WHEN EAST MEETS WEST
Commentary by Hank F. MIller Jr.
China imposed a widespread ban on coverage of last month's high-speed
train crash,forcing newspapers across the country to scrap pages of stories,Hong Kong newspapers reported Sunday. The Sundy Morning Post said that Chinese propaganda authorities issued a censorship order late Friday,banning all coverage of the crash"except positive news or information released by the authorities."The ban came after state media published rare criticism of the government over its responce to the July 23 crash,which killed at least 40,injured almost 200 and called into question the fast expansion of China's high-speed rail network.
"After the serious rail accident on July 23,overseas as well as domestic public opinions have become increasingly complicated,"the order from the Publicity Department said,of the Communist Party, said according to the Post."All local media, including newspapers, magazines and websites,must rapidly cool down the reporters regarding the incident at once.
"(You) are not allowed to publish any reports or commentaries,what so ever except positive news or information released by the authorities." The sudden ban sent to newspaper and web sites editors forced the China Business Journal to scrap eight pages of its newspaper,the Post reported,while the 21 Century Business Herald had to scrap 21 and the Beijing news nine.
The papers had planned special coverage to mark the seventh day after the disaster,the report said. The state-run Xinhua news agency,meanwhile,was forced to warn subscribers not to use an investigation as it had issued previously.
The apparent ban was the second since the fatal crash, after propaganda authorities a day after the accident forbade local journalists from questioning the official line, according to the U. S.-based China Digital Times.that order appeared to be widely ignored with a commentary in the Communist Party mouthpiece,the People's Daily,on Thursday arguing that China"needs development,but does not need a blood smeared GDP."
After Friday's reported order,angry journalists and editors published the spiked pages on the Twitter service Weibo, the Post reported, complaining they were forced to concoct other stories to fill the empty pages at the last moment."China is trying hard to keep this accident secret just as nothing serious happened"just days after the crash the government are acting as though this was a minor set back,in their high-speed rail network system, its seems that it is business as usual.
Warm Regards from Kitakyushu City, Japan.
Hank F. Miller Jr.