“Intimidation of journalists is the classic response”

Foreign journalists were detained by Chinese policemen on a street leading to a designated demonstration site in Shanghai on Sunday. (from The New York Times)

By Sharon LaFraniere and Edward Wong
The New York Times
Published March 6, 2011

BEIJING — Western journalists have lately been tolerated in China, if grudgingly, but the spread of revolution in the Middle East has prompted the authorities here to adopt a more familiar tack: suddenly, foreign reporters are being tracked and detained in the same manner — though hardly as roughly — as political dissidents.

On Sunday, about a dozen European and Japanese journalists in Shanghai were herded into an underground bunkerlike room and kept for two hours after they sought to monitor the response to calls on an anonymous Internet site for Chinese citizens to conduct a “strolling” protest against the government outside the Peace Cinema, near Peace Square in Shanghai.

…  David Bandurski, an analyst at the China Media Project of the University of Hong Kong, said: “They have gone into control mode once again. What we are seeing now, in the short term, is China is closing in on itself, because it doesn’t have another answer or response.”

He added: “Intimidation of journalists is the classic response.” …

Such news always reminds us of this scene and this nagging question: Why did our Society make this deal?

Chris Johns & Terry Adamson of NGS clink glasses with our new partners in Beijing. (2007)

  • Therese

    Why did our Society make this deal? $$$$$$$

    • No doubt true. And not necessarily a bad reason. But I think it’s a short-term gain and a longer-term loss. I can hear the economists out there saying, “Pal, in the ‘long run’ we’re all dead.” (John Maynard Keynes) Still, the editorial trade-offs we’re making are a mistake, IMHO. … Thanks for your comment, Therese. – A

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