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Journalists On China Bans And Dangers Of the Job …

  • February 2nd, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

ifj-stop.jpgThe Brussels-based International Federation of Journalists has issued reports on a steady return by China to harassment of journalists, since a reprieve at the time of the Olympics;and on a “deadly decade” for reporters worldwide.

“SECRET BANS” ON REPORTING CHINA

The report issued on the weekend (30.1.10), on the press freedom situation  in China, highlights what it calls a battle by local censors to control media commentary on many topics.

The IFJ says:

ifj.jpg“Banned topics range from events associated with social unrest and public protests against authorities, to reports of photos of an actress topless on a Caribbean beach.

“The report, China Clings to Control: Press Freedom in 2009, presents data gathered by IFJ media rights monitoring in China, detailing the intensifying efforts of authorities since early 2009 to control online content and commentary, and assessing the official restrictions and range of impediments faced by local and foreign media working in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

“Amid the controversy over Google’s recently stated refusal to censor the contents of its Chinese-language search engine, following allegations that China’s authorities had authorised a cyber attack on Google’s US-based systems, and gmail accounts held by activists in China had been breached,

“China Clings to Control: Press Freedom in 2009 presents the wider context of restrictions confronting journalists and media in China.

“In calling on China to investigate Google’s allegations, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says US companies need to take a ‘principled stand’ against censorship.

“The IFJ fully endorses Mrs Clinton’s comments.

“We further call on the international community to take a principled stand to oppose all forms of restrictions on the rights of journalists to do their work in China, including the steady stream of official bans as well as new rules in 2009 which make it virtually impossible for local journalists who work in traditional or online media to receive the accreditation they need in order to conduct their profession.

“The IFJ report details 62 bans issued from January to November 2009, among hundreds of regulations issued by central and provincial authorities in the past year.

“Compiled with the assistance of Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), the list is not complete because of difficulties in obtaining information in China about instructions to the media.

“The IFJ list indicates that much as China’s censors are maintaining a vigilant eye, they are also struggling to maintain a grip on information dissemination.”

The IFJ report is available in English and Chinese at http://asiapacific.ifj.org.

“DEADLY DECADE”

The international journalists’ body has also issued its annual report on media workers killed in the exercise of their craft, for 2009 – calling it the end of a very bad ten years.

Its statement, from Aidan White, General Secretary.

“The report is more than just a record of the death toll of journalists and media workers killed in 2009.

“More importantly, it provides a chilling account of risks and dangers which continue to claim our colleagues’ lives in the four corners of the world.

“The IFJ says that 2009, one of the worst years for journalists’ killings, capped a violent decade which put journalism to the sword and left record numbers of murders of media people.

“According to the report, the death of Michelle Lang, the Canadian reporter killed in Afghanistan on 30 December and the confirmation of murder of photographer Jepon Cadagdagon in the Manguindanao massacre brought the 2009 total of media killings to 139.

“The Asia Pacific region recorded the highest death toll with 52 followed by the Americas with 30 killings, including 13 murders of journalists in Mexico alone.

“The IFJ reports warns that the levels of violence against media witnessed last year raise the likelihood of another massacre in places like lawless Somalia and gangster-ruled  parts of Mexico.

“The failure of governments to take seriously the issue of media protection plays in the hands of men of violence.”

Reference

IFJ, Brussels; “IFJ marks ‘end of deadly decade’ ,,,” (1.2.10); “IFJ lists China’s secret bans …” (31.1.10).

Pictures

IFJ campaign logos

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