Tiger Temple: ‘A Long Ride Toward a New China’

A short film in the New York Times’ OpDoc series looks at blogger Zhang Shihe, also known as Tiger Temple, who rides his bicycle through China’s countryside and documents the lives of villagers:

In a country with one of the most sophisticated media and Internet censorship systems, Mr. Zhang and other must exercise great caution when writing about politically sensitive content — often skirting the label “citizen reporter.” But as Mr. Zhang told me during filming: “If they want to get you, they can find a way. Not even a wise man can be wise all the time.”

In 2010, he was taken by the police and put under house arrest for 10 days, during the country’s annual parliamentary meetings. News spread quickly. That day he received more than 2,000 text messages — good wishes poured in from concerned friends and readers who supported his efforts to help flooded villagers, defrauded farmers and the Beijing homeless. On this day, he said, he “felt the true power of the Internet.” [Source]

Zhang was the subject of a recent full-length documentary film, High Tech, Low Life, about citizen journalists in China. In 2007, CDT translated a series of posts by Zhang documenting his travels. Read the introductory post here.

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