Li Datong

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Southern Weekly Conflict Resolved; Concerns Linger

After a weeklong stand-off with local propaganda officials, which included street protests, a staff strike, and weibo battles, Southern Weekly published its weekly edition Thursday as scheduled. But the publication did not come...

Uncertainty Surrounds Newspaper Staff Shuffles

Senior staff at two major newspapers have been transferred or suspended this week, prompting widespread but unconfirmed speculation about political motivations. From Louise Ho at the South China Morning Post: Lu Yan, publisher...

Li Datong: A Modern End to Media Suppression

“A powerful internet – and public demand for honest reporting – is driving the state media to ever-greater levels of openness.” From the Guardian: On the night of 9 February, China Central Television’s new...

A Crisis Rooted In Two Chinas

“Milk scare stems from problematic ‘normal’ China, while the ‘abnormal’ China is a show-time success,” Bill Schiller writes in theStar.com: Christopher Hughes, a professor of international...

China’s Soft-Power Failure

Written by Li Datong, former editor of Bingdian (Freezing Point), from openDemocracy: The Chinese government planned the year of the Olympic games in Beijing on 8-24 August 2008 as a demonstration of the country’s pride...

Will Olympics Transform China’s Media Landscape?

From the East-West Center of Honolulu: With the Beijing Olympics fast approaching, the world’s attention will soon focus on the rapidly changing but still sensitive news media landscape in China. At a media conference last week...

Beijing’s Olympics, China’s Politics – Li Datong (Êùé§ßÂêå)

From openDemocracy: … China certainly has the ability to host the Olympics. The country is more powerful than for many years, and already has the experience of hosting large sporting events. The Olympics will not be a financial burden on China as they were for a small country like Greece in 2004. Moreover, the public […]

Is China Emerging From a Media Ice Age? – Clay Chandler

From Chasing the Dragon Blog It’s often said that Beijing has tightened its grip on the media since Hu Jintao succeeded Jiang Zemin as leader of China’s communist party. So foreign journalists at a media awards dinner in Hong Kong last week were taken aback by the remarkably upbeat assessment of Chinese press freedom offered […]

“Public opinion” and China’s Japan policy – Li Datong

On OpenDemocracy.net, Li Datong writes that there will be no real “public opinion” about China-Japan relations until there is press freedom: 2007 is a sensitive year in Sino-Japan relations – the seventieth anniversary of the outbreak of the second Sino-Japanese war (or the “war of resistance against Japan”). Long before Chinese premier Wen Jiabao made […]

There’s hope on the horizon – Li Datong

In the South China Morning Post, via Asia Media, former Freezing Point editor Li Datong writes: A remarkable incident has emboldened mainland Chinese journalists. The government suspended publication of the Bingdian Weekly newspaper supplement this year, provoking unprecedented open protest that received extensive media coverage worldwide. Even more surprisingly, the government, under the pressure of […]

Ex-editor sees hope for press freedom – Vivian Wu

From the South China Morning Post, via Asia Media (link): It has been less than three months since Li Datong’s turbulent departure from the helm of the gutsy Bingdian Weekly, but the 54-year-old pinup for press freedom on the mainland can already laugh about his abrupt removal. And he is optimistic that the time will […]

Censuring China’s censors – Seth Faison

From Los Angeles Times (link): LAST FALL, a magazine editor in Beijing named Li Datong decided to feature a historical article about Taiwan in his weekly, Freezing Point. It was a straightforward account of Taiwan’s harsh political repression in the 1950s and how democratically elected legislators are coping with that history. In China, where Taiwan […]

Protest editor sent to ‘research room’ – Richard Spencer

From The Telegraph (link): Chinese journalists who cross their government are often fired and sometimes jailed. So its most famous banned editor is lucky: he is only being sent to the “new study research room”. Li Datong, who has just suffered this fate for a second time, infuriated the Communist Party’s propaganda department by taking […]

Interview with Li Datong – Robert Marquand

As part of an article called “China’s media censorship rattling world image” (link), the the Christian Science Monitor has interviewed former Freezing Point editor Li Datong. Li says: I’m not saying we don’t want stability. We do. But our understanding of stability is very different from communist officials. We want a calm river of society […]

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