Tuesday, February 14, 2006

News: China vs. the press

In China, a group of former senior party officials attacked the government's restrains on the press in an open letter that was publicly released on Feb. 13, 2006.

In the group:
  • Li Rui, secretary to Chairman Mao Zedong
  • Hu Jiwei, former editor of the People's Daily, the Communist party's newspaper
  • Zhu Houze, former party propaganda chief and a former newspaper editor.
According to the report I heard on NPR this morning, these men have a bit more freedom to — on occassion — express divergent views from the party line because they hold or have held high postions within the government.

Quotes from the open letter:
  • "“History demonstrates that only a totalitarian system needs news censorship, out of the delusion that it can keep the public locked in ignorance."
  • "Depriving the public of freedom of expression so nobody dares speak out will sow the seeds of disaster for political and social transition."
Links:
BBC News, "Party elders attack China censors"
Reuters via The Washington Post, "Mao aide joins battle against China censors"

2 comments:

Ramon said...

Sounds nice, but does anyone really believe that freedom of the press, particularly as we would recognize it in the West, is on the verge of breaking out in China? The recent deal with Google would seem to indicate that it's not.

Martha Spizziri said...

I would guess the recent happenings with Google and Yahoo may have had to do with the timing of this.