Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Old tactics on Chinese media failing

Copies of the Southern Weekly at a newsstand in China
Traditional ways of liberalizing the Chinese media are clearly failing. Reciprocity does not work

Ongoing controversies in Taiwan and China surrounding the media are once again highlighting the delicate balance that must be struck in cross-strait cooperation in all matters pertaining to journalism. 

As the editorial staff at Guangzhou-based Southern Weekly defied censors this week over government intervention in the newspaper’s editorial last Thursday, several Taiwanese who in recent months have launched protests against the monopolization of the media and the risks of increasing Chinese influence, received just what they needed to confirm that their actions were justified.

Since President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) came to power in 2008, Taiwan has made a series of moves to encourage cross-strait journalistic exchanges, with government agencies calling for more cooperation in news and entertainment media. One of the premises under which such liberalization was launched, we are told, is that the more Chinese journalists are exposed to operating in a democratic society, the likelier they are to pollinate China with liberal thoughts once returning. 

My unsigned editorial, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.

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