CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Kristin Jones

Kristin Jones, a consultant to CPJ's Asia program, is an independent investigative reporter. In 2011, she was part of a team that won a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for "Seeking Justice for Campus Rapes," a collaboration between NPR and the Center for Public Integrity. Jones was CPJ's senior Asia research associate until 2007. She led writing on the CPJ report "Falling Short," which documented press freedom abuses in China ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games.

Blog   |   China

Olympics-Chinese Media Watch: Checkpoints at Tiananmen and online

Chinese President Hu Jintao yesterday stressed the importance of a secure Olympics, calling the responsibility as heavy as Mount Tai. But while Chinese media today reported on the new checkpoints guarding access to Tiananmen Square, no mention was made of a security measure on the minds of many visiting journalists.

Olympic officials today admitted that earlier promises of open Internet access inside the international press center would not be met. Reuters and other news agencies reported that International Olympic Committee spokesperson Kevan Gosper seemed embarrassed by the reversal:
July 30, 2008 11:11 AM ET

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Blog   |   China

Olympics-Chinese Media Watch: Silence on human rights, pollution reassurances

A report on human rights violations in China is being ignored in the government-controlled media. Human rights organization Amnesty International reported that China has failed to keep Olympic-related promises regarding the treatment of its citizens. The report highlights China's high number of death penalty cases. Neither central nor provincial media cover the report today. But a handful of bloggers do. One blogger translates without comment a BBC News article on the issue. Another blogger writes a few sentences about the Amnesty report, saying she was surprised by its findings. 

"I personally believe that every action that starts from the perspective of protecting human rights should be welcomed, or can be discussed," writes Beijinger conniezhou78 on her Windows Live blog. "But in connection with the specific issue of the death penalty, I think that different countries should be evaluated according to their specific circumstances."

China blocks access to human rights Web sites as a matter of course, but one place where the site was blocked raised some eyebrows today. Reuters and others reported that the Amnesty report was blocked inside the main Olympics press center.

July 29, 2008 9:30 AM ET

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Blog   |   China

Olympics-Chinese Media Watch: Local journalists report bus explosion

Local Chinese journalists beat central government media to the scene of another bus explosion in the southwestern Chinese city of Kunming. Today's explosion followed bus bomb blasts that killed two people in Kunming last week. Expect the official Xinhua News Agency to take over from here.

Chinese officials have played down claims of responsibility for the first two bus blasts from a little-known separatist group, the Turkestan Islamic Party. This is a twist on an old story. In recent months, Chinese state media have touted arrests of separatists in its western region of Xinjiang, saying that groups there were plotting to target the Olympics.

But Chinese censors can be fickle about what they want covered, how, and when. Today, the major newspapers all gave big play to the opening of the Olympic Village. Another unexplained explosion in southwest China could be seen as an inconvenient distraction.

The Beijing News was among those giving a splashy headline to the opening of the Village. The paper was back on the stands today after being pulled on Friday for printing a photo by Hong Kong-born photojournalist Liu Xiangcheng of two wounded men being carted from 1989 protests at Tiananmen Square. The Beijing News has gotten into trouble in the past, and CPJ is investigating what the repercussions may be for journalists involved this time around.
July 28, 2008 12:44 PM ET

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