The Propaganda Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) said on Tuesday that the government “still has absolute control” of the press and banned further protests in favor of freedom of expression which occurred in Canton and that are the first example of nonconformity in decades shown by journalists against the regime.
“Several hostile foreign forces which have intervened in the protests,” said the note of the Party, sent to the principal leaders of the CCP and media executives, urging them to prohibit journalists from other media show their support for the publication “rebel”.
The letter responds to the strike and demonstrations led by reporters from the weekly Southern Weekly (Nanfang Zhoumo) in protest against censorship suffered in the first 2013 edition of this publication, known for its investigative journalism and its liberal editorial line.
The CCP’s statement, which echoes the South China Morning Post, says the media control of the authorities is an “unbreakable” principle.
The wording of Southern Weekly reported about the use of censorship last week which affected the editorial and other articles. Those pieces were changed or omitted to be replaced by pieces that flattered the Chinese government. The journalists demanded the resignation of the new head of government propaganda, Tuo Zhen.
After authorities denied these accusations, drafting decided to strike against this control, something that had not happened in more than two decades in Chinese media of such prestige and importance. In addition, more than 300 supporters rallied Monday outside the headquarters of the group supporting the strike, and many Internet social networks have shown their support to the protest that calls for freedom of expression.
The CCP’s statement Tuesday also came out in defense of censorship responsible for ensuring that “incidents have nothing to do with the propaganda chief of the province.” The Communist Propaganda Department also has ordered the media across the country to publish an editorial on Monday first reprinted in the newspaper Global Times, linked to the CCP, which notes that the Asian giant has “no social infrastructure to support the free press. “
“Because of the social and political reality of China, freedom of the press demanded by these people, referring to the journalists of Cantonese, simply does not exist,” said the editorial. The article also accuses several Internet pretending to be journalists at Southern Weekend “for” spreading false information and dividing the country. “
“The reform of the media in China will jointly develop with that of the country as a whole. It is a part of the great changes to come, but will never become a special area of Chinese politics,” says the editorial.
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Contributed by Luis Miranda of The Real Agenda.
Luis R. Miranda is the Founder and Editor of The Real Agenda. His 16 years of experience in Journalism include television, radio, print and Internet news. Luis obtained his Journalism degree from Universidad Latina de Costa Rica, where he graduated in Mass Media Communication in 1998. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcasting from Montclair State University in New Jersey. Among his most distinguished interviews are: Costa Rican President Jose Maria Figueres and James Hansen from NASA Space Goddard Institute.