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Voice of America: China’s Foreign Ministry questioned on Al Jazeera journalist visa issue

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Voice of America has published what it says is a transcript of questions put to the spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, in relation to Al Jazeera English’s report that its China correspondent Melissa Chan had her visa renewal application “refused”.

Journalism.co.uk reported on Tuesday (8 May) that Al Jazeera English has closed down its Beijing bureau after Chan’s visa was apparently “refused” by authorities.

Al Jazeera said in its report “it is continuing to request a presence in China”.

Voice of America has published “a transcript of some of the questions and answers at the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s daily briefing” in which a spokesman is said to have responded to questions from foreign journalists about what had happened.

Hong Lei: I have stressed that China welcomes foreign journalists to report in China and we have also provided convenience to foreign journalists in reporting objectively in China. I think you have been in China for several years and are very clear about this. At the same time I want to stress that foreign journalists should abide by Chinese laws and regulations while reporting in China.

Read Voice of America’s full article here.

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Journalisted Weekly: Syrian refugees, Grand Prix, & Southern Cross

June 15th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism, Online Journalism

Journalisted is an independent, not-for-profit website built to make it easier for you, the public, to find out more about journalists and what they write about.

It is run by the Media Standards Trust, a registered charity set up to foster high standards in news on behalf of the public, and funded by donations from charitable foundations.

Each week Journalisted produces a summary of the most covered news stories, most active journalists and those topics falling off the news agenda, using its database of UK journalists and news sources.

for the week ending Sunday 12 June

  • Syrian crackdown and Southern Cross crisis gripped headlines
  • Grand Prix news drove the back pages
  • Vietnam-China tensions and world’s largest refugee camp, covered little

Covered lots

  • Grand Prix, with Jenson Button winning the Canadian race, and the Bahrain race postponed due to political unrest, 273 articles
  • Troubled care home provider Southern Cross, denied government bailout, cutting 3,000 jobs, and planning to hive off over 130 homes, 154 articles
  • Syrian refugees fleeing the town of Jisr al-Shughour along Turkey’s border, with 120 of the 189 dead alleged to be soldiers killed for refusing orders, 119 articles

Covered little

Political ups and downs (top ten by number of articles)

Celebrity vs serious

Arab spring

Who wrote a lot about…’Ed Miliband’

Nicholas Watt – 8 articles (The Guardian), Andrew Grice – 6 articles (The Independent), James Kirkup – 6 articles (The Telegraph), Allegra Stratton – 4 articles (The Guardian), Robert Winnett – 4 articles (The Telegraph)

Long form journalism

More from the Media Standards Trust

Visit the Media Standards Trust’s new site Churnalism.com – a public service for distinguishing journalism from churnalism

Churnalism.com ‘explore’ page is available for browsing press release sources alongside news outlets

The Media Standards Trust’s unofficial database of PCC complaints is available for browsing at www.complaints.pccwatch.co.uk

For the latest instalment of Tobias Grubbe, journalisted’s 18th century jobbing journalist, go to journalisted.com/tobias-grubbe

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NYT: Western journalists tracked and detained in China

March 7th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick

According to a New York Times report, foreign journalists have been tracked and detained by officials in China in an effort to clamp down on protests.

On Sunday, about a dozen European and Japanese journalists in Shanghai were herded into an underground bunkerlike room and kept for two hours after they sought to monitor the response to calls on an anonymous Internet site for Chinese citizens to conduct a “strolling” protest against the government outside the Peace Cinema, near People’s Square in Shanghai.

The Media Guardian reports that China has denied the accusations. Chinese newspaper Global Times has reportedly accused Western journalists of fabricating news to discredit the country.

Full New York Times story at this link

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Straits Times: Chinese state newspaper accuses Western journalists of ‘fabricating’ news

Beijing paper the Global Times has accused foreign journalists in China of fabricating news, according to a report by the Straits Times.

‘It is not unusual for Beijing-based Western journalists to receive demands from bosses in their home countries to make up stories,’ said an opinion piece in the paper, which is linked to the ruling Communist Party.

Western reporters ‘must never take delight in blind, idle chatter and instead should remember your true status and the laws of the nation where you are living.’ The commentary appeared to underline rising official anxiety over an online call for rallies in cities across China each Sunday.

This comes a day after the Eurasia Review reported that foreign journalists had been threatened with expulsion if they report on pro-democracy rallies currently being organised online.

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Media Week: China Daily to launch newspaper in UK

December 2nd, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Newspapers

English-language, state-owned Chinese newspaper the China Daily is launching a UK and European edition, according to Media Week.

The report suggests that the new China Daily European Weekly title will be launched tomorrow with a print run of 25,000 in the UK.

Full story on Media Week at this link…

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WSJ: Chinese blogger conference cancelled due to pressure from authorities

An annual blogging conference in Shanghai was cancelled over the weekend due to pressure from the authorities, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

The Chinese Blogger Conference reportedly normally attracts online commentators, digital artists and entrepreneurs, many of whom are said to be critical of government censorship. The decision to cancel is “the latest sign of tightening limits in China on free expression” WSJ reports.

This year, organizers waited until four days ahead of the two-day conference’s planned start on Saturday to announce the venue, an office building in Shanghai’s Xuhui District, near Shanghai Jiaotong University. But the planned hosts reneged late last week owing to pressure from authorities not to let their venue be used for the conference, according to one of the organizers.

Read WSJ’s full report here.

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Journalisted Weekly: Cameron in China, students in London, Suu Kyi in Burma

November 16th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism, Newspapers, Online Journalism, Politics

Journalisted is an independent, not-for-profit website built to make it easier for you, the public, to find out more about journalists and what they write about. It is run by the Media Standards Trust, a registered charity set up to foster high standards in news on behalf of the public, and funded by donations from charitable foundations.

Each week Journalisted produces a summary of the most covered news stories, most active journalists and those topics falling off the news agenda, using its database of UK journalists and news sources. From now on we’ll be cross-posting them on Journalism.co.uk.

for the week ending Sunday 14 November
  • Coverage of David Cameron’s trip to China slightly surpassed news about student fees and subsequent protests
  • George W Bush’s presidential memoirs were widely covered in the UK and elsewhere
  • The minister for universities was hardly mentioned

The Media Standards Trust’s latest report ‘Shrinking World: The decline of international reporting in the British press’ is now available to download

For the latest instalment of Tobias Grubbe, journalisted’s 18th century jobbing journalist, go to journalisted.com/tobias-grubbe

Covered lots

  • David Cameron in China, where the prime minister went to promote UK-Chinese relations, 213 articles
  • An increase in tuition fees for students that sparked student protests and some rioting in Conservative HQ at Millbank, 196 articles
  • George Bush’s autobiography, in which he defended the use of waterboarding, 151 articles
  • Aung San Suu Kyi, who was released from house arrest in Burma on Sunday, 107 articles

Covered little

Political ups and downs (top ten by number of articles)

Celebrity vs serious

  • Take That, who appeared together for the first time since 1995 – on the X-Factor, 94 articles vs the formation of Iraq’s new power-sharing government, headed by Nouri Maliki, 28 articles
  • Ann Widdecombe, ex-politician turned ballroom dancer, 55 articles vs Paul Chambers, whose conviction for a tweet about ‘blowing up’ Robin Hood airport was upheld, 18 articles
  • Emma Watson, who attended the premiere of the new Harry Potter film, 51 articles vs child detention, in the week Clare Sambrook won a second award for her investigations and Peers condemned the government’s postponement of the ending of child detention, 3 articles

Who wrote a lot about…’Aung San Suu Kyi

Jack Davies – 11 articles (The Guardian), Phoebe Kennedy – 10 articles (The Independent), Andrew Buncombe – 6 articles (The Independent), Tim Johnston – 5 articles (Financial Times), Emma Cowing – 3 articles (Scotland on Sunday), Peter Walker – 3 articles (The Guardian), Mail Foreign Service – 2 articles (MailOnline)

Long form journalism

Tune in same time next week.

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Social media and citizen journalism help chart China’s violent land grabs

In the absence of an independent media, citizen journalism and social media have thrived in China and Chinese people have used the internet to report on civil and human rights abuses ignored by mainstream media.

Now an anonymous Chinese blogger called Bloody Map has collated incidents of illegal land grabs and property demolitions and plotted them on Google Maps.



The project, called 血房地图 (xuefang ditu or “Bloody Map”), charts often-violent evictions and demolitions throughout China. According to the project’s Sina account (now invite-only), its aim is to:

… collect and list cases of violent eviction which have, or will, already faded from public view; some cases going back 2-3 years I had to dig up myself, but with your support, it’ll be much easier. When I say that new housing is being built right now on land covered in blood, people know what I mean.

There are forceful evictions taking place now which need more media attention, Bloody Map on its own isn’t an appropriate platform to that end. People can’t expect that an effort like this will create enough attention to put an end to current forced evictions. The goal of this site is to present evidence allowing consumers to make decisions. If a day comes when this tiny map is able to make people within the interest chain of a particular eviction reconsider their actions, then it will have achieved its goal.

There are actually two Bloody Maps: a “revised” version edited by the founder that shows only cases reported by media, and an “open” version that anyone can add to or edit. Contributors use symbols to specify the nature of the property-related violence: video cameras for media coverage; volcanoes for violence during protests; beds for when property owners were killed; and flames for when those resisting eviction set themselves on fire.

Since launching a month ago on October 8, the maps have recorded 130 incidents and attracted more than 476,000 views. The founder says incidents will be removed when the media reports the resolution of conflicts. The project itself has attracted some media attention, with both the Shanghai Daily newspaper (subscription required) and Xinhua news agency reporting on the maps.

Colin Shek is an NCTJ print postgraduate from the University of Sheffield, currently based in Shanghai. This post was originally published on his website: www.colinshek.com. He can be found on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/colinshek

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Globe and Mail: Chinese media shows increasing independence

The Globe and Mail looks at increasing independence amongst Chinese media organisations. Writes Mark MacKinnon:

For years, there hasn’t been much nice said about Chinese journalists. Most were seen as either government mouthpieces or bribe-taking corporate shills. But the reputation of China’s news media is on the rise lately after a series of incidents in which reporters refused to back down in the face of intimidation, sticking to their stories even if it meant getting beaten or jailed.

Full story on Globe and Mail at this link…

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Nieman Journalism Lab: Only 11% original reporting on Google/China hacking story

March 1st, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Online Journalism

So where does news aggregation get in the way of original reporting? Nieman Journalism Lab took a look at one big story – the attack on Google in China – and analysed its treatment by various news organisations. A spreadsheet  shows the full results (download file at this link).

[Jonathan Stray] I chose a single big story and read every single version listed on Google News to see who was doing the work. Out of the 121 distinct versions of last week’s story about tracing Google’s recent attackers to two schools in China, 13 (11 per cent) included at least some original reporting. And just seven organisations (six percent) really got the full story independently.

Full post at this link…

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