Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Proposed Chinese media censorship law

The WSJ reports that a measure to censor media coverage of emergencies being considered by China's legislature is drawing unprecedented public scrutiny. This is portrayed as a sign of increasing openness in a country ruled by an oppressive communist regime, since until recently newspapers needed to ask the gov't for permission to publish editorials on legislation being debated by this non-elected body.

Let's hope it is. But there's a long way to go before advocates of freedom can proclaim that any kind of "Beijing spring" is under way.

Unfortunately, while some "old media" companies like the WSJ and even the NYT have stood their ground against Chinese censorship, many "new media" firms like Yahoo and Google have instead chosen to openly collaborate with China's nouveau fascists by censoring web searches. If pundits are willing to proclaim that a few local newspapers in China writing coy condemnations against draconian legislations is progress, imagine how effective it could be if the most powerful media companies in the world used their bully pulpits to shine a light on Beijing.


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