Foreign Policy ran a great story about Caijing, a Chinese magazine that has courageously stepped on a lot of political and economic toes in southern China. (China’s Top Muckrakers Stop Digging)
American reporters are no strangers to economic pressures affecting coverage. (Tell me the last time a newspaper ran a major expose on car deal practices.) For China, this is an interesting twist on its usual means of trying to control publications that push too hard on the envelope.
In the past, the offending editor or reporter would be reassigned to a far distant province. Now the screws are being turned by the owners of the license allowing the newspaper or magazine to publish.
We have seen this before in Hong Kong, where owners of publications ordered a softer editorial line on China so as not it interfere with other business dealings the owners have in China.
People said China would learn from Hong Kong as the 50-year transition takes place. And they have, but not the things we had hoped they would learn.