This has nothing to do with journalism but it does deal with the larger issue of freedom of expression.
China Jails Xue Mingkai For Joining Political Party
The mania Beijing has for making sure Zhngnanhai and only Zhongnanhai controls every aspect of society is legendary. The year-and-a-half sentence for just joining a political party not approved by Beijing is just another example.
If you think of it, it all fits together. What good, for example, is having the right to join any political party one chooses without also having the right to an independent media? (Kind of like the claims from certain sectors in the States that praise the 99% literacy rate in Cuba. I always ask what good is literacy when what the people can read is severely limited?)
Looking at press freedom issues also means looking at the whole spectrum of freedoms: speech, assembly, religion, association, etc. Each of the five points of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment rest on each other. Remove any one and the rest are threatened.