About press freedom (last part)

first_img Follow the news on China August 31, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 About press freedom (last part) ——Last Part: About press freedom Hong Kong and foreign readers who know that I was a journalist for 18 years before being imprisoned for five years, like to ask me if I know what press freedom is and if press freedom exists in China, if I can predict when the press in China will be free… I am not an expert on this subject and I will not attempt to make any big speeches. I will confine myself to giving a few conditions for the existence of press freedom. When the authorities allow free expression, when journalists can freely conduct interviews, express themselves and publish their articles and they are not imprisoned for what they write or remarks they make, only then will we be able to talk about press freedom. Obviously, journalists owe it to themselves to be honest. This honesty is like a chain that restrains a dancer. Didn’t Rousseau say that “man is born free but everywhere he is in chains”? After I was released on 4 January 2006, I was greeted by my family and friends who gave me more than one hundred articles about my case that came from websites of Hong Kong and foreign newspapers. Naturally, I have constantly had to thank the people who supported me, but I have always felt I had not done as much as I could have. I only read one article about me that was critical, headlined “Bo Xilai swallows his bitterness”. I threw away all the articles that sang my praises and carefully kept only this one article that recounted my so-called dismissal from the Dalian Daily at the beginning of the 1980s, as well as the embezzlement of more than 800,000 yuan from the newspaper Wen Hui, both entirely invented. But fortunately my colleagues on the Dalian Daily and on Wen Hui are vigilant and can still testify to my good behaviour.A lawyer friend then told me that I could get a lot of money by suing for defamation. As a joke, I replied that this was what press freedom meant, that thanks to this article I would not get big-headed. After all, I am just an ordinary journalist who had not dreamt of doing anything heroic. And I want to stress that I never took any bribes or was dismissed. While around one hundred articles approved of what I wrote, one had been critical. I would have liked there to have been more. That is why I have kept it carefully. I do not know who wrote it. One day perhaps I will be able to thank him by giving him an example of my beautiful handwriting!Praise can corrupt people. But it is the same for governments. A sole political party tends to delight in hearing praise, making any criticism impossible. Inevitably, as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) demonstrates, corruption becomes commonplace and the regime decadent. The CCP does not allow free expression of dissenting points of view, nor give journalists the chance to reveal the truth. It only endeavours to ensure that its leaders are kept in power. The People’s Republic of China has since its foundation in 1949 until the recent arrest of Liu Xiaobo, never stopped sending its dissidents to jail. Press freedom therefore scarcely exists in China at this time. The only period of freedom for journalists came before the massacre of students on 4 June 1989. But on 4 June they had to pay paid for this freedom with their lives. Chinese journalists are not untouchable. They face constant interference when reporting, cannot express themselves freely and have to resign themselves to singing the praises of the CCP. I won’t even go into the requirement to submit articles to a censorship bureau, or the fear that follows publication of articles about sensitive issues. That is the kind of problem I have spent my life facing up to. Today, the editorial positions in newspapers on mainland China are virtually indistinguishable. Certainly, there is toleration for minor variations but they must all been in harmony with the tune of the CCP. That is what I call media uniformity. The lying propaganda serves only to mask the countless social problems, certainly not to resolve them. In fact, the impossibility of relaying the feelings and complaints of the people, provoke even more upheavals and social unrest. The burgeoning demands of these past few years demonstrate the growing importance of Chinese civil society. But in China, the sufferings of the poor struggle to get a hearing because of the lack of freedom. I consider the absence of free expression amounts to removing the raison d’être of journalists.All media are under the control of the CCP because it is the party that decides who runs each newspaper, magazine and television station. It also fixes salaries, bonuses and housing subsidies. Impertinent journalists, who do not praise the CCP as they are expected to, can be demoted, sacked even imprisoned and put on trial. Naturally, in this case all benefits such as social security are also lost. How could one not be afraid of these sanctions, since one has to earn a living, get married have children and bring them up? That is why most of China’s 200,000 journalists are government lap dogs.The still relatively high growth of the Chinese economy has allowed the CCP to alternate between violence and propaganda to maintain its pressure on the media. The likelihood of any change in the state of the media in the short term is therefore very slim. If there is no transformation of the political regime, we will be reduced to hoping for favours from the CCP. Freedom of information does not fall from heaven. In that case, how can we demand rapid change?I think that the popular movements for human rights constitute one of the most significant points of pressure. This tiny spark, however small, could genuinely ignite people’s determination and force the CCP to change. However society develops, journalists and the media will certainly play a key role. In the current situation, the most effective thing would be the quick passing of an “information law”, which was already sketched out during the 1980s, but which should be revived. Certainly the promulgation of this law will not have any immediate effect, but it will be a major step.This law will allow the reformists within the CCP to bring China closer to democracy. Even if the law was not perfect, even if it was not subsequently brought in, its mere existence would encourage journalists, in knowing how to protect themselves and claiming their rights. I tried to raise the issue of freedom of expression in China at a conference in early June this year with colleagues with whom I previously shared the same ideas. But they thought I was too moderate, understanding or even full of illusions about the CCP. How could this be? These people left China around 20 years ago, and it seems to me that they have become disconnected and do not understand the current situation. It is a rare editor or journalist, affiliated to the party, who would want to defy censorship and thus risk losing their job. However, everyone, or practically everyone, applauds the idea of establishing this law. One could therefore discuss the principles, how it will be put into force and monitored. Slowly but surely we could move towards a democratic China. Perhaps miracles could even happen. But you must always keep in mind that China is too large, state power too great, the government too authoritarian and the population too ground down. Also, if you want to set out on the rocky and windy road of free expression, you have to be methodical and tackle the problems head on. This year, my nightmare has just ended. I have lived in China and in Canada and I feel able to compare the two countries. I have become even more aware of the importance of freedom of expression. The Canadian immigration minister told me in person that I could become a Canadian citizen and investigate corruption in his country…Of course, it was a joke, but it shows that the Canadian media and citizens can all keep a watchful eye on the authorities. Undemocratic regimes cannot have corruption scandals. But a democratic regime like that in Canada does not imprison people for what they write! Obviously, press freedom has to be legislated for. A real journalist would not make up reports or defame someone because he would be at risk of legal action. As a result, freedom of the press can be fully achieved if the justice system is independent and can guarantee the freedom of journalists. But in China, individuals who should be defended are not and those who should have action taken against them do not. For example, while honest journalists are arrested corrupt journalists are paid handsomely for not revealing any scandals. Stating principles is not enough, there must be action. And without delay. We should work with all our strength to improve China. In this way, our lives will not have been meaningless! Video of the English-subtitled interview with Jiang Weipingjiangweipingfrenvoyé par rsf_internet. – L’actualité du moment en vidéo. China’s Cyber ​​Censorship Figures News ChinaAsia – Pacific RSF_en News Help by sharing this information Receive email alerts to go furthercenter_img Life of a Chinese journalist, by Jiang WeipingReporters Without Borders is presenting a series of four articles by Chinese journalist Jiang Weiping recounting his career as an investigative reporter from the time he started out as a journalist in the 1980s to his arrest in 2000 and his departure for exile in Canada this year.“Jiang is a courageous and exemplary journalist who did not think twice about the dangers he was running when he denounced corruption at the highest levels in the Communist Party of China,” Reporters Without Borders said. “It is thanks to committed journalism like his that the Chinese public can learn about the all-powerful party’s abuses and press freedom will be able to evolve in China.”Jiang achieved recognition in the course of his long career, which he began by working for the state news agency Xinhua. In the early 1990s, he became northeast China bureau chief for the Hong Kong-based newspaper Wen Wei Po (香港文匯報). He wrote a series of articles on corruption in the party for the Hong Kong-based magazine Frontline (前哨). Around this time he also started working for Hong Kong magazine.He was arrested in the northeastern province of Dalian in December 2000 and was sentenced in May 2001 to eight years in prison on charges of endangering state security and divulging state secrets. He was finally released in 2006 after serving six years of his sentence.In February 2009, he obtained political asylum in Canada, where he now lives with his wife in Toronto and continues working as a freelance journalist and calligraphist.see Part 3 China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison News June 2, 2021 Find out more April 27, 2021 Find out more March 12, 2021 Find out more ChinaAsia – Pacific Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes Organisation Newslast_img read more

129 new cases of Covid-19 in Northern Ireland

first_img Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic WhatsApp Journey home will be easier – Paul Hegarty WhatsApp Twitter Harps come back to win in Waterford Google+ Pinterest Pinterest News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Google+ Facebookcenter_img Homepage BannerNews Twitter By News Highland – September 16, 2020 Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Facebook Previous articlePat Smullen was a huge influence on Oisin OrrNext articleNo income tax cuts or income tax hikes in Budget 2021 News Highland There have been 129 new cases of Covid 19 in the north in the last 24 hours.Two deaths have been recorded.It brings to 8,631, the total number of cases in Northern Ireland while there have been 573 Covid 19 related deaths. RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR 129 new cases of Covid-19 in Northern Ireland DL Debate – 24/05/21 last_img read more