 100 yuan each. He calls them repeatedly.
He tells them how he was locked up by the police while petitioning and they broke his legs. He cries on the phone while telling the story. Chinese news assistants answer the phone. They listen, and show sympathy, but seem to have no interest in publishing his story.
[…] “When those petitioners feel that they can’t have their voices heard by the authorities and the chance of solving problems is small, foreign media seems to be their last hope,” Jin Yong, deputy professor of China Communication University, told the Global Times.
[…] Zhang Chi, producer of VRT, the Belgian Dutch language public broadcaster, […] said blind barefoot lawyer Chen Guangcheng and artist Ai Weiwei are among the few people who have their voices heard through intense international news coverage and benefited from it.
See more on petitioners via CDT, including the sympathetic perspective of a former interceptor who was employed to stop them.